Call for articles : travelling texts in the humanities and social sciences : textual parameters of acceptance and rejection


Call for articles : travelling texts in the humanities and social sciences : textual parameters of acceptance and rejection

Guest editor : Wiebke Keim

(French version here)

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This special issue will comprise a collection of empirical studies of ‘travelling texts’. We understand ‘travelling texts’ to be texts which, in different material forms (books, articles, manuscripts, written correspondence, eventually archival materials), travel from one place to another, and from one language to another. Unlike knowledge or ideas (discussions and verbal exchanges, personal memories, thoughts and ideologies in a more abstract, general sense) which are essentially less tangible, material forms afford stability and consequently make it possible to trace the routes they follow, which allows for the type of discourse analysis that this special issue seeks to promote.

Specific factors which play a key role in the circulation of knowledge include institutional structures, educational systems, publication markets, different audiences and funding opportunities for publication, translation and dissemination. Reception of the approaches and ideas contained in social science texts depends both on these different material and institutional factors and on the use made of the texts as a political and intellectual tool in their new context.

Nevertheless, while it is extremely interesting to study all these different factors affecting the transportation of texts across borders, analysis should not be restricted to these aspects alone. This special issue will focus on knowledge and discourses and their particular effectiveness, so as not to limit the impact of the texts themselves. Contributions to this special issue should address the intrinsic parameters of acceptance or rejection of travelling texts in the area of the humanities and social sciences. These intrinsic parameters include the contents of the texts such as themes, terminology, metaphors, concepts and theoretical assumptions. Certain qualities of the texts such as their style, complexity, ‘translatability’, scientificity, comprehensiveness or abstraction and even the values they express or which underlie them are also relevant to this special issue as such intrinsic parameters.

This special issue concentrates solely on the humanities and social sciences because, in these disciplines, writing, language and style are particularly important in reception processes, particularly those of a transnational or international nature ; some writers have even argued for the existence of regional, or even national styles (e.g. ‘continental philosophy’, ‘French theory’, etc.). Furthermore, the circulation of texts in space means that their theoretical or analytical claims are tested in places other than the one from which they emerged. This is a particularly important issue for the humanities and social sciences, because an aspiration to general, or even universal knowledge, has given way, across the field, to conscious reflexivity. It is therefore important to question the specific performativity of travelling texts, the binding nature of their exposition and argumentation, their rhetoric, and their need to maintain silence on certain topics and certain uncomfortable references.

This issue aims to cover a wide range of cases, both geographically and historically, drawn, where possible, from different disciplines (sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, political sciences, etc.) and from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Articles may address a set of texts in circulation or concentrate on a single travelling text, but in all circumstances must aim to examine empirically the influence of factors intrinsic to the texts in their circulation.

Dates and deadlines :

  1. Call for papers : 12 July 2015
  2. Submission of first drafts of articles : December 2014 (for dates, please ask the issue editor). First drafts may be in French or English.
  3. Final articles in French : September 2015
  4. Publication of special issue : December 2015 (Volume 9 N°4)

Contact Wiebke Keim : wiebke.keim @

Journal contact : Xavier Guchet or Rigas Arvanitis

Articles must be submitted to the Revue d’Anthropologie des Connaissances website, use the journal’s style guide, comply with editorial guidelines and be anonymised for blind review.