Mousaion - Volume 19, Issue 1, 2001
Volumes & issues
Volume 19, Issue 1, 2001
Source: Mousaion 19, pp 3 –24 (2001)More Less
As part of a Master's dissertation at the University of South Africa, the information-seeking behaviour of South African visual artists was examined. The research method used was a self-administered, cross-sectional survey carried out amongst artists lecturing at universities and technikons as well as secondary school art teachers and members of art societies in South Africa. These were deemed by the researcher to be the more information-literate artists. It was found that artists use a wide array of information-seeking methods, but that preference is given to conducting their own searches, browsing, and getting help from a librarian or a colleague. The independent variables of gender, working affiliation, qualifications, age and lecturing field influence the way in which the respondents go about finding information.
Author M. SerresSource: Mousaion 19, pp 25 –34 (2001)More Less
Our body listens, cries out and remembers. Bacteria, algae, fungi, plants and animals also signal their presence and perceive their environments in their own ways. No organism could survive without both an exchange of energy and information. Communication characterises life as an open system: cells communicate with each other in bodies as bodies do within their ecological niche.
Source: Mousaion 19, pp 35 –52 (2001)More Less
When Michel Serres (1989a:177) writes: 'Let the new knowledge come', it was almost like a prayer. It sounds like a great expectation on the one hand, and like a sigh of discontent with regard to its opposite, let us call it 'old knowledge', on the other hand. Is this really the case? Are we operating with old knowledge, inappropriate knowledge and inadequate knowledge? Is the hope for new knowledge a realistic hope, a futile exercise, or already a reality? Too many scientific discourses suggest the last option as really the case. What are the limitations of the old knowledge and the possibilities of the new knowledge? Under what theoretical and methodological conditions can we expect knowledge, old or new, to emerge? It is fairly clear that they require different conditions, different in terms of assumptions, methods, and mode of thinking.
Author A.L. DickSource: Mousaion 19, pp 62 –92 (2001)More Less
At the historic Annual Conference of the South African Library Association (SALA) in November 1962, the decision was taken to establish racially-segregated library associations. A letter from some concerned librarians was sent to the SALA's professional journal, South African Libraries, which elicited a response from its editor, P C Coetzee. This article examines the way in which scientific discourse was deployed in the professionalization of librarianship in South Africa using the writings and activities of one of the SALA's most prominent members. P C Coetzee's editorial response provides an excellent opportunity for analysing both the tensions between a scientific approach and a narrow cultural identity outlook in the professional discipline of librarianship, and the intellectual's complicity in apartheid.
Source: Mousaion 19, pp 93 –114 (2001)More Less
Although 'globalisation' has become the catch word of our times, it is not a simple linear or uniform process. On the contrary, globalisation is associated with apparently contradictory processes that manifest themselves in different forms in various domains such as the economic, social, cultural and political domains. Furthermore, in all these domains, globalisation is not only characterised by universalisation, homogenisation and uniformity, but also by localisation, heterogeneity and an emphasis on uniqueness. These many faces of globalisation are discussed in this article.
Author J. RossouwSource: Mousaion 19, pp 115 –118 (2001)More Less
With his publication in the mid-seventies of The Postmodern Condition, Jean-François Lyotard came to the merry conclusion that we had reached the end of the era of so-called grand narratives, all-encompassing world-views that were supposed to explain everything from history to God. His conclusion was merry indeed, for it signalled a greater seriousness from within philosophy itself with regards to its own unhappy contribution to the practice of grand narratives, Hegelian dialectics and historical materialism being but two of the guilty parties. Lyotard's book and the rest of his œvre, as well as the work of many other philosophers of his generation, opened the floodgates of a re-thinking of the history of philosophy and of knowledge itself as we had not seen in recent times. But the honeymoon was short-lived. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, that unavoidable marker of so many recent turning points occurring exactly two hundred years after another such a marker, the French Revolution of 1789, we have witnessed the unbridled ascent of the neo-liberal paradigm on a global scale.
Source: Mousaion 19, pp 119 –124 (2001)More Less
This is an interesting publication in the sense that it actually contains two texts, one by J Hillis Miller and the other by Manuel Asensi on the work of J Hillis Miller. The first analyzes from a European perspective, the analyses of the second who writes from an American perspective. What is more interesting is that this book has a graphic arrangement in which the two texts of the two authors face one another. As such this endeavour calls for thorough reading, analysis and interpretation in its own right. This will be done at another occasion.
How we became posthuman : virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics, N.K. Hayles : book reviewSource: Mousaion 19, pp 124 –125 (2001)More Less
The title is already insightful. We in the information sector are involved with the new media. The importance of understanding the issues we are working with has been emphasized. It is of relevance that we understand the new media as well. This publication offers marvellous thoughts and perspectives in this regard. 'An instant classic, Remediation is required reading for anyone interested in the New Media, especially in relation to other forms of representation. This is one you won't want to miss' writes Katherine Hayles.
Source: Mousaion 19, pp 125 –126 (2001)More Less
In this book Hayles examines in a very competent way the fate of embodiment in the information age. She indicates how we can keep disembodiment from being written once again into dominant concepts of subjectivity. Despite 'the lust for information' in our age, she makes out a strong case that bodies do still matter. This book matters now 'when serious commitment to an embodied life world full of fleshly, mortal beings seems to be, at least ideologically, an endangered species' (Donna Haraway). 'The central event of the twentieth century is the overthrow of matter' (Quote by Hayles from Toffler, et al Magna Charta). She explicitly argues 'that the human being is first of all embodied being, and the complexities of this embodiment mean that human awareness unfolds in ways very different from those of intelligence embodied in cybernetic machines' (283-4).
Source: Mousaion 19, pp 127 –128 (2001)More Less
Brief reviews of a few books are presented. Some of the reasons for these reviews are sketched here. These are not ordinary books. All of them are either bestsellers (showing a kind of populartiy) or translated (showing their importance) and much reviewed and read. All of them are quite remarkable in similar ways: they are difficult books (but nevertheless much read which does not make sense in our context since nobody is meant to read difficult stuff anymore); they are books on theorising information technology in all its different manifestations (again strange since for us the only important thing is doing technology but never be tempted to think the technical); they are interdisciplinary in the full sense of the word in the sense that all discourses of all sciences are taken seriously by them (not like with us where there is a lot of talk about interdisciplinarity without understanding other disciplines or the confession of some that interdisciplinarity means actually that all should understand what we are talking about, which may of course also means underdisciplined or even undisciplined).