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Journal articles that change how you think

November 19, 2013

Today I was running a seminar at the MIT Center for Civic Media on the journal article as form: its affordances and limitations. We talked about the shifts in how academics reach audiences, as well as the economic, political and institutional forces that surround journal publishing. Out of curiosity, I asked on Twitter about people’s favourite journal articles – what were the ones that changed your thinking? It became such a great list that I wanted to share it with everyone, in case you also find some gems you haven’t read before. As for me, I’d have to say a very influential one is Paolo Virno’s “Virtuosity and Revolution: The Political Theory of Exodus.” It’s in Radical Thought in Italy: A Potential Politics (1996): 189-210;  or you can read it online here.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 20, 2013 9:26 am

    One of my favorites is: Howard Becker’s (1953) “Becoming a Marihuana User”

  2. November 20, 2013 3:05 pm

    This is great! I started something similar but haven’t had the time to take it very far:

  3. Jessa Lingel permalink*
    November 21, 2013 9:50 am

    I have never recovered from reading Helene Cixous’ “Laugh of the Medusa.”
    It was my first academic exposure to feminist theory, and until reading it, I really didn’t know that women could sound like this.
    Within my own field, I remember the profound sense of relief in coming across Elfreda Chatman’s work, particularly “Life in the Round.”
    Elfreda Chatman is my patron saint of human information behavior because she takes on issues of social justice and information inequality in a way that is so direct and earnest, but somehow also humble.

  4. November 24, 2013 9:10 pm

    Jonathan Zittrain’s “The Generative Internet” (2006) really brought together many disparate threads and ideas for me, into a clear, coherent, compelling and analytical whole: Internet regulation and architecture, innovation, creativity, platform design, and the history of technology, etc, etc, etc. I still return to it regularly:

  5. November 25, 2013 9:01 am

    Realized I posted the wrong SSRN link (above). Here’s the proper link to Zittrain’s great article: (too many tabs open…)

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