disClosure Goes Digital Through UKnowledge

by Whitney Hale, Allison Elliott-Shannon disClosure

(April 28, 2014) — The 2014 issue of disClosure, an annual thematic publication dedicated to investigating and stimulating interest in new directions in contemporary social theory, is now available online through a collaboration between the University of Kentucky Committee on Social Theory (CST) and UK Libraries.

First published in 1992, the journal includes a variety of media including scholarly essays, poetry and visual art from a variety of disciplinary, geographical, and theoretical perspectives and genres. The journal aims to encourage work that employs innovative writing styles as well as formal scholarly work, and is edited by graduate students participating in the CST.

The 2014 issue of disClosure marks the first digital release of the journal in its 22-year history, providing a new platform to reach a larger audience. The issue explores the concept of “mapping,” drawing on the work of a variety of scholars, artists and acclaimed members of academia from a social theoretical perspective. The issue follows the theme of last year’s Social Theory 600 course and the CST Public Lecture Series, which featured visiting scholars Derek Gregory, Neil Brenner, Tom Conley, and Swati Chattopadhyay.

The CST was formed in 1989 “to counter traditional disciplinary narrowness in social thought, to build bridges between the humanities and social sciences, and to inform social research with transdisciplinary theoretical understandings.” It was one of the first such programs in the nation. Since its founding, the history of the CST has been one of gradual expansion. Today, it oversees a flourishing pedagogical and research program, and has more than 75 affiliated faculty members from colleges across UK.

The initial activity of the CST in the spring of 1989 was a public lecture series combined with a graduate seminar team-taught by four faculty. Today, its activities include a range of intellectual forums in which to study the expanding and increasingly important field of social theoretical issues. 

Social TheoryResearch activities currently include a topical spring semester lecture series, a fall Distinguished Author in Social Theory, a faculty working papers series, and publication of the graduate student journal, disClosure. The committee's public lectures have featured leading national as well as international social theorists, and a variety of prominent theoreticians have appeared in disClosure. Videos of the past lectures are available for viewing online. In addition to these activities, the committee has also sponsored several regional Commonwealth Social Theory Conferences on companion topics, and from 2002 to 2005 co-sponsored, with the UK Appalachian Center, a prestigious Rockefeller Foundation grant that brought together local activists with theorists of globalization.

Students and faculty from across UK have participated in the CST’s activities since its inception, either earning certificates or investing with their research and teaching. UK Libraries partners with the CST to provide online access to disClosure via UKnowledge.  In addition to the latest issue, UK Libraries has also made the complete back run of the journal freely available online, as a means to support and celebrate the scholarship of social theory, and as a contribution to knowledge sharing for the public good. 

UK Libraries has provided free journal hosting services since the launch of UKnowledge in December 2010. With a state-of-the-art online platform, the system provides editors of UK-based journals with custom-designed sites and an online system to streamline the editorial process. UK Libraries-hosted journals have high visibility through search engine optimization, and authors receive monthly reports of the download counts of their articles. Additionally, UK Libraries undertakes the long-term preservation of the published contents to ensure perpetual access to them in the future. UK Libraries currently hosts five journals on UKnowledge.

Editors of UK-based journals are welcome to contact Adrian Ho, at adrian.ho@uky.edu, to explore opportunities for collaboration. 

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