Digital Media Collections: Spring 2014


Melanie Feinberg


University of Texas at Austin


Spring 2014


Conceptually, this iteration of 385U is an inquiry into the unknown. Together, as a community of scholar-designers, we will investigate how the notion of residuality, or the experience of being insufficiently described via a classification system, can be actively enacted as part of an information collection’s descriptive infrastructure (metadata). Our exploration focuses on three questions:

  • How can a digital collection foreground the experience of the residual?
  • What constitutes the authoring experience of such a digital collection?
  • What constitutes the reading experience of such a digital collection?

Structurally, this course combines seminar-style, focused discussions of readings with project-based elements of a design studio. We will use activities of critically interrogating experimental designs, making our own designs, and reflecting back on our process and product to generate insight into our foundational questions. Our design practice will be grounded in the idea that a collection is both a form of expression and a form of experience, shaped by the designer, or author, but brought into being by user (or audience, or reader) interactions with the collection’s resources.

Practically, the ideas we engage and the skills we will learn should be applicable to any sort of collection. However, our design environment for this course will focus on digital media collections (specifically videos) made available online as a type of digital library.

Required Textbook:

Anzaldúa, G. 2012. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, 4th ed.

Link to Syllabus:

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