Session Submission Summary

Direct link:

Critical Information Studies: A Roundtable on Sociotechnical Theories, Digital Objects and Institutional Practices

Fri, October 8, 1:20 to 2:50pm EDT (1:20 to 2:50pm EDT), 4S 2021 Virtual, 23


Critical information studies (CIS) is an empirical, political, and educational project. This CIS roundtable will unite and expand the field through an interactive fishbowl format. It has three goals. First, we will ground recent critical investigations of big data, algorithms, and misinformation in decades of research in library and information science. Second, we will discuss the evolution of iSchools as sociotechnical objects shaping these research problems. Finally, we will make space for the burgeoning cohort of STS scholars working in iSchools. In this way we will create a community for CIS within 4S, and support each other's CIS work in our own institutions.

For CIS, information is not natural, but constructed. We will discuss the common ties between research that addresses, for example, labor in information systems and the information ideologies that construct ‘users.’

CIS seeks to remake the power relations produced by and through information. Our roundtable will discuss the political possibilities of our work, how we can, for example, engage in anti-racist and anti-colonial struggles to preserve those institutional records that can support reparations and erase those records that serve as tethers of the carceral state.

Finally, CIS rethinks library and information science pedagogy. Our roundtable will discuss how to move iSchool education beyond training interchangeable information professionals who optimize access to information resources, and how to incorporate more critical dispositions from STS.

In a moment of institutional ferment, we hope to build models for creativity beyond entrepreneurialism, for abolition over inclusion, and for an information ethics that does not formalize power but redistributes it.



Session Organizer