Category: Communication Studies

Scholarly Publications Manager for UWP  – approaching deadline, end 25 July

Scholarly Publications Manager for UWP – approaching deadline, end 25 July

Details of the this post are available here. Salary range starts from £41,715 with a closing date of end Sunday 25 July. Further information can be found in the job description and person specification, which can be accessed via this link. Please note that an application must be completed: an email and CV is not sufficient to apply.

UWP recently celebrated the landmark of 1 million views and downloads of its book and journal publications. Further background on the Press’s development can be found here on the Ubiquity Press blog and a timeline of the early years here.

Based in the heart of Central London, the University of Westminster Press (UWP) is a relatively new digital-first open access publisher of peer reviewed academic books, policy briefs and journals that was launched in 2015. A key component of the University’s Open Research Environment, it exists to provide global public access to academic work in multiple formats. In partnership with our authors and editors, we publish in areas that reflect the teaching and research strengths of the University of Westminster in social sciences and humanities, science and technology, media arts and design and other subject areas. 


UWP is an open access, ‘new’ university press, publishing peer-reviewed academic books and journals. It functions as a mixed model diamond open access publisher supported by income from book sales, central university and departmental contributions, one-off external university and grant-holder donations and library membership collective funding notably Knowledge Unlatched’s ‘Select’ programmes for individual titles. Many of its publications are in the area of media and communications but it has published book titles in history, philosophy, geography, education and politics. Its activities are overseen by a single UWP Editorial Board


The post-holder will be responsible for managing day to day operations and contributing to the strategic development of the University of Westminster Press (UWP), working with the UWP Editorial Board, authors, editors and colleagues, ensuring the continuous flow of open access articles/books from acquisition through peer review to post production dissemination, maintaining quality standards and promoting published content. They will work closely with colleagues to further develop the University’s Open Research Environment.


AI for Everyone? Critical Perspectives

UWP is pleased to announce that it will soon be publishing a new book exploring the role of contemporary AI and issues that need to be addressed concerning it. The volume will be edited by Pieter Verdegem of the University of Westminster. And it will be published open access in the series, Critical Digital and Social Media Studies edited by Christian Fuchs.

Description
We are entering a new era of technological determinism and solutionism in which governments and business actors are seeking data-driven change, assuming that AI is now inevitable and ubiquitous. But we have not even started asking the right questions, let alone developed an understanding of the consequences. Urgently needed is debate that asks and answers fundamental questions about power. This book brings together critical interrogations of what constitutes AI, its impact and its inequalities in order to offer an analysis of what it means for AI to deliver benefits for everyone.

The book is structured in three parts: Part 1, AI: Humans vs. Machines, presents critical perspectives on human-machine dualism. Part 2, Discourses and Myths about AI, excavates metaphors and policies to ask normative questions about what is ‘desirable’ AI and what conditions make this possible. Part 3, AI Power and Inequalities, discusses how the implementation of AI creates important challenges that urgently need to be addressed.

Bringing together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and regional contexts, this book offers a vital intervention on one of the most hyped concepts of our times.

Contents

  1. 1. Introduction: Why We Need Critical Perspectives on AI
    Pieter Verdegem

Part 1: AI – Humans vs. Machines

2.Artificial Intelligence (AI): When Humans and Machines Might Have to Coexist 
Andreas Kaplan

3. Digital Humanism: Epistemological, Ontological and Praxiological Foundations 
Wolfgang Hofkirchner

4. An Alternative Rationalization of Creative AI by De-Familiarizing Creativity: Towards an Intelligibility of Its Own Terms 
Jenna Ng

5. Post-Humanism, Mutual Aid
Dan McQuillan

Part 2: Discourses and Myths About AI

6. The Language Labyrinth: Constructive Critique on the Terminology Used in the AI Discourse
Rainer Rehak

7. AI Ethics Needs Good Data
Angela Daly, S. Kate Devitt and Monique Mann

8. The Social Reconfiguration of Artificial Intelligence: Utility and Feasibility
James Steinhoff 

9. Creating the Technological Saviour: Discourses on AI in Europe and the Legitimation of Super Capitalism
Benedetta Brevini

10. AI Bugs and Failures: How and Why to Render AI-Algorithms More Human?  Alkim Almila Akdag Salah

Part 3: AI Power and Inequalities 

11. Primed Prediction: A Critical Examination of the Consequences of Exclusion of the Ontological Now in AI Protocol
Carrie O’Connell and Chad Van De Wiele

