For the eighth #radlibchat at 20:00 (GMT+1/15:00 EST*) on Tuesday 12th April, we will be discussing whiteness in library and information science with specific reference to April Hathcock’s White Librarianship in Blackface: Diversity Initiatives in LIS.
As always, reading the article isn’t a pre-requisite for joining in, but we would very much encourage you to read April’s article.
The discussion will be hosted by @AprilHathcock in conjunction with @RadicalLibs on Twitter using the #radlibchat hashtag.
Questions for the chat (c/o April).
1. What kind of diversity initiatives do you have at your library? Are they effective? How can you tell?
2. In what ways do you see whiteness at work in your library?
3. Do you perform whiteness at work? Do you expect others to? How?
4. What can we do to dismantle whiteness in our profession?
4.5. What role can white people play in helping to dismantle whiteness?
5. How can we mentor/help others to navigate the whiteness in our profession?
* Please note, this originally stated 14:00EST…but due to poor time conversion skills, it turns out this was wrong. Apologies!
For the fourth radlibchat at 20.00 (GMT) on Tuesday 10th November, we will be discussing John Buschman (2005) On Libraries and the Public Sphere. This link is to an open access post-print of the article.
The discussion will be hosted by @RadicalLibs on Twitter using the #radlibchat hashtag.
Questions to frame the discussion to come…keep an eye on our Twitter account for updates.
Questions to frame the discussion
1. To what extent is librarianship in 2015 in a more precarious state than previously?
2. Is there a disjunct or “structural contradiction” between our purposes/practices and current environment? Why/why not?
3. Are there changes in our practice/professional values as a community, or as individuals, that have made us more precarious?
4. How do we respond to our current environment?
6. Who/what is sovereign and thus normalizing/determining the current state of librarianship?
“sovereign is he who decides on the state of exception: If there is some person or institution, in a given polity, capable of bringing about a total suspension of the law and then to use extra-legal force to normalize the situation, then that person or institution is the sovereign in that polity” (Carl Schmitt)
Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatus
Published in 1970, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation) was Althusser’s exploration of ideology, how it is disseminated and how it is consumed. Althusser proposes that there are a number of ideological state apparatuses (ISAs) through which the dominant ideology is disseminated, the predominant of which is the education ISA.
Althusser’s original piece is 18,000 words long and available here. For the purposes of this discussion, we shall focus on a key section of the text where Althusser explores the key ISAs and how they operate. The extract is available here. Ideally, it would be preferable to read the full article, but if this is not possible the extract should enable you to partake in the conversation.
The #radlibchat will focus on a number of key questions to help frame the discussion:
- Does ideology create a false consciousness that can be overcome or is it entirely unconscious?
- What role do libraries play in reinforcing the dominant ideologies within the education ISA?
- Althusser wrote his theory in 1970, before the internet. Is it still relevant? Is the educational ISA still dominant?
- To what extent do library spaces create and maintain the interpellation of users of the service, directing and removing active agency within the community?
- How can we in our roles subvert the dominant ideology? Is it possible within larger structures that reinforce them?
#radlibchat will take place at 2000 BST on Tuesday 21st July and will be hosted by @RadicalLibs on Twitter, comments and discussion are also encouraged in the comments below, both for further discussion and so as to enable those not on Twitter to engage in the discussions.
Suggestions for articles to discuss at future #radlibchat events can be made using the Google Form here.