Languaging, Diversity and Democracy: Contemporary Issues of Participation and ways-of-being

Pak Nung Wong (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


This paper introduces the theme of Languaging, Diversity and Democracy. Contemporary issues of participation and ways-of-being and positions the 12 individual papers that constitute the 2022 double special issue of Bandung: Journal of the Global South. Its interest lies in contributing to knowledge that is relevant for contemporary human challenges related to issues of mobility, digitalization, and communication in and across different geopolitical regions across the planet and across virtual-physical spaces. Raising concerns regarding universalizing tendencies of special issues (and collected volumes generally), and based on the premise that what kind of knowledge matters is tied up with the issue of whose knowledge and in what named-language this knowledge matters, this paper raises critical queries that focus on the narrators positionality and gaze, the composition of scholarly narratives, the flow of narratives, what vocabularies circulate in frontline scholarship, including the organization of special issues, etc. Drawing attention to the universalizing Euro/America-centrism that shapes what counts as knowledge, the paper draws attention to the taken-for-grantedness of what counts as international languages of publishing which eclipses alternative epistemologies, ways-of-thinking and ways-of-being. It argues that by taking such issues as inspiration in the curation and editing of this double special issue, participatory processes and ways-of-being enabled a contribution to the doing of democracy and diversity in the scholarly enterprise. Such work of democratizing academic publication work calls for unlearning to learn that is closely related to the theme explored in the double special issue. Aligning with analogue-digital languaging in contemporary existence, the paper also traces the journey of how this double special issue has come into being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-355
Number of pages355
JournalBandung: Journal of the Global South
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


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