This study path asks learners to investigate the design processes behind frequently-used technologies and analyze those processes for where a different approach can lead to better, less biased outcomes.
Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage: The Preservation of the Latina/o Legacy / Carolina Villarroel and Gabriela Baeza Ventura
This case study gives a brief overview of a long-standing archival and research project in Latina/o history, Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage, which was established in 1990 by a group of scholars, librarians, and archivists. It outlines the scope, effort, and community-building that it takes to create a long-running and successful project, and can be used to focus on the care that it takes to steward such large-scale recovery projects forward. It also shows the clear and concrete way that this archive formed the locus of a research community and prompted new types of scholarship.
Mapping Violence: A Case Study on Project Development, Iterative Approaches to Data Collection and Visualization, and Collaborative Work With Undergraduates / Jim McGrath
This case study looks at an important benchmark in the development of Mapping Violence, a digital project interested in histories and records of state-sanctioned racial violence on the Mexico/Texas border in the early twentieth century. Specifically, it focuses on work completed in the summer of 2016 with a team of undergraduates at Brown University, documenting some of the collaborative, iterative, pedagogical, and ethical dimensions of the project’s ideas of data, interface, and audience.
HBCU Library Alliance
The HBCU Library Alliance is “a consortium that supports the collaboration of information professionals dedicated to providing an array of resources designed to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their constituents.” It serves as a rich resource for librarians and archivists at HBCUs and also coordinates programs with HBCU students, and would be an essential first stop for any new cultural heritage practitioner within or partnering with an HBCU.
African American History, Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHum)
Based at the University of Maryland, AADHum brings African American Studies and Digital Humanities together, and serves as an example of both leadership and support, facilitating a community of scholars that center the Black experience. See in particular AADHum philosophical frameworks on Centralizing Blackness in Digital Work and their rich list of projects in progress. Learning more about AADHum projects and methods will help planners of new projects partnering with Black communities in the U.S. A discussion of the AADHum model would pair well with a discussion of the work of Documenting the Now, both exemplary initiatives.
Data Culture Project / Catherine D’Ignazio and Rahul Barghava
The Data Culture Project is a model project for both a thoughtful approach to the use of data and technology as well as exploring methods for worplace education and change. Data Culture focuses on providing training for organizations “struggling to figure out how to build capacity to work with data.” The project leaders suggest: “You don’t need a data scientist; you need a data culture.” Helpful for cultural heritage organizations looking for staff training around more thoughtful production and use of their data, or as a model for how to run an effective educational initiative. Part of the larger DataBasic.io learning portal, led by well-known practitioners and scholars Rahul Barghava and Catherine D’Ignazio.
User Participation and Democracy: A Discussion of Scandinavian Research on System Development / Gro Bjerknes and Tone Bratteteig
Excellent introduction to the history of and philosophical underpinnings of Scandinavian participatory design, a foundational movement for current participatory design, values in design, and critical technical practice movements. Notable for emphasizing the political nature of the practice of participatory design, in that in its beginnings it was seen as a method for democratizing the workplace. This article, written in 1995, suggests that a move towards ethics de-emphasizes the political aims of earlier participatory design projects, and that political (i.e. social justice) aims should be re-introduced. An excellent reading that will expose systems designers to the long history of participatory and user-centered design that would be well-paired with more recent readings that incorporate additional intersectional analyses, allowing system designers to contrast the Scandinavian emphasis on a class analysis (through a focus on the democratic rights of workers) with later work incorporating race, gender, and disability.
Archivists and Archives of Color Section
The Archivists and Archives of Color Section is an essential group, informally known as AAC, that creates space and advocacy for archives and archivists of color. A section of the Society of American Archivists, AAC members are often at the forefront of thinking about how to partner with marginalized communities and steward community archives both physical and online. It is also an essential community of support for archivists of color.
Indian Arts Research Center
The Indian Arts Research Center is a division of the School for Advanced Research, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit educational institution established in 1907 to advance innovative social science and Native American art. Since 2010, the Indian Arts Research Center has “pioneered a radically participatory approach to the stewardship of its Native American art collection” through initiatives such as its Native American Artists Fellowships and extensive, no-cost programming for the Native Community. The IARC also led the development of the excellent Community + Museum and Museum + Community guidelines, created through a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders and artists.
Audio Visual Ontologies / Susan Barrett
This study path asks the learner to evaluate ontology creation in relation to automated metadata creation for audio visual digital materials, and asks learners to reflect on ways to disrupt the Anglo and Western ontologies that are often embedded in these systems.