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Thematic issue n°57 “Mediations and social uses of knowledge and information. An intercrossed France-Brazil Outlook”

Dossiê temático No. 57 “Mediações e usos sociais de saberes e da informação. Olhares intercruzados França-Brasil”
Dossier thématique n° 57 « Médiations et usages sociaux des savoirs et de l’information. Regards croisés France-Brésil »

Coordination: Viviane Couzinet (Toulouse 3-Paul Sabatier University, France) and Regina Marteleto (Ibict- Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

This edition of Études de communication offers researchers and PhD students in France and Brazil the opportunity to cross their views on the issue of mediations and the social uses of knowledge and information. It continues the work initiated by the French-Brazilian Network MUSSI (Mediations and Social Uses of Knowledge and Information). This network was initiated along the lines of the French-speaking founders of the field of information-documentation, Otlet, Meyriat, Estivals, Escarpit and others who accompanied them, the consolidation of the field of research in Information Science in both countries from the 1990s, and the common vision of French and Brazilian researchers of the informational object inserted in cultural, social and political issues. Since 2008, and after the maturing of the debates, ideas developed during meetings, joint studies, and common publications, this collective has been proposing a broad dialogue around its theoretical and methodological field. This field is articulated around thematic axes that contemplate the epistemological, cultural and practical dimensions of the information field.

The concept of mediation is ubiquitous in several disciplines of anthropo-social sciences and demonstrates its usefulness in understanding the processes of circulation of cultural objects and their symbolic and technical dimensions at the present time (Jeanneret, 2009). In Information Science we can underline its mission to clarify these phenomena through documentary mediation (Couzinet 2009), that is, those that recognize and certify the networks of actors present in the modes of production, circulation and appropriation of knowledge in the field of science, technology or culture, now also digital (Davallon, 2012). In this context, it is necessary to recognize the weight of technology in the questioning of contemporary culture. The concept of “culture” is understood as the set of historical forms that preside over the production, circulation and social appropriation of ideas, objects, meanings and specific symbols of the knowledge and practices of each social group for which they constitute a heritage (Marteleto, 2016).

In this sense, to understand the mediations according to the approach proposed here, it is important to insert the problematic information-communication-documentation at the same time in a “comprehensive epistemology” and in a “political direction”, in search of an emancipatory sense in the face of the hegemony of the transnational media market (Sodré, 2006). Therefore, it is a question of observing the link that can be established between the creation of technical and material devices, on the one hand, and the practices of culture and individual and collective memory, both academic and common sense, on the other (Jeanneret, 2011). The concept of device is here understood as an agency of elements included in a project whose effects, interests and constraints in a given social situation can be revealed. If the device involves techniques, it also involves human beings (Couzinet, 2009). Whether they are primary or secondary devices as concrete objects, they measure the mediations among other concrete objects produced by information-producing emitters and information-using recipients. Moreover, production and uses raise ethical, legal and political problems.

The social and technical phenomena of mediation and the social uses of knowledge and information are thus the central focus of this thematic dossier. The questioning that has developed in the Information Sciences around info-communicational objects has led to the inclusion of disciplines designed to highlight their contours in order to affirm their academic legitimacy. This is the case of bibliology, for example (Estivals, 1993; Saldanha, 2015). In order to contribute to the development of reflection and in parallel with the analysis of cultural and symbolic processes involving information and knowledge, according to cross or comparative perspectives, this dossier also includes analyses of the processes of institutionalization of Information Sciences.

From the mediations and socio-subjective experiences of circulation and appropriation of information and knowledge, a set of concepts and questions becomes fundamental in the studies of information and communication. These concepts and questions also constitute a thematic focus of this dossier. Among them, we can identify information devices, relationships between knowledge and information, digital culture, digital writing, info-communication devices, social life of cultural objects, metalinguistic practices of knowledge representation, heritage and patrimonialization, memory and information institutions such as museums, archives, libraries, documentation centers.

The dossier proposes the development of three thematic axes:

  1. Epistemology and interdisciplinarity in the construction of the concepts of knowledge and information in the field of information studies, institutionalization of Information Sciences and the place of research on mediations and social uses of information;

  2. Information and cultural and symbolic processes: communication and information technologies and reception modes, languages and writing in different institutional and digital spaces. Reading, textuality and memory: theories, practices, actions and policies;

  3. Challenges for the organization of multi-inter-trans-disciplinary knowledge in the face of changes in science and society: ethical and political aspects of the production, organization and representation of knowledge.

