Draft Reading List

UCLA IS 289-1: Critical LIS Praxis 

Professor Michelle Caswell

Catalog description:
The course addresses the ways in which critical theory (defined broadly to include the works of Marx, the Frankfurt School, Foucault, deconstructionists, feminists, critical race theorists, and queer theorists, among others) can inform, challenge, transform, and re-envision LIS practice. The course will emphasize critical discourse analysis and theory generation as research methods in LIS with the aim of developing a critical praxis. Fulfills MLIS methods requirement.


Week 1. What is Critical Theory? What is praxis? Why does it matter to LIS? 

Gloria Leckie and John Bushman, “Introduction: The Necessity for Theoretically Informed Critique in Library and Information Science,” in Critical Theory in Library and Information Science (Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2010), vi to xxii.

Ajit Pyati, “A Critical Theory of Open Access: Libraries and Electronic Publishing,” First Monday 12:10 (2007): http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1970/1845.

Ajit Pyati, “’We Must Now All Be Information Professionals’: An Interview with Ron Day” InterActions 12 (2005), http://escholarship.org/uc/item/6vm6s0cv#page-1.

Siva Vaidyanathan, “Afterward: Critical Information Studies: A Bibliographic Manifesto,” Cultural Studies 20 (2-3) (2006): 292-315.

John J. Doherty, “Towards Self-Reflection in Librarianship: What is Praxis?” in Questioning Library Neutrality (Duluth: Library Juice Press, 2008): 109-118.

Week 2.
Marx and LIS Labor
Karl Marx, The Marx-Engels Reader (New York: WW Norton, 1978), Part II: The Critique of Capitalism 203-217 and Capital, Volume One, 302-329.

Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” 1848, available at: https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/Manifesto.pdf

Tiziana Terranova, “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy,” http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/technocapitalism/voluntary

Soren Peterson, “Loser-Generated Content: From Participation to Exploitation,” First Monday 13(3) (2008): http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2141/1948.

Christian Fuchs, Digital Labour and Karl Marx (Routledge: New York, 2014): Introduction (p.1-19) and Chapter 11 (243-282).

Week 3.
Said and Spivak: Orientalism, Postcolonialism and Global LIS Partnerships

Edward Said, Orientalism, “Introduction” and “The Scope of Orientalism,” and “The Latest Phase,” New York: Vintage Book, 1978, 1-110, 284-328.

Sara Danius, Stefan Jonsson and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “An Interview with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak,” Boundary 2 20:2 (1993).

Hope Olson and Melodie J. Fox, “Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak: Deconstructionist, Marxist, Feminist, Postcolonialist,” in Critical Theory for Library and Information Science (Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2010), 295-309.

Caswell, Michelle. “‘Thank You Very Much, Now Give Them Back’: Cultural Property and the Fight Over the Iraqi Baath Party Records,” American Archivist 74: Spring/Summer 2011, 211-240.

Dave Hudson, “Unpacking ‘Information Inequality’: Toward a Critical Discourse of Global Justice in Library and Information Science,” Canadian Journal of Information and Library Sciences, Sep-Dec2012, Vol. 36 Issue 3/4, p69-87.

Week 4.
Foucault, Discourse, Discipline and Surveillance 

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish and The Birth of the Prison, New York: Vintage Books, 1995, “Part Three: Discipline,” 135-228.

Melissa Adler, “Disciplining Knowledge at the Library of Congress,” Knowledge Organization 39(5).

Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Durham: Duke University Press, 2015), 1-62.

Gillian Rose, “Discourse Analysis I and II” in Visual Methodologies: 3rd Edition (Sage: Thousand Oaks, CA) 2012: Chapters 8 and 9, p. 189-260.

Bernd Frohmann, “Discourse Analysis as a Research Method in Library and Information Studies,” Library and Information Science Research 16(2) (1994): 119-138.

Week 5.
Decolonizing and Indigenizing LIS

Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (Zed Books, 2012), 107-122; 123-141; 142-162.

Sandra Littletree and Cheryl A. Metoyer, “Knowledge Organization from an Indigenous Perspective: The Mashantucket Pequot Thesaurus of American Indian Terminology Project,” Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 53 (2015): 640-657.

Marisa Duarte and Miranda Belarde-Lewis, “Imagining: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Ontologies,” Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 53 (2015): 677-702.

