School of Information Management & Systems
Previously School of Library & Information Studies
Infosys 142 Access to American Cultural Heritages.
3 credits. CCN#42703. Tu & Th 11-12:30.
110 South Hall.
203A South Hall. (510) 642 3159.
Office hours: Tues 1-2 & by appt.
South Hall 6A, (510) 643-3894
Office hours Tues 1-2 and by appt.
Do museums have attitudes? Are libraries neutral?
Who owns the excavated bones? Who is trying to shape your sense of identity?
We are surrounded by publicly presented information about who we are,
how we should regard ourselves, and how we should regard others.
There are large vested interests in people's sense of cultural, ethnic,
and national identity. Infosys 142 is an informal introduction to issues
in the preservation, representation and use of tangible forms
of cultural heritage, especially in the U.S.A.
Why take this course?
Schedule lists assignments and handouts.
A binder of course materials is on Moffitt Informal Reserve.
1. Find "Culture".
2. Ethnic groups.
3. Museum interpretation.
4. Social aspects of naming.
Past portfolio topics.
6. Other exhibit.
2. "Me and 142".
3. World Wide Web.
4. MELVYL's other databases.
5. Subject access.
Past exam questions.
Course description: 3 units. An introduction to issues in the preservation,
description, and use of tangible forms of cultural heritage.
Documentation, ownership, and control of access to cultural heritage
resources in the U.S.A. Cultural groups, cultural identity, cultural
policies, and cultural institutions (libraries, media, museums,
school, historic sites, etc.).
Satisfies the American Cultures Requirement and also the Letters & Science
Social & Behavioral Sciences Breadth Requirement.
Topics to be covered:
Information systems are culturally based.
Education, censorship, languages, cultural heritages, and cultural
Archives, libraries, and manuscript collections.
Cultural and historical organizations.
Social construction of heritage.
Law and culture.
Public funding for cultural heritages.
Economics of cultural heritage: Tourism. Collecting.
Development. Authenticity and interpretation.
Conflicts and multiculturalism.
Cultural frame of the historian.
Interpretation of distant cultures.
Readings: Mostly short weekly readings to become familiar with
concepts, terminology and issues. e.g. "Culture", "Heritage
interpretation", etc. Other according to student's theme.
Assignments:. Visit and review a cultural exhibit. Interview
someone with cultural heritage responsibilities. Weekly exercises and
investigative assignments throughout to:
Develop expertise in using libraries and online information systems;
Acquire familiarity with relevant specialized sources;
Understand the character of knowledge- and culture-transmitting
institutions / systems.
Personal theme and portfolio: Each student will pick a theme within
the scope of the course, some combination of topic and cultural group.
Through the exercises, assignments, and other investigations, each
student will build up a portfolio on that topic: explanation,
commentary, and, especially, a guide to sources. Brief written and
oral progress reports.
Expectations: Three in-class closed-book exams intended, with
limited choice of questions. Other expectations. Attendance and
participation. Well-written work. Up to 6 hours work a week outside
class. Individual consultation.
Grading: One third: Assignments; One third: Exams; and
one third: Portfolio. Attendance,
participation, and small exercises are expected to be satisfactory, with unusual
performance used to raise or lower final grade. No Final.
Requirements Satisfies American Cultures and the L&S Social & behavioral
sciences breadth requirements.