Peer Review Committee (to be completed)

Lídia Eugênia Cavalcante (Federal University of Ceará, Brazil)

Alain Chante Université (LERASS, University of Montpellier 3)

Stéphane Chaudiron (GERiiCO, University of Lille)

Marilda Lopes Ginez de Lara (University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Madjid Ihadjadene (Paragraphe, University of Paris 8)

Gustavo Saldanha (Ibict-Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Marco Schneider (Ibict-Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Cécile Tardy (GERiiCO, University of Lille)

Icléia Thiesen (Federal University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Review process   Selection of proposals

All submissions will go through a two-part review process:

  • submission of a 1500-2000 words abstract which should include a presentation of objectives and principle arguments, explain the originality of the paper and provide key bibliographical references;

  • for selected abstracts, a second evaluation will be carried on completed articles.

Instructions for authors are available at the journal webpage:

Proposals will be peer-reviewed according a double-blind reviewing process. Abstracts should be sent by 12 July 2020 in Word (.docx) or OpenDocument (.odt) format to the following addresses:

Paper proposals and final papers (35,000-40,000 characters including spaces, footnotes and bibliography) may be submitted in French, Portuguese or English. Articles will be published in French for the printed version of the journal and in Portuguese or English, and in French for the electronic version. No commitment to publication can be made until the full text has been read.

Important dates

12 July 2020: abstract submission deadline

24 August 2020: notification of acceptance or refusal

24 November 2020: deadline for submission of the complete version of articles

15 March 2021: deadline for receipt of final version

December 2021: publication of articles in Études de Communication thematic issue n°57 (paper and electronic versions)


Almeida, M.A. (2014). Mediação e mediadores nos fluxos tecno-culturais contemporâneos. Informação & Informação, 19(2), 191-214.

Bourdieu, P. (2002). Les conditions sociales de la circulation internationale des idées. Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales, 145, 3-8.

Couzinet, V. (dir.). (2009). Dispositifs info-communicationnels : questions de médiations documentaires. Hermès Science ; Lavoisier.

Davallon, J. (2012). Du numérique pour la culture à la culture numérique ? 2a. Jornada Científica Internacional da Rede Mussi. Anais (p. 21-38). Ibict-UFRJ.

Estivals R. (1990). Les langages et leurs interrelations : quelques axes pour une théorie sémiologique de la communication. Revue de Bibliologie : schéma et schématisation, 33, 8-16.

Fabre, I. (2012). Médiation documentaire et culturelle dans le musée. Communication et langages, 173(3), 83-99.

Foucault, M. (1969). L’archéologie du savoir. Gallimard. [Foucault, M. (2010). A Arqueologia do saber (7. ed.). Forense Universitária].

Fraysse, P. (2015). La médiation numérique du patrimoine : quels savoirs au musée ? Distances et médiations des savoirs, 12.

Freire, P. (2018). Pedagogia do Oprimido (65ª. ed.). Paz e Terra.  [Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The Seabury Press.]

Frohmann, B. (2011). Reference, representation, and the materiality of documents. 2e Colloque Scientifique International du Réseau Mussi. Actes (p. 55-67). Université de Toulouse 3.

Gardiès, C. (dir.). (2011). Approche de l'information-documentation : concepts fondateurs. Cépaduès.

Jeanneret, Y. (2009). The relation between mediation and use in the research field of information and communication in France. RECIIS-Rev. Eletrônica de Informação, comunicação e inovação em saúde, 3(3), 25-34.

Jeanneret, Y. (2011). Y-a-t-il (vraiment) des technologies de l'information ? Presses Universitaires du Septentrion.

Marteleto, R. (2016). Tierce connaissance et rencontre de savoirs : pour une épistémologie sociale de l'information. 3es Journées scientifiques internationales du Réseau Mussi. Actes (p. 37-54). ENFA.

Meyriat, J. (1981). Document, documentation, documentologie. Schéma et schématisation, 14, 51-63. [Meyriat, J. (2017). Documento, documentação, documentologia. Perspectivas em Ciência da Informação, 21(3), 240-253.]

Saldanha, G. (2015). O esquema e as formas simbólicas: uma 'arqueologia filosófica' do esquema no pensamento bibliológico. Tempo Brasileiro, 203, 79-102.

Sodré, M. (2006). As estratégias sensíveis: afeto, mídia e política. Ed. Vozes.

Thiesen, I. (2016). Fabrique de mémoire : documents sensibles, leur mise en archives et leur statut de parimoine de l'humanité – quels enjeux ? 3es Journées scientifiques internationales du Réseau Mussi. Actes (p. 19-36). ENFA.

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