<CPOV> fm: Beyond the legacy of the Enlightenment?

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Wed Mar 17 10:38:19 CET 2010


I wondered if everyone had already seen this article on First Monday:


Beyond the legacy of the Enlightenment?
Online Encyclopaedias as digital heterotopias

by Jutta Haider and Olaf Sundin

This article explores how we can understand contemporary participatory  
online encyclopaedic expressions, particularly Wikipedia, in their  
traditional role as continuation of the Enlightenment ideal, as well  
as in the distinctly different space of the Internet. Firstly we  
position these encyclopaedias in a historical tradition. Secondly, we  
assign them a place in contemporary digital networks which marks them  
out as sites in which Enlightenment ideals of universal knowledge take  
on a new shape. We argue that the Foucauldian concept of heterotopia,  
that is special spaces which exist within society, transferred online,  
can serve to understand Wikipedia and similar participatory online  
encyclopaedias in their role as unique spaces for the construction of  
knowledge, memory and culture in late modern society.

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