Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto - OCS, 15th INTERNATIONAL ISKO CONFERENCE

Font Size: 
Robert D. Montoya, Melanie Feinberg, Jonathan Furner, Gregory H. Leazer, Joseph T. Tennis

Last modified: 2018-02-21


Classification schemes are powerful constructions in our information environments. They represent the intentional and unintended biases of those who construct them and are structurally bound by the technical systems in which they are built. As the study of what concepts exist in the world and how expressions of these concepts interconnect, classifications are fundamental to how we come to imagine and subsequently position ourselves embedded within a system of entities. On a more practical level, classification systems become the means by which we materially structure information within knowledge delivery systems, especially in the digital realm. Given the expressive qualities of classifications, they are also unavoidably political entities: they include and exclude, express and repress, facilitate and restrict. Actively identifying and addressing the political aspects of KO systems is a necessary activity within the KO community. This workshop will articulate possible courses of action to address the political aspects of classification in all subdomains of KO, inclusive of both research, pedagogy, and future disciplinary emphases.

This workshop will address the political aspects of classifications through the following short paper presentations, which will help guide structured discussions. Abstracts of these presentations are available and, if this proposal is accepted, they will be included in the final workshop description:

• Meaning through many hands: the neglected craft of classification implementation
• name / change: Towards a politics of classification
• Mechanisms of Cultural Bias in Classificatory Activity
• The politics of biodiversity classification: Reconciliation and Interoperability
• Expressing and obscuring throughout: Politics, values, and semantics derived from a conceptual analysis of classification terms