[Sigah-l] Re: [Sigtis-l] RE: [Sighfis-l] call for new sig interest and membership--interdi sciplinary "critical theory"

Betsy Martens bigshoulders at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 28 07:44:58 EST 2002

Hello all,

As someone who has belonged to SIG/information architecture since its
inception, I've been following this thread with some interest. I notice that
among the different SIG lists you've been copying messages to, you haven't
included SIGIA-L. Many of the kinds of questions in which you've expressed
an interest in this thread are routinely raised and discussed on SIGIA-L,
though perhaps with a somewhat more practical orientation. You might at
least want to let the SIGIA list know that you are launching this
initiative. Some of the more theoretically oriented participants might be
interested in your new endeavor.

The archive is at <http://www.info-arch.org/lists/sigia-l/> if you want to
do some random browsing.

Good luck!

   Betsy Martens
   Big Shoulders Information Design
   bigshoulders at mindspring.com

   Content & the space it occupies

on 10/26/02 5:08 AM Hjørland Birger wrote:

> Dear Ron and collegues,
> My problem is that there are several SIGs, in which I am interested. I have
> a background in psychology and originally concieved myself as a
> psychological (critical) documenmtalist/information specialist. There used
> to be a SIG on the behavioral and social sciences, but that is dead, and
> there is almost zero activity in this wide area today. I find it important
> to try to revive this SIG. I am also interested in SIG/classification,
> SIG/history& Theory and more. MY problem is that alle ares seems to be in a
> crisis crying for initiative and that I cannot spread my efforts in too many
> places. I have always regarded myself more like a foot-soldier supporting
> existing journals and organizations that trying to develop alternatives. I
> am afraid of developments which continue to divide and fragment themselwes.
> kind regards, Birger
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Ron Day
> To: Michel J. Menou; sighfis-l-admin at asis.org
> Cc: asis-l at asis.org; sigah-l at asis.org; sighfis-l at asis.org; sigkm-l at asis.org;
> sigcr-l at asis.org; sigtis-l at asis.org; eurchap at asis.org
> Sent: 26-10-02 04:27
> Subject: Re: [Sighfis-l] call for new sig interest and
> membership--interdisciplinary "critical theory"
> Dear Michel,
> Thank you for your good questions.  Let me briefly reply.  I am not
> sure
> that these answers will satisfy you, but you have asked your questions,
> addressed to me, in public forums, so I will answer you the best that I
> can.
> I must emphasize that these are my answers, however, not that of a SIG
> that
> doesn't yet exist.
> 1)  This initiative comes not only from my own interests, but also
> requests by others, particular at the workshop on conceptual and
> critical
> issues at the recent CoLIS4 conference.  I am not operating alone on
> this.
> 2) HFIS's recent and current focus in the direction of traditional
> historical works and in "founders" in information science has produced
> extremely important research on these topics, but it doesn't exhaust,
> nor
> even at times address, our focus with this new SIG. I have been a member
> of
> the HFIS SIG for several years, and before that was working and
> publishing
> in the area, so I don't feel uncomfortable making such a statement and
> in
> praising and admiring the work of the HFIS SIG and the people involved
> and
> leading it. In this regard, I am in agreement with Tony Debons' recent
> reply
> to your message.
> For example, there doesn't seem to be much room for critical
> historiographical, rhetorical, and many other "perspectives" within the
> category of "foundations" nor the HFIS take on historical research.
> And, if
> one wanted to do work on psychoanalysis and information, would this fit
> into
> HFIS?  How about German hermeneutics? cultural studies? feminism?
> post-structural philosophy?  political economy (especially, say, what
> I'll
> broadly call, "Marxist" readings of political economy)?  In terms of
> topics:
> new social movements and their relation to ICTs? the social meaning of
> "information" and ICTs?  the relation between political and symbolic
> economies in the recent dot.coms or in IS funding?  the language or
> vocabulary of IS?  open source software and political economies of
> information?  information as accumulation?  the multiple issues involved
> with gendered uses of ICTs?  These, of course, are just a few of the
