Readings on Publics, the Civil Sphere, and Issue Networks

In August 2017 I asked folks on social media to help me brainstorm some of the best new and old writings on “the public sphere.” If I’m going to be writing about something called the “invisible public,” than I think its important to justify why the term is useful. What will the label help us understand about civic life and political participation that we didn’t know before? And to answer that question its important to know how scholars have been talking about the public sphere to date.

I’ve broken down the reading suggestions I got back into several overarching categories, and I will be adding to the list as I find new resources. Before I go any further, I wanted to share this link to the syllabus of my colleague Mike Ananny (at USC) who has thought about these topics a great deal and which contains a wealth of wisdom and insights.

== Classic Statements ==

Habermas, J. (1989 [1962]). The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere

Dewey, J. (1927). The Public and Its Problems

Benhabib, S. (2003). The Reluctant Modernism of Hannah Arendt

Feree et. al. (2002). Shaping Abortion Discourse.

== Classic Critiques ==

Fraser, N. (1990). “Rethinking the Public Sphere.”

Brown, E.B. (1994) “Negotiating and Transforming the Public Sphere.”

Warner, M. (2002). “Publics and Counterpublics.”

Gitlin, T. (1998) “Public Sphere or Public Sphericules?”

Couldry, N. et. al. (2009) “Connection or Disconnection: The Mediated Public Sphere in Everyday Life.”

Audt. A. (2013). “A Theory of the Public Sphere.”

== Issue Publics ==

Marres, N. (2007). “The Issues Deserve More Credit.”

Bounegru, L. et. al. (2017). “A Field Guide to Fake News.”

== Infrastructure & Materiality ==

Carpignano, P. (1999). “The Shape of the Sphere.”

Limn Magazine (2016). Infrastructural Publics / Public Infrastructure

Marres, N. and Lezaun, J. (2011). “Materials and Devices of the Public.”

== Affective Publics ==

Papacharissi, Z. (2014). Affective publics: Sentiment, technology, and politics.

Berlant, L. (2005). “The Subject of True Feeling.”

Kelly, C. (2016). “The man-pocalypse.”

== Other Topics ==

Kelty, C. (2002). “Geeks, Social Imaginaries, and Recursive Publics.”

Gardiner, M. (2004) “Wild Publics and Grotesque Symposiums.”

Coleman, S. (2013). “How Voters Feel.”

Butler, J. et. al. (2011). The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere

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