KULA Journal Special Issue: Endangered Knowledge

Samantha MacFarlane's picture
Call for Publications
October 31, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Archival Science, Cultural History / Studies, Digital Humanities, Historic Preservation, Library and Information Science

Guest editors:

  • Samantha MacFarlane, PhD Candidate, University of Victoria
  • Rachel Mattson, PhD, MLIS, Manager of Special & Digital Projects in the Archives of La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club
  • Bethany Nowviskie, MA Ed., PhD, Director of the Digital Library Federation (DLF) at CLIR and Research Associate Professor of Digital Humanities, University of Virginia

KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies is a new peer-reviewed electronic journal seeking abstracts for contributions to a special issue on "Endangered Knowledge," to be published in early autumn 2018.

The stuff of cultural memory has forever been "endangered." Threats to public access and to the long-term preservation of records, data, objects, texts, and networks that contain, transmit, and enable the production of knowledge come from many sources. Fire, floods, vermin and rot, war and political upheaval, poor planning, and the ravages of time have always posed risks. And dangers to the cultural record seem only to have multiplied with our growing reliance on digital information in rapidly proliferating formats and fragile networks, often under hostile regimes. This special issue asks: how do we preserve and effectively disseminate knowledge in the face of environmental, political, financial, infrastructural, and related risks? Inspired in particular by recent initiatives addressing the precarious state of public information under the Trump administration--such as DataRefuge, the Preservation of Electronic Government Information (PEGI) project, and Endangered Data Week--we invite contributions that explore issues related to endangerment as a critical category of analysis for records, data, collections, and networks. Submissions may treat the dissemination and preservation of material at risk of disappearing, whether through inherent ephemerality or environmental loss, lack of proper preservation measures and care, or deliberate erasure.

We invite abstracts of 300-500 words proposing short- to medium-length scholarly articles, book or digital project reviews, teaching reflections and syllabi, or video and audio pieces from academics, artists, and practitioners working across disciplines and in any relevant field. Based on abstracts, we will then invite the contribution of full submissions for peer review.

We encourage submissions on diverse aspects of endangered knowledge. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • (Digital) preservation, curation, scholarship, and sustainability
  • Citizen science and social knowledge
  • Disasters, disaster planning, and threats posed by climate change, war, occupation, or genocide
  • Intangible culture and indigenous knowledge
  • Endangered languages and language revival, translation, and transmission
  • Departures, migrations, diaspora
  • The politics of data collection
  • Silences or gaps in the public record
  • State secrecy
  • Data as danger or threat: surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing
  • Privacy and ethics in data collection and records access, including the undocumented, the over-documented, and the right to know and be forgotten
  • Threat modeling and attempts to "rescue" data
  • HIstories of lost or destroyed data, records, collections
  • Knowledge and research infrastructures, including libraries, repositories, digital infrastructure, information systems, and institutional and policy design
  • Information loss and copyright law; orphan works
  • Videotape and the "crisis" of magnetic media
  • Utopian or dystopian visions for endangered knowledge

Please submit abstracts to kulajournal@uvic.ca by 31 October 2017. KULA is an open-access journal requiring no author publication charges (APCs). Authors retain full copyright to their works, which will be published under a Creative Commons license.


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