Duke University Press is pleased to begin publishing "Common Knowledge" with its re-inaugural issue, volume 8, number 1. Described by the "New York Times" as one of two American journals in which public intellectuals and other scholars prefer to publish, the highly acclaimed "Common Knowledge" has returned to publication after a two-year hiatus. In an effort to place itself in the ferment of intellectual life and broaden its geographical range, the journal has moved to the Middle East, to Israel. Born in an attempt to moderate and get past the "culture wars" of the 90s, "Common Knowledge" has moved, literally, to a war zone, and accordingly its editorial interests have broadened to include culture wars of a less metaphorical kind.Its mission is both incredibly ambitious and shockingly simple: to open up lines of communication between the academy and the community of thoughtful people outside its walls. "Common Knowledge" was created to form a new intellectual model, one based on conversation or co-operation rather than on metaphors adopted from sports and war, of "sides" that one must "take."
The journal will collect work from a variety of fields and specialities, including philosophy, religion, psychology, literary criticism, cultural studies, art history, political science, and social, cultural, and intellectual history. Scholars such as Richard Rorty, Bruno Latour, Clifford Geertz, Julia Kristeva, Karma Nabulsi, and J. G. A. Pocock will cross paths with political figures like Prince Hassan of Jordan and President Arpad Goncz of Hungary, novelists like Susan Sontag, poets like Yves Bonnefoy, composers like Alexander Goehr, and journalists like Adam Michnik.The pages of "Common Knowledge" are sure to challenge the ways we think about theory and its relevance to humanity. The first volume will feature the beginning of a Seriatim Symposium, "Disagreement, Enmity, and Dispute," which will include discussions of the title concepts from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The Symposium asks why, in an intellectual context in which "true" and "real" are words that can be used only in condescending scare quotes, there is so much absolute conflict.
If truth and reality are constructions, then why aren't we constructing consensual orders (metaphysical and social) that are conducive to peace, calm, and co-operation? Contributors for forthcoming issues include: Manfred Frank, Jacques Le Goff, Vicki Hearne, Sissela Bok, Edward Cardinal Cassidy, Linda Hutcheon, G. Thomas Tanselle, Arlette Farge, Marcel Detienne, Caryl Emerson, Stanley Katz, and, Peter Laslett.