Information Studies, Race and Racism
As Safiya Noble asserts in her seminal work Algorithms of Oppression “The cultural practices of our society…are part of the ways in which race-neutral narratives have increased investments in Whiteness” (p. 59). There is a need to disrupt these race-neutral narratives in Information Studies research and there is a growing body of work that does just that by re-orienting Information Studies research to centralize discussions of race and racism. Many researchers also use critical theories to help analyze their findings or are offering counter-narratives highlighting minoritized actors (such as women and people of color). Re-centering Information Studies by contextualizing it within an analysis of how race and racism affects our field changes what we think we know, and our understandings about Information Studies. Only when these alternate narratives are integrated into the fabric of Information Studies research can Information Studies begin interrogating the long held beliefs in our field.
We are intentionally casting a wide net and invite authors from a broad range of professional and academic backgrounds to contribute to this special issue of Open Information Science journal. We are asking for submissions that centralize the theme of Information Studies, race and racism, in order to evolve the field into a more critical theoretical foundation that moves away from colorblind ideology and narratives of neutrality, which only serve to disguise the ubiquity of whiteness.
The scope of this issue might include, but is not limited to, research on:
- Anti-racism methods in Information Studies
- Critical Race Theory and Information Studies
- Deconstructing ‘colorblindness’ in Information Studies and/or information institutions
- Intersectional analysis of Information Studies (race and : gender, sexuality, class, disability and ableism, indigeneity,
- Classifications, cataloging, and taxonomies
- Analysis of whiteness and information organizations, information institutions, or applications of whiteness studies to Information Studies
- How notions of race and racism affect our we conceptualize and teach information literacy
- Contemporary or historical debates around race and/or racism in information institutions (Libraries, Archives, Museums, special collections, business, education, labor, Silicon Valley, Government, incarceration)
- Big Data, race and racism
- Race and racism as it relates to knowledge organization
- Anti racism or applications of an analysis of racism of Information Studies in non-Western and/or non U.S. contexts
- Information, surveillance, and racism