Paper Title

“The Subject is Mrs. Burkett Herself”: Context and Intersectionality in Moving Image Cataloging

Location

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

Keywords

intersectionality; cataloging; race; gender; privilege; information organization; information studies

Abstract

Discourses regarding identity, oppression and privilege within institutional cataloging systems are hardly a new occurrence. The pioneering practitioners have called to attention the ways in

which subject headings, keywords and other integral metadata methodologies were designed by privileged bodies and represent privileged logic structures. The belief that cataloging and information organization practices are objective ignores the subjectivity that led to their implementation. Studies show how this deters accessibility and usability within library and archival materials, particularly becoming troubling when a user’s identity does not match that of a straight, white male, whom the catalog assumes to be the primary user. This research considers how intersectional oppression and contextual cataloging work fails to address how this problem is exponentially greatened within moving image archives. Such institutions house materials that are partial elements of larger works which have been irreparably separated, therefore making context more contentious. Subjectivity is unavoidable. The purpose of this presentation is to assert that within such cases, expansive, evolving and intersectional-oriented cataloging structures are necessary. By expanding upon a queer and feminist methods of information organization, while also reflecting on the most recent technological shifts in information management and metadata structuring, the presentation will make use of a case study of moving image items from the presenter’s institution to elucidate how new approaches result in greater accessibility. This presentation shows that an openly subjective and contextual methodology assures less oppressive and more diverse structuring of moving image collections, one open to evolution via inclusive interaction.

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Apr 2nd, 10:30 AM Apr 2nd, 11:45 AM

“The Subject is Mrs. Burkett Herself”: Context and Intersectionality in Moving Image Cataloging

Room 220, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Discourses regarding identity, oppression and privilege within institutional cataloging systems are hardly a new occurrence. The pioneering practitioners have called to attention the ways in

which subject headings, keywords and other integral metadata methodologies were designed by privileged bodies and represent privileged logic structures. The belief that cataloging and information organization practices are objective ignores the subjectivity that led to their implementation. Studies show how this deters accessibility and usability within library and archival materials, particularly becoming troubling when a user’s identity does not match that of a straight, white male, whom the catalog assumes to be the primary user. This research considers how intersectional oppression and contextual cataloging work fails to address how this problem is exponentially greatened within moving image archives. Such institutions house materials that are partial elements of larger works which have been irreparably separated, therefore making context more contentious. Subjectivity is unavoidable. The purpose of this presentation is to assert that within such cases, expansive, evolving and intersectional-oriented cataloging structures are necessary. By expanding upon a queer and feminist methods of information organization, while also reflecting on the most recent technological shifts in information management and metadata structuring, the presentation will make use of a case study of moving image items from the presenter’s institution to elucidate how new approaches result in greater accessibility. This presentation shows that an openly subjective and contextual methodology assures less oppressive and more diverse structuring of moving image collections, one open to evolution via inclusive interaction.