La Barre invited by Knowledge Organization Research Group to visit UW-Milwaukee, present talk

Posted: November 13, 2014

Kathryn La Barre, GSLIS associate professor, has been invited by the Knowledge Organization Research Group to work with doctoral students and faculty in the School of Information Studies (SOIS) at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM). The Knowledge Organization Research Group at UWM is dedicated to scientific excellence, cooperation, social responsibility, and the dissemination of research in the field of knowledge organization.

La Barre will visit SOIS on November 19-21, where she will attend meetings and classes and work with faculty and doctoral students. On November 20, she will give the talk, “Naming and Power: Civility, Silence & Principles of Order,” which will address the following:

We invoke power through naming, a power that is often veiled and invisible, a power that has the capacity to bring down the thunder, to evoke the sublime, or to silence through fear. Our approach to teaching knowledge organization can subvert or ameliorate the negative uses of this power. This talk will engage with issues of subject description and access in the context of representations of race, gender, sexuality, and other contested categories. Critical intersections of bias, exclusion, and marginalization will be explored through several case studies that examine campus and classroom climate at the University of Illinois.

“This invitation will allow me to work with the faculty and doctoral students who are affiliated with the Knowledge Organization Research Group at the School of Information Studies,” said La Barre. “The work of this group ‘facilitates the discovery and development of knowledge in the field of knowledge organization.’ Part of their mission is to promote inter-institutional, interdisciplinary, and international approaches to knowledge organization. I’m honored that my talk will be part of a series of KOrg lectures given by established researchers including Jane Greenberg, Lynne Howarth, and Andrea Scharnhorst.”

La Barre is an expert in contemporary and historical knowledge organization and access systems. Her areas of focus include task analysis, facet analysis, faceted classification, and concept theory. Her research has been published in the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Library Trends, Knowledge Organization, Libraries and the Cultural Record, and Cataloging and Classification Quarterly. At GSLIS, she teaches courses in information organization and access. In 2011, she was named GSLIS Centennial Scholar in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments in the field of library and information science.

This spring La Barre will teach LIS590SA/LIS590SAL, Naming and Power, an advanced topics seminar in subject description and access that focuses on representation in race, gender, sexuality, and other contested categories. Critical intersections of bias, exclusion, and marginalization will be explored through a variety of case studies. The course is open to master’s and doctoral students. For more information, please email klabarre [at] illinois.edu.

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