12. Algorithmic Logic in Digital Capitalism
Jernej A. Prodnik

13. Not Ready for Prime Time: Biometrics and Biopolitics in the (Un)Making of California’s Facial Recognition Ban
Asvatha Babu and Saif Shahin

14. Beyond Mechanical Turk: The Work of Brazilians on Global AI Platforms  Rafael Grohmann and Willian Fernandes Araújo

15. Towards Data Justice Unionism? A Labour Perspective on AI Governance  Lina Dencik

The Authors

Index 

(Paperback): 978-1-914386-16-9 (PDF): 978-1-914386-13-8 (EPUB): 978-1-914386-14-5

ISBN (Kindle): 978-914386-15-2

DOI: 10.16997/book55

A Cool Million: UWP Reach Readership Landmark

A Cool Million: UWP Reach Readership Landmark

Over 1 million views and downloads have now been achieved by the University of Westminster Press since publishing its first journal issue in September 2015. (Figures end April 2021). The graphic presenting the following (and more) can be downloaded from our website.

Total Readership: 1,089,280

Books: 560,573

Journal Articles: 528,707

Readership by Nationality (estimate, where recorded) from 197 countries and territories.

1. UK 2. USA 3. Canada 4. Germany 5. Brazil 6. China 7. Australia 8. India 9. Italy 10. Spain 

Authors of New Publications: 276 unique authors from 38 countries, recorded by institution or current domicile.

Publications total:

35 books and 7 policy briefs

192 new journal articles from 2 new titles launched and 3 existing journals new to UWP

719 archive journal articles and 5 books distributed

Most Popular Book Titles: (1) Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism (ed. J. Morelock) 68,260 views/downloads (2) The Propaganda Model Today (ed. J. Pedro-Carañana et al.) 63,353 (3) Critical Theory of Communication (C. Fuchs) 37,350.

Top Journal Titles: Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture (290,505 since 15/9/2015), Entertainment and Sports Law Journal (165,847 since 26/06/2016) and Journal of Deliberative Democracy 55,787 (since 28/08/2020).

UWP Series: Critical Digital and Social Media Studies‘, 20 titles: 353,317; ‘CAMRI Policy Briefs‘, 7 titles, 44,413; ‘Law and the Senses‘ 24,102 (3 titles).

Context: UWP was established by a University steering group in 2014, hired its first part-time employee in February 2015 and published its journal issue in September 2015 and first book in October 2016. Its website went fully live on 12 May 2015. UWP has worked with platform providers Ubiquity Press and more recently for journals since 5 January 2021 Michigan Publishing/Janeway. It has functioned as a mixed model diamond open access publisher supported by income from book sales, central university and departmental contributions, one-off external university and grant-holder donations and library membership collective funding notably Knowledge Unlatched’s ‘Select’ programmes for individual titles. Many of its publications are in the area of media and communications but it has published book titles in history, philosophy, geography, education and politics. Its activities are overseen by a single UWP Editorial Board and it works within Research and Scholarly Communications, of the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office, Student and Academic Services, University of Westminster.

UWP is considered to be a ‘New University Press‘, digital-first with open access as a key principle. Its logo is a ‘W’ consisting of an open laptop and an open book.

Thanks to our editors, authors, peer reviewers, UWP editorial board members past and present, series board members and our partners Ubiquity Press (books and website) and Michigan Publishing Services and Janeway (journals) and all our colleagues at the University of Westminster for helping UWP reach this landmark.

Misinformation in Africa – literacy and regulation

Misinformation in Africa – literacy and regulation

Amongst the startling conclusions of a new report published yesterday Misinformation Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Laws and Regulations to Media Literacy are:

Misinformation literacy requires specific knowledge and skills

Media literacy is barely taught in seven of the eleven countries studies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Anti- false news laws nearly doubled in the 11 countries studied 2016-2020

Laws and regulations missed the declared target, hit media freedom

The volume, published in the CAMRI Policy Briefs and Reports series consists of two separate policy reports:

The State of Media Literacy in Sub-Saharan Africa 2020 and a Theory of Misinformation Literacy

Bad Law – Legal and Regulatory Responses to Misinformation in Sub-Saharan Africa 2016–2020

AUTHORS
Peter Cunliffe-Jones, Assane Diagne, Alan Finlay, Sahite Gaye, Wallace Gichunge, Chido Onumah, Cornia Pretorius, Anya Schiffrin

