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RELATED RESEARCH PROJECTS

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Mapping Information Access is a collaborative academic research project to study and understand the landscape of information access and availability in public schools and libraries in the United States.

There are more than 18,000 public school districts and more than 9,000 public library systems in the US. Each of these institutions is as a central node of information access for the communities they serve. Administrators must balance ideals of free speech and information with concerns about social norms, age-appropriateness, and budgets. These decisions then shape the flow of information to students, patrons, and other constituents. Yet the contours of this flow are not well understood. There exists no comprehensive record of the sorts of challenges faced, or decisions made,...

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National Science Foundation

How can we be rule compliant and still innovate? The collection and analysis of human-centered and/ or data are governed by multiple sets of norms and regulations. Problems can arise when researchers are unaware of applicable rules, uninformed about their practical meaning and compatibility, and insufficiently skilled in implementing them. We are developing and delivering educational modules to address this issue.

IN THE NEWS

Jun. 20, 2017
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In Assistant Professor Emily Knox's information policy course (IS 590IP), one of the assignments involves reading about workers in developing countries whose job is to censor objectionable photos posted on social media. The article includes graphic descriptions of some of the photos. Is a trigger warning warranted before assigning the reading to the class?

The use of trigger warnings in college and university classrooms has been a subject of heated debate in recent years. The question of whether an instructor should alert his or her students to the fact that a piece of material they will be reading or viewing in class could be potentially distressing is complex.

Knox takes a comprehensive look at trigger warnings in her edited book, Trigger Warnings: History, Theory, Context, which was recently published by Rowman & Littlefield. The book provides the historical context and theory behind trigger warnings as well as case studies from instructors and students...

May. 3, 2016

Associate Professor Carol Tilley will speak twice this summer on topics at the intersection of comics and medicine.

This Friday, May 6, she will deliver the 2016 Hershey Lecture in the History of Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine. Her lecture is titled, “The Psychopathology of Comics Reading: The Troubled Legacy of Fredric Wertham’s Public Health Campaign.”

Abstract: Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham devoted much of his practice in the 1940s and 1950s to the diagnosis and treatment of young people identified as juvenile delinquents. Wertham found that reading comics was a pastime uniting virtually all of his young patients. This discovery of the comics industry led Wertham to advocate for limitations on the sale of comics to children. Tilley will explore Wertham’s manipulation of the evidence of comics reading.

She will speak again on Wertham’s questionable research practices when she addresses a class on narrative bioethics at Loyola University...

Mar. 30, 2016

Assistant Professor Emily Knox will speak at the Information Ethics Roundtable on April 8 at the University of Arizona. This annual interdisciplinary meeting addresses the ethical questions raised by life in an information society. The 2016 Roundtable will focus on the relationship between intellectual freedom, access to information, and privilege.

Knox will copresent her paper, “Values, Culture, and Censorship: The 2015 Banned Books Week Poster Controversy,” with Shannon Oltmann of the University of Kentucky's College of Communication and Information, at 2:00 p.m.

From the abstract: In April 2015 the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) released its poster for September’s Banned Books Week. The poster featured a brown-skinned woman with long hair holding a book with cutouts for her eyes. The design was intended to look like a “Do Not Enter” sign and included the word “...

Mar. 3, 2016

Thanks to research conducted by Associate Professor Carol Tilley, the work of one of the most influential anti-comics voices has been debunked. Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham’s evidence of the negative effects of comic readership on young people hasn’t been taken seriously by scholars in decades, but a new discovery by Tilley shows that even when Wertham’s claims were taken as fact by many—in the 1940s and 1950s—a small but vocal group was already questioning his methods.

One of those who spoke out against Wertham was David Pace Wigransky, a teen whose letter in the Saturday Review of Literature gained attention for challenging Wertham’s claims in 1948.

Tilley recently discovered another piece by Wigransky, a satire of Wertham’s life and work in a most fitting medium—the comic book. She gives a detailed account of...

Feb. 25, 2016

Associate Professor Bonnie Mak will travel to the United Arab Emirates in March to take part in a workshop at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Institute. “Charisma of the Book: Global Perspectives for the 21st Century,” will be held March 12-14.

Mak will be among twenty-five invited scholars and book artists from around the world who will gather together to engage in conversations on “the history and future of the book, exploring comparative and interdisciplinary interpretations and applications of the concept of charisma.” The group will address questions such as, “How might the concept of charisma illuminate the materialization—and marginalization—of the book's cultural status and social power in the digital age? What does a transcultural history of the physical artifact of the book reveal about the social interfaces and media platforms...

Feb. 24, 2016

Assistant Professor Emily Knox will participate in a panel discussion on “Libraries and Public Access to Books” at the Tucson Festival of Books on Saturday, March 12. Knox and fellow experts will explore the topic of information access and the ways libraries have shaped conversations surrounding issues of access.

The panel discussion is part of the Lawrence Clark Powell Lecture, organized by the School of Information, which is part of the College of Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Arizona.

The Tucson Festival of Books, held annually at the University of Arizona, is a community-wide celebration of literature that brings authors, scholars, poets, and entertainers to the city. The goal of the festival is improve literacy among residents; all proceeds from the event support local literacy initiatives.

Knox joined the GSLIS faculty in 2012. Her research interests include...

Feb. 24, 2016
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William H. Dutton, Quello Professor of Media and Information Policy at Michigan State University, will deliver the Spring 2016 Windsor Lecture at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, March 14, in GSLIS Room 126. His lecture is titled, "Information Power Shifts and the Fifth Estate." A reception will be held in the GSLIS east foyer immediately following the lecture.

Lecture abstract:
The concept of the Fifth Estate provides a fresh perspective on the political role of the Internet. Digital democracy researchers most often view the Internet as a tool for supporting traditional democratic institutions, such as in polling, voting, and consultation. However, the Internet is also reshaping access to information in ways that enable networked individuals to develop a new form of social and political accountability, which I have called the...

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