Course Details

Course offered Winter 2018

HONORS 231 A: The Record of Us All: The Past, Present and Future of the Human Record (SSc)

HONORS 231 A: The Record of Us All: The Past, Present and Future of the Human Record (SSc)

SLN 15432 (View UW registration info »)

Joseph Janes (Information School)
Office: MGH 330 M, Box 352840
Phone: 206-616-0987

Credits: 5
Limit: 25 students

Honors Credit Type

Every day – for that matter, potentially for every minute or second of every day – we interact with a widening variety of information objects, from the trivial to the profound. All of those form part of the human record, the record of who we are as individuals and who we are as a society. That record goes back thousands of years and is our only way of
knowing, understanding and remembering days and people gone by, and in turn is the only way we and our world will be known and remembered.

This course will explore that record in its various forms, how it got that way, what makes it work, what is and might be happening to it, and what that might mean going forward. Questions we will explore include: What is the human record? Why does it
exist? How does it impact our society? What (and who) is missing? How is changing? What are the effects of recording? What do we want it to be? How does power play out? And, ultimately, who shall we be?
Students will know more about the various types of records: public, private and published, the life cycle of information, including specific examples and the questions they raise, the importance of social context and roles, power and work, as well as the institutions that work to create, organize, preserve and provide access. Finally, we'll look
at the future of an increasingly documented world and its implications.