• Knowledge Infrastructures Syllabus

    Author(s):
    Matthew K. Gold (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Digital Humanists, Digital Humanities
    Subject(s):
    Critical theory, Education, Higher--Curricula, Mass media--Study and teaching, Archives
    Item Type:
    Syllabus
    Tag(s):
    community archives, covid, covid-19, Infrastructure, Critical university studies, Media studies
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/ez6g-qp29
    Abstract:
    Infrastructure is all around us, rarely remarked upon. Indeed, the latent state of infrastructure is part of what marks it as such; as Susan Leigh Starr has noted, infrastructure studies involves the examination of “boring things.” This class will explore the emerging nexus of critical infrastructure studies and critical university studies, focusing on the infrastructure of scholarly knowledge. From our libraries to our journals to our conferences to our operating systems to our use of social media, scholars communicate through an entanglement of corporate and commercial interests. Beyond the obviously problematic commercial infrastructures built by predatory publishers and corporate conglomerates such as Elsevier, scholars routinely depend on for-profit publication venues and commercial journals to disseminate their work. As a set of alternatives to the commercialized infrastructure of knowledge dissemination in the academy, the course will consider open access publication models, free software development, and university press publishing. Even as we explore such alternatives, we will critique them, considering the ways that such alternatives themselves depend upon commercial technical stacks, and considering whether these alternatives are equally available and accessible across the globe. Topics to be explored include: introductions to critical infrastructure studies and critical university studies; the environmental impact of the cloud; the free software movement; academic publishing models; constructing open platforms. Students in the class will explore publishing platforms collaboratively created by CUNY and other partners, including the CUNY Academic Commons and Manifold, as well as others such as Humanities Commons and Zotero. The goal of the class, in the end, is to ask students to consider how and where their own scholarly knowledge is distributed, and by whom and under what terms.
    Notes:
    This course was offered in the Ph.D. Program in English at The CUNY Graduate Center in Spring 2020. This syllabus shows how the course was altered following the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
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