CFP: Re-introductions to Cultural Science

Cultural Science Journal ( is an Open Access journal that was started by Professor John Hartley and colleagues in 2008 at the Queensland University of Technology. Most recently it has been published by Ubiquity Press and Curtin University’s Centre for Culture and Technology. After 13 years of activity the editorship of the journal is handed over this year to professors Indrek Ibrus and Maximilian Schich, both of Tallinn University. The journal will be published by Tallinn University's Cultural Data Analytics Open Lab ( and it is currently being transferred to Sciendo platform (
Cultural Science Journal continues to be a multidisciplinary journal publishing original work on change and dynamics in culture, media and communications. It investigates structures, interactions, and processes of cultural systems at all levels of analysis and scales of application.

The Journal takes advantage of advances in cultural analytics, cultural data science, and cultural semiotics. It encourages active dialogue with evolutionary and institutional economics, biosemiotics, complexity science, network analysis, research in and cultural history and cultural evolution, specifying the ‘uses of culture’ from personal meanings to planetary platforms and systems of meaning.

Cultural Science Journal looks forward to publishing new work that is critical, analytical and/or empirical, but is most often dialogical: interested in the production and translation of new ideas and knowledge, especially across perceived and disputed borders between systems, groups, identities, and academic disciplines.

Building on the handover momentum we announce a Call for Papers aimed at rethinking the purposes, potentials and methods of 'cultural science'. Therein we want to build on and invite reflections on the work done during the first 13 years in the Cultural Science Journal. 'Cultural Science 2.0' as it was framed by John Hartley was to build on the work of Raymond Williams, his interest not only in the micro-contexts of culture, but also in the systematic and general processes and the mutually conditioning relationships between the micro, meso and macro contexts. Hartley and colleagues (Jason Potts, Lucy Montgomery, Stuart Cunningham, Carsten Hermmann-Pillath, Alan McKee, Paul Ormerod and others) launched a systematic effort aimed at conceptualising and studying such relationships systematically, worked towards transdisciplinary frameworks linking the study of culture with evolutionary and institutional economics, complexity science and other evolutionary approaches to change. This work has been pathbreaking, feeding into new approaches and further studies into evolutionary processes in media markets and cultural industries internationally (emergent fields of media innovation studies, cross-innovation systems, open publishing and so on).

Yet, also parallel approaches have emerged linking the study of culture with other disciplines especially evolutionary biosciences, but also mathematics, physics, data science and network science, etc., resulting in novel and epoch making approaches such as cultural analytics, cultural evolution studies, computational humanities and social science, etc. 'Cultural Science', it can be argued, is evolving into an intensely dialogic, multidisciplinary and an 'explosively' (to use a Juri Lotman term) evolving domain.

In this dynamically evolving context Cultural Science Journal wants to become the arena where the relevant dialogues are held, where centuries of humanities-based knowledge on culture's forms, languages and systems of meaning can meet most contemporary scientific methods, where new questions are asked, where novel conceptualisations can meet or emerge from rigorous empirical or analytical work. Thus, to mark and discuss the purposes, potentials, uses and methods of 'cultural science' we invite for the 2021 re-inaugural issue papers that address these from different angles. The angles and questions could include:

- Histories of cultural science and multidisciplinary studies of change in culture, media and communications;
- Methodological challenges to the multidisciplinary work on culture, media and communications;
- The new and future methods for cultural science;
- Regional, linguistic and cultural differences to the conceptualisation of 'cultural science';
- The ways to conceptualise 'cultural innovation';
- The unused potentials and limitations of the 'evolutionary turn' to the study of culture;
- The unused potentials and limitations of the 'computational turn' to the study of culture;
- The role of network science in cultural science;
- Artistic research and scientific approaches to the study of culture;
- The post-human groundings of cultural science;
- The uses of cultural science in cultural, innovation and economic policies;
- The perspectives of cultural science with regard to research funding;
- Relationships of cultural semiotics and biosemiotics with cultural science;
- Evolutionary approaches to media change;
- The relationship between communication studies and cultural science;
- Cultural science and the study of digital culture and the internet;
- Cultural science approach to studying media production, industries and markets.

We invite original papers that could be of different length: 1) 2500-4000 word conceptually oriented 'perspective papers' or ‘concise research papers’ that follow the multidisciplinary standard with 4 to 6 figures; 2) 4000-9000 word ‘long research papers’. The word counts are all inclusive (abstract, footnotes, endnotes, references).

Manuscript submission deadline: May 26th. Manuscripts should be sent to:

Add a comment

Email again: