School of Information Management & Systems
  Previously School of Library & Information Studies

  Infosys 142 Access to American Cultural Heritages.   Fall 2003.
  3 credits.   CCN#42702.   MW 2:00-3:30.   202 South Hall.

Instructor: Michael Buckland.   203A South Hall.     (510) 642 3159.    Office hours: Mon 4-5; after each class; & by appt. Tutor:  Vivien Petras.
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.   Overview.   Why take this course?   What is meant by "access"?   So what is cultural heritage?   Some topics.
The Schedule lists assignments and handouts. Readings Cultural Heritage Resources on the Internet - An Introductory Guide. Binder of course materials on Moffitt Informal Reserve. Assignments:   1. "Me and 142".   2. Photography and Black Heritage.   3. Ethnic groups.   4. Finding "Culture".   5. Pathfinder library catalog.   6. Museum collections.   7. Subject access.   8. Searching library.   9. Visit another exhibit.   10. Social aspects of naming.   11. Interview.   12. American?   Portfolio.   Past portfolio topics.   Bibliographic style.   Cultural property.   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 & i Science Social & Behavioral Sciences Breadth Requirement.
Topics to be covered:Introduction. Intentions. Culture. Cultural heritage. Bibliographic access. Information systems are culturally based. Historical museums. Art museums. Monuments and historic sites. Education, censorship, languages, cultural heritages, and cultural identity. Archives, libraries, and manuscript collections. Cultural and historical organizations. Social construction of heritage. Social memory. Tradition. Cultural policies. Cultural property. Law and culture. Alienation. Public funding for cultural heritages. Economics of cultural heritage: Tourism. Collecting. Development. Authenticity and interpretation. Conflicts and multiculturalism. Historiography. 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. Past topics.
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.