Scanned from a faded old analogue print and bearing no date, this photo was taken at the first meeting of the recently formed ephemera editorial board in Chris’ living room. Someone had suggested we should capture the moment for twenty years hence, when people asked us about it. Weird.
Image 1: Image provided by the authors
We live in a world of confounded languages, differing cultures and polarised worldviews; a world where we find it very hard to understand each other, not least because of the language differences between us and the language-related prejudices we sometimes are not even aware of. Whilst accepting this and navigating life in this world has not come easily to me, there has been one space in which I always felt that we shared the same ‘language’, the same universe of values and the same affective responses to what was happening around us.
Usually when it is time to reflect upon or commemorate the importance and meaning of a journal or publishing series we find ourselves falling into a discussion of important issues, or key debates, or maybe something about the impact of the journal, these days maybe even its audience size or metrics. For me this kind of misses the point, and especially gets wrong what I’ve long felt are the most important aspects of ephemera as a project.
This issue celebrates 20 years of ephemera. We, the editorial collective, feel this anniversary provides the opportunity to debate the pasts, presents and futures of critical publishing. Today, most academic journals are owned by commercial publishing houses and organized according to journal rankings and impact factors. Yet ephemera remains stubbornly independent of these global capitalist forces. In this anniversary issue, we want to raise questions about independence – independent thinking, independent publication, independent organizing.
ephemera welcomes open submissions, outside the special issues, that address themes relating to the theory and politics in organization.