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Dr. Susan Sage Heinzelman, Director 2505 University Avenue, A4900, Burdine Hall 536, Austin Texas 78712 • 512-471-5765

Melanie Feinberg to give talk on "Classification on the borderlands: from provocation to dialogue"

Tue, April 10, 2012 • 3:30 PM - 6:00 PM • GEB 4.214


Classification on the borderlands: from provocation to dialogue

I describe an emerging project to develop a classificatory approach based on Gloria Anzaldua's notion of mestiza consciousness. Instead of attempting to replicate prevalent user mental models in the development of taxonomic structures for organizing information, a classification imbued with mestiza consciousness would challenge those notions, defining and relating categories in ways that might initially seem strange, or even irritating, to a user audience. This work-in-progress talk discusses my initial attempts to investigate how a potentially disquieting sense of difference might be shaped to facilitate user engagement with a document collection.



Melanie is a classificationist: her research interests center on the theory, design, and evaluation of systems for organizing information. Such organizational schemes provide a structure through which both physical objects, such as printed documents, items in a museum, or the animal kingdom, and intellectual objects, such as ideas or concepts, are described, grouped, and related. Organizational schemes take various names and forms, including taxonomies, ontologies, metadata schemas, and information architectures. Melanie's work involves investigating the conceptual basis of such schemes and using that conceptual understanding to propose new design possibilities, new work processes, and new criteria for evaluation.

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