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Ph.D. Information Agencies and Artifacts

Information Agencies and Artifacts


The Information Agencies and Artifacts area involves the study of socio-technical and socio-material dimensions of information systems, infrastructures, and institutions in an emergent and evolving political, legal, economic, social, and cultural framework that draws on sociological, historical, and technological approaches. Faculty recognize that these phenomena are complex and constructed through processes that require critical positions and reliance on a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to study their lifecycles in the micro, medium, and macro-levels of society. The study of the creation of knowledge, its material forms, organization, control, deployment, management, recirculation, preservation, and utilization involve the experience and practices of individuals, groups, communities, and/or special audiences. The study of physical and digital artifacts, documents and documentary forms, media ecologies, sites, and discourses in which they are embedded is contextualized within the regimes of privacy and access, intellectual property, epistemological positions, and materiality.

Topics Include:

  • Forms and document and media ecologies (artifacts) in institutional contexts, including the studies of museums, archives, and knowledge production
  • History and cultures of the book, reading experience, and reading communities
  • Theory of knowledge and social epistemology
  • Development of libraries and information agencies and their collections, services, and material forms
  • Intellectual property and information rights
  • Integrity, authority, and authenticity
  • Documents, documentation, identity


Pamela S. Richards, Wayne A. Wiegand, and Marija Dalbello, eds. A History of Modern Librarianship: Constructing the Heritage of Western Cultures. Libraries Unlimited/ABC-Clio, 2015. 248 p.

Marija Dalbello and Mary Shaw, eds. Visible Writings: Cultures, Forms, Readings. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011. 354 p.

Dodge Poetry Festival Archive grant obtained to create accurate metadata for every event at the festival

See dissertations listings.

Affiliated Faculty:

Marc Aronson, Nick Belkin, Marja Dalbello, Michael Lesk, Dan O’Connor, Marie Radford, Anselm Spoerri, Joyce Valenza, Nina Wacholder