Fall 2010 Semester: New Classes, New Duties

The Fall 2010 semester has started at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and I’m excited to teach two new classes (of my own design) in the School of Information Studies.

L&I SCI 691: Special Topics in Information Science: Search Engine Society (syllabus)

Search engines have become the center of gravity of our contemporary information society, providing a powerful interface for accessing the vast amount of information available on the World Wide Web and beyond. The audacious mission of Google, for example, is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Attaining such a goal necessarily results in significant changes to the ways in which information is created, stored, retrieved, and used. This course will critically examine the nature of search engines and their role in our information society, and reveal the unique challenges they bring to bear on information institutions, information policy, and information ethics.

Readings include:

L&I SCI 960: Doctoral Seminar: Information Policy (syllabus)

This is a doctoral level seminar in information policy. This seminar will examine the conceptual, institutional, and practical foundations of information policy, law, and ethics. The course explores some of the key paradigms, principles, and forces (privacy, political economy, intellectual property, borders, access, code, protocols, networks) that have both shaped – and are shaped by – information policy. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship between information infrastructure and information policy, as well as the exploration of these issues through transnational and intercultural lenses.

The course will also strive to hone students’ skills as young scholars in information policy, including the drafting of brief research statements, writing of public scholarship, and comparative analysis of policy perspectives.

Readings include:

Along with these new courses, I’ve been named the official (no longer interim) director of SOIS’s undergraduate program, the (newly-renamed) B.S. in Information Science and Technology. I’m very excited about the challenge of running this degree program, and look forward to working with my colleagues — and our students — to help the program meet its full potential.

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