Description

Misinformation Policy in Sub-Saharan Africa is a single volume containing two research reports by eight authors examining policy towards misinformation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The volume first examines the teaching of ‘media literacy’ in state-run schools in seven Sub-Saharan African countries as of mid-2020, as relates to misinformation. It explains the limited elements of media and information literacy (MIL) that are included in the curricula in the seven countries studied and the elements of media literacy related to misinformation taught in schools in one province of South Africa since January 2020. The authors propose six fields of knowledge and skills specific to misinformation that are required in order to reduce students’ susceptibility to false and misleading claims. Identifying obstacles to the introduction and effective teaching of misinformation literacy, the authors make five recommendations for the promotion of misinformation literacy in schools, to reduce the harm misinformation causes.

The second report in the volume examines changes made to laws and regulations related to ‘false information’ in eleven countries across Sub-Saharan Africa 2016-2020 from Ethiopia to South Africa. By examining the terms of such laws against what is known of misinformation types, drivers and effects, it assesses the likely effects of punitive policies and those of more positive approaches that provide accountability in political debate by promoting access to accurate information and corrective speech. In contrast to the effects described for most recent regulations relating to misinformation, the report identifies ways in which legal and regulatory frameworks can be used to promote a healthier information environment.

Format: e-Book, PDF free from www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/books

PDF 978-1-914386-05-3
ePub 978-1-914386-06-0
Kindle 978-1-914386-07-7

www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk

CULTURE WARS: STATUES, FLAGS, STREETS AND SQUARES

CULTURE WARS: STATUES, FLAGS, STREETS AND SQUARES

CALL FOR PAPERS/ABSTRACTS: WESTMINSTER PAPERS IN COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE
Issue Editor: Anthony McNicholas

Flags, emblems, monuments, street names, statues are some of the means by which nations and states promote themselves, both to their own citizens and to the world at large; the public face of our imagined communities. But as they seek to unify, such symbols have often been the occasion for contestation, disagreement, violence even. Empires, systems, regimes rise and fall. Societies change, and with such change comes a reassessment of societies’ symbolic life, as yesterday’s heroes become today’s villains, past triumphs a present embarrassment. The past is continually raked over, re-examined and reinterpreted, with each re-examination argued over. Examples abound from across the globe: the toppling of Rhodes’ statue in Cape Town in 2015; in Budapest, Soviet era leaders are gathered together in Memento Park. While Ukraine had by 2017 decreed the removal of all 1,320 statues of Lenin. And in Germany there are no monuments commemorating the military in the war years. In the USA, statues of Confederate leaders are being taken down; thwarted by a statute forbidding such removals, the mayor of Birmingham Alabama had one offending figure covered in plastic. Outside Delhi statues of military and British royalty languish, a ‘shambles’ in a ‘veritable dust bowl’ (Times of India) awaiting a revamp that never seems to arrive, the neglect telling its own story. In the UK the national flag and the statues of slavers are being fought over by the government and sections of the population deploying memes, hashtags and video footage whilst also appearing in official and commercial films, TV, documentary, news footage. 

Submissions are welcome covering the role of the media in all forms (from public service broadcasting to social media, feature films to advertising) exploring contested representations of such symbols and their remediation. WPCC publishes research articles, commentaries and book reviews. For guidelines see https://www.westminsterpapers.org/site/author-guidelines

Deadline for abstracts:
Please submit a 150-250 word abstract with keywords to WPCC’s submission system with 6 keywords by Monday 28 June 2021 by registering at here uploading the abstract in addition to filling in the submission details. You will receive feedback regarding encouragement to submit a full paper (a resubmission on the system) or feedback from the issue editor(s)/WPCC within 7-10 days later.

Deadline for full papers:
Full papers are expected by Monday 30 August 2021, 23:59 submitted to the WPCC system. All papers will go through double peer-review. 

Publication date: from 1 November 2021
WPCC is an open access journal and there are no fees for contributors. Published by the University of Westminster Press in conjunction with CAMRI. All content in this issue and in its archive is available free to read. 
www.westminsterpapers.org

Slave to the Algorithm? Changing the Tune

Slave to the Algorithm? Changing the Tune

UWP are pleased to announce a forthcoming title DIGITAL PLATFORMS AND ALGORITHMIC SUBJECTIVITIES* exploring the changing nature of subjectivities produced in an era of changing boundaries between the social and personal and the economic and technological for its Critical Digital and Social Media Studies series edited by Christian Fuchs. The title is edited by Emiliana Armano, Marco Briziarelli and Elisabetta Risi (State University of Milan, University of New Mexico and IULM University of Milan respectively and will be published open access thanks to the support of Knowledge Unlatched.