> "perspectives" (or as they like to say, "approaches"--both terms I find
> rather patronizing and purposefully off the point) and problematics that
> I
> see the new SIG addressing (and I certainly am not posing this list as
> defining of the new SIG; rather, your questions are addressed to me
> before
> the SIG has been formed, so I am answering largely from interests that I
> am
> most familiar with).
> I am not sure that HFIS or any of the other current ASIST SIGS are
> that
> open to the totality of these overlapping questions, and certainly not
> as
> HFIS is oriented right now or has been in the recent past. I want to
> emphasize that the purpose of the new SIG is to create room not only for
> people to work within the field, but to make room for their vocabulary
> within the field.  Particularly on the issue of allowing new vocabulary,
> a
> new SIG is needed.
> These aren't just particular "approaches," but rather, overlapping
> traditions, vocabularies and conceptual tools that are used throughout
> the
> social and human sciences, but which, for the most part, have been
> excluded
> from the (L)IS domain, especially in the UK and, particularly, in the
> U.S..
> I don't see the discourses in "critical theory" that have developed in
> the
> past 80 or so years as being a "narrow" "subject," not in terms of
> vocabulary or in terms of public discourses in various countries or in
> terms
> of other fields in the social and human sciences.  I am not sure what
> "public" you are referring to in your message.  If it is that of (L)IS
> as it
> is currently configured, especially in the U.S., then my argument is
> that it
> is the purpose of such societies as ASIST to grow and change in regard
> to
> current research, both inside and outside the currently defined field,
> and
> in relation to the "social" globally.  The respons-ibility of such a
> society
> is to listen carefully and to respond, both within and beyond its
> currently
> defined borders on the topics of its interest.  Otherwise, it dies.  And
> if
> you mean by "public" only the ASIST community as it is currently
> defined,
> then let's see if we can get the 50 people to make a formal SIG to
> address
> our needs.  Why not?  Who knows, maybe if we get it formed we can even
> get a
> few new members into ASIST!
> 3)  You write that you are supportive of "all" (and thus, I conclude
> of
> this one) of what you term a "manifestation" (a word that can be read
> variously in different languages--an appearance, a protest, or an event
> (I
> would prefer the first and third, and then the second)).  Are you then
> 'on-board' with support for this new SIG? It would be wonderful to have
> your
> "manifestation" in this regard, as well as that of others who may be
> unsure.
> If so, please tell me; we need 50 people, and the more, the better.
> Best wishes, Ron Day
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michel J. Menou" <Michel.Menou at wanadoo.fr>
> To: <sighfis-l-admin at asis.org>; "Ron Day" <ronday at wayne.edu>
> Cc: <asis-l at asis.org>; <sigah-l at asis.org>; <sighfis-l at asis.org>;
> <sigkm-l at asis.org>; <sigcr-l at asis.org>; <sigtis-l at asis.org>;
> <eurchap at asis.org>
> Sent: Friday, October 25, 2002 12:38 PM
> Subject: Re: [Sighfis-l] call for new sig interest and
> membership--interdisciplinary "critical theory"
>> Ron,
>> While I fully support the manifestation of all energies and innovative
>> endeavours, I cannot resist friendly questions:
>> 1) what is the difference in scope between this proposed SIG and HFIS?
>> 2) is not is better to develop your action within the exisitng SIG(s)
>> rather than creating a new one, especially on a relatively "narrow" -
>> public wise at least, subject.
>> Best regards
>> Michel J. Menou                Mail to: Michel.Menou at wanadoo.fr
>> Friday, October 25, 2002, 3:54:14 AM, you wrote:
>> RD> Apologies for cross-posting across the various SIG lists...
>> RD> ___________________________________
>> RD> SIG-CRIT investigates conceptual issues in information science and
> studies using philosophical, historiographical, rhetorical, social, and
> cultural approaches within a broad, interdisciplinary
>> RD> framework of "critical theory."  The purpose of this SIG is to
> bring
> together researchers in these areas, to create connections between
> various
> research agendas and national traditions, and to
>> RD> create an intellectually deeper and socially richer
> interdisciplinary
> dialogue between information science and other fields in the social and
> human sciences.
>> snip
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