Special issue of the Canadian Journal of Communication.

In the very first issue of the eMagazine, we reported on the World Social Science Forum. I was the chair of the programme committee, and other members of the eHg participated in different sessions. The theme of the Forum was ‘digital technologies and social transformations’, and the programme committee was struck by the number and quality of critical perspectives, especially drawing upon the Canadian tradition, based on the work of Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Dallas Smythe, Vincent Mosco and others. Drawing on the Forum, and other papers attracted by an open call, Delia Dumitrica, now based at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and I have jointly edited a special issue of the Canadian Journal of Communication 40(4), entitled ‘Digital Technologies and Social Transformations: What Role for Critical Theory?’ The special issue includes an editorial written by Delia and me, as well as six articles and two commentaries. The editorial is already free to download.

Being a Canadian journal, articles are published both in French and English. There are two French articles – one about the quantified self and big data, and another about the use of new media by the Kanaks (‘First People’ group) in New Caledonia. Two of the English articles address neoliberal politics of smart meters, and of capitalism more widely. The other two English articles examine examples of political resistance using new media, one involving the appropriation of a public art installation during the ‘Maple Spring’ (which received less international media attention than other springtime uprisings), and another which analyses Twitter discussions of resistance to proposed changes in Canadian law which would curtail Aboriginal rights. (Cover image by Loudmouth Printhouse an Ottawa-based, artist-run, printing cooperative.)