Information, ethics, and sociocultural values

This seminar will discuss the relation of information to ethical and cultural values in spheres such as politics, intellectual freedom (freedom of speech and information access), personal and social identity, documentary authenticity and evidence, cultural heritage and digitalization, and socio-technical classification and knowledge formation.  It will seek to understand the politics and aesthetics of information, its transformation into perception and knowledge, and the ethical problems of human and machine agency involved in this.



photo of ronald dayRonald Day; Information and Library Science; School of Informatics and Computing; Bloomington;



photo of nazareth pantaloniNazareth Pantaloni III; Scholarly Communication Department; Indiana University Libraries; Bloomington;





Seminar Events:



photo of eden medina

Chilean Computational Forensics in Victim Identification

Professor Eden Medina

Dept. of Informatics, SICE


Friday Nov. 10th 2 pm

IU Bloomington Campus, Wells Library, Room 030

This meeting will examine issues of documentary authenticity and evidence in archival, sociocultural, and scientific institutions. We will examine various bases of evidence creation and the important roles and controversies of institutions in creating knowledge out of such information by such means. 



Neal Thomas

Professor of Communication, University of North Carolina


Future Collectivity and the Graph Relation


Friday October 13th at 2:00 pm

Bloomington Campus, Dept of Information and Library Science, Well Library, 030

The second meeting will focus the preceding issues within the roles of traditional documentary technologies and new media, per se, to create meaning, identity, social and cultural agency, and ethical choice and determination. Central to such a discussion are the roles of computerization and computer algorithms, indexes, and searching.

Readings: Genosko, G. Critical Semiotics: Theory, from Information to Affect. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2016, chapter 1 (ask Ron Day for pdf.)

Thomas, N. “The algorithmic representation of need.” Culture Digitally, Jun3 23, 2012

Thomas, N. “Social Computing and the Manufacture of Sense,” ACMIS 2013.

Thomas, N. Choice or Disparation? Theorising the Social in Social Media Systems. Westminister Papers on Communication and Culturte 10(1).



Maurizio Ferraris

University of Turin

How to Do Things with Documents. Documentality, Documediality, and Post-Truth


Friday September 29th at 11:30 am

Bloomington Campus, Dept of Information and Library Science, Well Library, 001

Professor Ferraris will discuss information and its relation to politics and expression, in terms of media power across different types of documentary and communicational media. We will be concerned with the relation of information to knowledge, truth, and misinformation (e.g., ‘fake news’), the role of traditional and new media in mediating the creation of information, ethical and epistemic responsibility in human and technological information systems, and the changing roles of institutions and individuals to the creation and assertion of information and knowledge.