[Air-L] Call for iConference Workshop Participants

Nadine Kozak kozakn at uwm.edu
Sun Nov 24 14:12:09 PST 2013

Hello AoIR members,

My colleague and I have organized a workshop about the Social Studies of Information at the iConference (it is all day on March 4) and we are interested in finding additional participants for roundtables and other activities.  The workshop theme and rationale follow. If you are interested in participating, please contact me offlist at kozakn at uwm.edu at your earliest convenience.

Exploring the Social Studies of Information 

•	Thomas Haigh, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. thaigh at computer.org
•	Nadine Kozak, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. kozakn at uwm.edu

Why Did I Never Hear About “Social Studies of Information” Before?

This full day workshop builds a new community of scholars interested in exploring the potential of the “Social Studies of Information” (SSI) as a meta-identity for information research informed by the humanities and social sciences.  We are inspired by the broad field of STS (for either “Science and Technology Studies” or “Science, Technology, and Society”). Calling this the “Social Studies of Information” acknowledges the shared object of study around which iSchools are built.

STS-influenced work within iSchools has been balkanized across a range of functional classifications and disciplinary identities, sometimes seen as marginal or esoteric. This includes much work in areas such as information policy, information ethics or philosophy of information, values in design, software studies, socio-technical systems, archival studies, information organization information systems, Kittlerian media studies, information history, community informatics, internet studies, and social informatics. SSI embraces the full range of information-related work, cultures, practices, and institutions rather than being focused exclusively on the use of information technology identities. We are not seeking to supplant the existing identities held by these scholars, but rather to create opportunities for them to discover common ground.

So What Actually Happens At the Workshop?

We are structuring the workshop to maximize interactivity and involve as many people as possible. Most of the time will be spent either on roundtable discussions, interactive sessions allowing participants to introduce their own ideas and research to the community, or breakout groups gathered round tables to discuss particular topics of interest and report them back to the larger group. We will also be encouraging participants to join informal lunch and dinner groups, and using social media and old fashioned email to keep the community together before, during, and after the workshop.

Who Will Be There?

We are making an effort to recruit lively, articulate and intellectually versatile scholars from the full range of fields covered by SSI to participate in roundtable sessions and serve as breakout session moderators. Our current provisional program includes:

•	Caroline Haythornthwaite, University of British Columbia,
•	Jenna Hartel, University of Toronto
•	William Aspray, University of Texas at Austin
•	David Ribes, Georgetown University
•	Kimberly Anderson, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee
•	Howard White, Drexel University
•	Lai Mai, University College Dublin
•	Josh Greenberg, Sloan Foundation
•	Kalpana Shankar, University College, Dublin

Isn’t All This Rather Vague?

Yes. However we will constantly be updating our workshop program at www.socialstudiesof.info/workshop14. So look there instead.

Do You At Least Have Some Goals and Outcomes

•	Discover others with common interests and start to situate own topics and approaches within the broader context of SSI. 
•	Lay the groundwork for further community building, and support ongoing initiatives based around the web domain socialstudiesof.info, including a discussion listserv, syllabus repository and membership directory. 
•	Develop a suitable organizational structure to develop this online hub further and to enlist volunteers able to extend its presence into social media. 
•	Build ties between related initiatives including SSI, the digitalSTS initiative, and the Consortium for the Science of Sociotechnical Systems.

Nadine I. Kozak
Assistant Professor
School of Information Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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