Week 6.
Feminist Ethics, Affect, and Critical Library Instruction

Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House,” in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde (Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press, 1984), 110-113

Maria Accardi, Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction (Sacramento: Library Juice Press, 2013), 23-69.

Sharon Ladenson, “Paradigm Shift: Utilizing Critical Feminist Pedagogy in Library Instruction,” in Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods (Duluth: Library Juice Press, 2009), 105-112.

Michelle Caswell and Marika Cifor, “From Human Rights to Feminist Ethics: Radical Empathy in the Archives,” Archivaria, forthcoming, draft available on CCLE.

Taneya D. Gethers, “Knowledge my Public Library Kept Secret: The Urgent Need for Culturally Responsive Library Service,” Informed Agitation (Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2013), 73-86.

Week 7
Deconstruction, Decolonization, and the Organization of Information

Jacques Derrida, Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 1-23.

John D. Caputo, Deconstruction in a Nutshell (New York: Fordham University, 1997), 31-48.

Joseph Deodato, “Deconstructing the Library with Jacques Derrida: Creating Space for the ‘Other’ in Bibliographic Description and Classification,” Critical Theory for Library and Information Science (Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2010), 75-87.

Verne Harris, “A Shaft of Darkness: Derrida in Archive,” Archives and Justice: A South African Perspective (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2007), 39-53.

Hope Olson, “Patriarchal Structures of Subject Access and Subversive Techniques for Change,”
The Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science 26:2/3 (2001): 1-29.

Week 8 
Critical Race Theory, Diversity and Its Critics
Derrick A Bell, The Derrick Bell Reader (New York: NYU Press, 2005): 73-90.

Kimberle Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics,” The University of Chicago Legal Forum 140 (1989): 139-167.

Anthony Dunbar, “Introducing Critical Race Theory to Archival Discourse: Getting the Conversation Started,” Archival Science 6 (2006): 109-29.

Mario H. Ramirez, “Being Presumed Not to Be:  A Critique of Whiteness as an Archival Imperative,” The American Archivist, accepted for publication, forthcoming, available on CCLE.

Fobazi Ettarh, Making a New Table: Intersectional Librarianship,  http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2014/making-a-new-table-intersectional-librarianship-3/

April Hathcock, “White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS,” October 2015, http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2015/lis-diversity/. 

Week 9.
Neoliberalism, Metrics, and the Library as Corporation

David Harvey, A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Center for International Studies Beyond the Headlines Series, 2005, 1-38.

John Buschman, "Talkin' 'Bout my (Neoliberal) Generation: Three Theses," Progressive Librarian 28 (Summer 2007): 28-40.

Karen P. Nicholson, “The McDonaldization of Academic Libraries and the Values of Transformational Change,” College and Research Libraries 76:3: 328-338.

Cathy Eisenhower and Dolsy Smith, “The Library as ‘Stuck Place’: Critical Pedagogy in the Corporate University,” In Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods , edited by Maria T. Accardi, Emily Drabinski, and Alana Kumbier, 305–18. Duluth, MN: Library Juice Press, 2009. http://www.academia.edu/10100304/_The_Library_as_a_Stuck_Place_Critical_Pedagogy_in_the_Corporate_University._

Christine Pawley, “Hegemony’s Handmaid? The Library and Information Studies Curriculum from a Class Perspective,” The Library Quarterly 68:2 (1998): 123-144.

Marika Cifor and Jamie A. Lee, “Neoliberal Encroachments: Opening Possibilities for Addressing Neoliberalism in the Archival Field,” available on CCLE.

Week 10.
Queer Theory, Transgender Trajectories 

Dean Spade, “Administrating Gender,” Normal Life (New York: South End Press, 2011), as excerpted in Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader (Los Angeles: Litwin, 2013), 324-350. 

Sharon Marcus, “Queer Theory for Everyone: A Review Essay,” Signs 31 (1) (2005): 191-128. 

Jamie Lee, “Beyond Pillars of Evidence: Exploring the Shaky Ground of Queer/ed Archives and Their Methodologies,” from Research in the Archival Multiverse, Anne Gilliland, Andrew Lau, and Sue McKemmish, eds. Forthcoming. 

Emily Drabinski, “Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction,” Library Quarterly 83 (12) (2013): 94-111.

K.R. Roberto, “Inflexible Bodies: Metadata for Transgender Identities,” Journal of Information Ethics 20 (20) (2011): 56-64.