The summer 2018 issue of the Journalism & Communication Monographs series is dedicated to Merlyna Lim’s work on media and social movements. In a monograph titled Roots, Routes, and Routers: Communications and Media of Contemporary Social Movements, Lim offers an interdisciplinary analysis of the complexity of communications and media as they are embedded in the making and development of contemporary social movements, in three parts. The first part, Roots, provides a broad context for analyzing communications and media of contemporary social movements by tracing varied and multifaceted roots of the wave of global protests since 2010. The second part, Routes, maps out the routes that social movements take, trace how communications and media are entangled in these routes, and identify various key mechanisms occurring at various junctures of movements’ life cycles. The last part, Routers, explores roles of human and nonhuman, fixed and mobile, traditional and contemporary, digital and analog, permanent and temporal routers in the making and development of social movements. These analyses of roots, routes, and routers are based on Lim’s multiple years’ research in Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia, and Hong Kong – they are mutually intertwined in broadening and deepening our understanding of the complexity of communications and media in contemporary social movements.
Journalism & Communication Monographs serves scholars and readers in fields of journalism and communication by publishing original scholarly works that are too long as articles or too specialized for book form. The monograph series “seek to provide a venue for scholarly works, particularly those that provide a critical or applied synthesis of significant scholarship, that speak to the broader field of journalism and mass communication, … for understanding and advancing theory, methodology, and/or practice.”
Lim’s monograph is accompanied by commentaries from four established scholars in the field of media and social movements: Emiliano Treré, Orley Durán & Clemencia Rodríguez, and María Paula Martínez. These research commentaries provide critical insights to and dialogues with Lim’s work. Lim dedicates her work to “burning, dissenting, moving, and vocal bodies in Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.”