*Amended 27 July 2021

DESCRIPTION

Algorithms are a form of productive power – so how may we conceptualise the newly merged terrains of social life, economy and self in a world of digital platforms? How do multiple self-quantifying practices interact with questions of class, race and gender? This book considers algorithms at work – for what purposes encoded data about behaviour, attitudes, dispositions, relationships and preferences are deployed – and black box control, platform society theory and the formation of subjectivities. It details technological structures and lived experience of algorithms and the operation of platforms in areas such as crypto-finance, production, surveillance, welfare, activism in pandemic times. Finally, it asks if platform cooperativism, collaborative design and neomutualism offer new visions. Even as problems with labour and in society mount, subjectivities and counter subjectivities here produced appear as conscious participants of change and not so much the servants of algorithmic control and dominant platforms.

CONTENTS

Introduction. Platforms, Algorithms and Subjectivities.– Emiliana Armano, Marco Briziarelli, Joseph Flores, Elisabetta Risi

Part I: Conceptualizing an algorithmic society

  1. The Californian Ideology Revisited – Lawrence Quill & Hasmet Uluorta
  2. Platform Politics and a World Beyond Catastrophe – Ned Rossiter & Soenke Zehle
  3. Platforms in Time of Pandemic– Niccolò Cuppini, Mattia Frapporti & Maurilio Pirone
  4. Domus Capitalismi. Domesticated Subjectivities in Times of Covid-19 – Marco Briziarelli & Emiliana Armano  
  5. Black Box Power Zones of Uncertainty in Algorithmic Management – Heiner Heiland 
  6. Algorithmic Management in Food Delivery Platforms, between Digital Neo-Taylorism and Enhanced Subjectivity – Emiliana Armano, Daniela Leonardi & Annalisa Murgia
  7. Extracting Free Labour– Patrick Cingolani  
  8. On Value And Labor In The Age Of Platforms– Andrea Miconi

Part II: Phenomenology and experiences. 

9. The Digital Traces of Crypto-Finance– Alberto Cossu  
10. The Social Costs of the Gig Economy and Institutional Responses. Forms of Institutional Bricolage in Italy, France, and the Netherland – Maurizio Franzini & Silvia Lucciarini
11. Plat-Firming Welfare. Examining Digital Transformation in Local Care Services – Davide Arcidiacono, Ivana Pais & Flaviano Zandonai
12.Algorithmic Prosumers – Elisabetta Risi & Riccardo Pronzato
13. Performed Subjectivities in Ranking and Recommendation Systems – Tatiana Mazali & Nicoletta Gay
14. Labour Control and Commodification Strategies Within A Food Delivery Platform in Belgium – Milena  Franke  & Valeria Pulignano
15. Emerging Forms of Sociotechnical Organisation the Case of the Fediverse – Jacopo Anderlini & Carlo Milani
16. A Workers’ Inquiry into Canvas and Zoom Disrupting the Algorithmic University – Robert Ovetz

ABOUT THE EDITORS

Emiliana Armano, PhD in Labour Studies at the Department of Social and Political Sciences at the State University of Milan. She collaborates in research into informational capitalism, knowledge work, flexibility and precariousness, with a social inquiry and coresearch methodological approach.

Marco Briziarelli is professor of Department of Communication and Journalism of the University of New Mexico. He studies critical approaches to media and communication theory, especially as these fields intersect with broader issues in political and social theory, intellectual and cultural history. Dr. Briziarelli is also interested in media and social movements and critical conceptualization of digital labor. His work has appeared in triple C: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, CommunIcation and Critical/Cultural Studies and many other journals.

Elisabetta Risi, PhD in Information Society, is Research Fellow of the Department of Communication, Arts and Media of IULM University (Milan). She teaches disciplines related to digital methods and her research interests include critical study of society and media, platform society the relationship between communication practices, identity and social change.

RELATED PUBLISHING

UWP has previously published The Spectacle 2.0 by two of the book’s editors Marco Briziarelli and Emiliana Armano in the CDSMS series, the CAMRI Policy Brief Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things with AI FOR EVERYONE edited by Pieter Verdegem of the University of Westminster also scheduled for 2021.