public know

In 2011-2012, the Center for Cultural Analysis main seminar will focus on the nature of public knowledge. What, today, is public knowledge? What forms have shared, openly accessible bodies of knowledge taken historically, and what are the prospects for collective inquiry in the 21st century?

Faculty, graduate student, and post-doctoral fellows drawn from a variety of fields, including architecture, art history, geography, history, literary studies, political science, and sociology, will investigate the creation and transmission of knowledge by and for a variety of publics, semi-publics, and counter-publics. We are particularly interested in institutions such as universities, museums, and libraries that are explicitly dedicated to the transmission of knowledge across generations. But we will also take up other social practices and cultural forms that serve the public good or the public interest, such as journalism, government reports, learned societies, watchdog agencies, non-governmental organizations, and free and open source software projects. Are there problems that can only be addressed through a collaborative, collective mode of inquiry? How does knowledge become institutionalized, and how do institutions account for themselves? What are the historical precedents for the informal knowledge networks made possible by new media? We hope to address the history and prospects of the university and other learned societies; public knowledge and social media; the institutional landscape of the public sphere, including corporations and laboratories; the public domain; intellectual property and the privatization of public goods; and limits to or restrictions on public knowledge.

Directors: Meredith McGill (English) and Henry Turner (English)
Faculty Fellows: Alastair Bellany (History), Tatiana Flores (Art History), Sarah Novacich (English), Marcy Schwartz (Spanish and Portuguese), Carla Yanni (Art History)
Predoctoral Fellows: Nathan Gabriel (Geography), Mark Major (Political Science), Debapriya Sarkar (English), Andrew Stroffolino (Sociology), Katherine Williams (English)
Postdoctoral Fellows: Jennifer Bajorek (Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths College), Sam Lebovic (History, U. of Chicago)
Affiliated Scholars: Ala Alryyes (Comparative Literature, Yale), Amit Yahav (English, U. of Haifa)
Mellon Fellow: Elaine Auyoung (English, Harvard)