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KNOW and Information Literacy: Construction of Authority

This guide offers ideas, suggestions, and above all else, an invitation to Puget Sound faculty to collaborate with librarians when designing student research assignments under the KNOW (Knowledge, Power, Identity) rubric.

Organization of Knowledge

How do systems of knowledge organization hinder or help marginalized groups?  Some suggested readings:

Drabinski, E. (2013). Queering the catalog: Queer theory and the politics of correction. Library Quarterly, 83(2), 94- 111. doi: 10.1086/669547


Assignment Ideas

Encourage students to investigate critically the history of academic disciplines through a social justice lens.  Assignment ideas include:

  • Ask students to use The Trail  (1895 onward) and the University Bulletin (1907 to the present) to trace the history of how social justice topics have been taught or not taught at the University of Puget Sound.
  • Invite students to explore the deep backfiles of scholarly journals in JSTOR.  Who are the authors?  What are the topics and arguments they promote in an earlier decade?
  • Use JSTOR's Data for Research service for topic modeling and visualizations of how disciplines have constructed knowledge over time.
  • Invite students to explore how new disciplines are created.