Archive for publications, June 2017

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[ecrea] new book - the discursive-material knot by Nico Carpentier

Mon Jun 12 12:15:36 GMT 2017

[Apologies blatant self-promotion]

Dear members of the commlist,

I'm happy to be able to use the commlist to announce a new publication of my own (for a change :). It's a new book, entitled The Discursive-Material Knot.

The book consists out of three so-called platforms. The first platform is a theoretical discussion about the entanglement of the discursive and the material, grounded in discourse theory and new materialist theories. The second platform consists out of a re-reading of three theoretical bodies (through the lens of the discursive-material knot): participatory theory, community media theory and conflict theory. The third platform focuses on a case study in Cyprus, first providing a theoretical discussion on nationalism, then sketching the history of the Cyprus Problem, and finally analyzing the Cyprus Community Media Centre as a participatory-agonistic assemblage.


These are the technical data about the book:

The Discursive-Material Knot
Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation
Nico Carpentier | 2017 | XVIII, 472 PP.
978‐1‐4331‐2885‐1 (hc)
978‐1‐4331‐3753‐2 (pb)
978‐1‐4331‐3754‐9 (ebook PDF)
978‐1‐4331‐3755‐6 (ePUB)


More information about the book can be found here:


This is a short bio of me:
Nico Carpentier is Professor in Media and Communication Studies at the Department of Informatics and Media of Uppsala University. In addition, he holds two part‐time positions, those of Associate Professor at the Communication Studies Department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Docent at Charles University in Prague. He is a Research Fellow at the Cyprus University of Technology and Loughborough University. Earlier books are Understanding Alternative Media (2007, co‐authored with Olga Bailey and Bart Cammaerts), and Media and Participation: A Site of Ideological‐Democratic Struggle (2011).


The blurb of the book:
The theoretical framework of the discursive‐material knot consists out of a non‐hierarchical ontology of the interactions of the discursive and the material, articulating the assemblages that are driven by this ontological setting as restless and contingent, sometimes incessantly changing shapes and sometimes being deeply sedimented. This book acknowledges the importance of discourse studies, in having produced a better understanding of the socio‐political role of frameworks of intelligibility, and of materialism theory in highlighting the importance of the agentic role of materials. Still, the combination of the discursive and the material requires our attention in a much more fundamental way; that is where this book’s first platform aims to provide a contribution. These ontological‐theoretical reflections are not produced in a void, but they are put to work in this book, first in platform two, which consists of a discursive‐material re‐reading of three theoretical fields, dealing with practices that are all highly relevant in contemporary democracies: participation, community media and conflict (transformation). Finally, in the third platform, this book turns its attention to a particular social reality, analyzing the logic of the discursivematerial knot in the particular context of the Cyprus Problem. This case study fills a gap by bringing community media and conflict transformation together, through the analysis of the role of the Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC), and its webradio MYCYradio, in contributing to the transformation of antagonism into agonism. Deploying a discursive‐material analysis to study the participation and agonization (and their articulation) in CCMC/MYCYradio shows the complexity and richness of conflict transformation processes, in combination with the importance of organizations such as CCMC/MYCYradio for the betterment of society.


Its table of contents:
The Introduction of a Triptych
Platform 1
Chapter 1: Reconciling the Discursive and the Material—A Knotted Theoretical Framework
  1 The Discursive
  2 Discursive Structures
  3 Agency
  4 The Material
  5 The Two Dimensions and their Knotted Relationships
  6 From High Theory to Research: About Sensitizing Concepts

Platform 2
Chapter 2: Participation, Community Media, and Conflict (Transformation)
1 Defining Participation—A Political (Studies) Approach
2 Defining Community Media Organizations
3 Conflict and Community Media

Platform 3
Chapter 3: The Cyprus Conflict
1 A Contextual Analysis of the Cyprus Problem
2 A Brief Historical Overview of the Cyprus Problem
3 Discourses and Materialities of the Cyprus Problem

Chapter 4: CCMC as a Participatory and Agonistic Assemblage
1 Introducing the CCMC and MYCYradio Case Study
2 CCMC, MYCYradio, and Participation
3 CCMC, MYCYradio, and Conflict Transformation
4 A Concluding Reflection on the Articulation of Participation and Agonism


And some praise for the book:

“In this inspiring and outstanding book, Nico Carpentier provides an innovative theoretical framework which allows understanding and explaining the complexity of civil society community media. This integrated interdisciplinary approach is complemented by a fascinating in‐depth history and ethnography of Cypriot society and its range of— sometimes—agonistic media production and reception, thus succeeding in grounding the grand theories in discursive and material practices.” —Ruth Wodak, Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University, United Kingdom, and University of Vienna, Austria

“Nico Carpentier once again demonstrates himself to be one of the most sophisticated, rigorous and timely theorists of the politics of participation in contemporary culture. Here, he works through the major strands of current theory to distill and synthesize a brilliant conceptual framework which he applies to understanding the Cyprus crisis, the discursive and material roots of nationalism, and the varied roles and models of community media. Rarely do we see theory and application brought together with such spectacular results.” —Henry Jenkins, author of By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism

“This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the question of how to treat the relation between discourse and matter from the points of view of theory, method, and critique. In a breathtakingly systematic-iterative application of a novel framework to the Cyprus problem, Nico Carpentier explores the potential of community media to transform the status of conflict from antagonism to agonism. In so doing the book robustly defends and advances the analytical and critical potential of discourse theory, demonstrating the immensely productive consequences of conceptualizing the relation between discourse and matter as a ‘knot.’”
—Jason Glynos, Essex University, United Kingdom


Professor Nico Carpentier
Uppsala University, Department of Informatics and Media
Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, 753 13 Uppsala, Sweden
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Free University of Brussels
& Charles University in Prague
Out now:
Cyprus in Conflict and Community Media Participation
The Commlist
Researching and Teaching Communication Book Series
European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School
International Association for Media and Communication Research
Centre for the study of Democracy, Signification and Resistance
E-mail (UUppsala): (nico.carpentier /at/
E-mail (VUBrussels): (nico.carpentier /at/
T (UUppsala): +46 (0)18 471 6341
Room (UUppsala): Ekonomikum building E329
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