Date: Wednesday, June 1
Time: 2:45 – 3:15 p.m.
Location: 218 Gore Hall
Students and novice researchers confronted by the formidable but often unreliable range of information on millions of online sites face serious dilemmas concerning information literacy that have traditionally focused on questions of authority: what makes some sources more authoritative than other, and how to find and identify more and less authoritative sources. This presentation will explore new perspectives on these dilemmas by proposing to change the focus of information literacy from the objects of trust to the subjects who trust. It examines questions of trust—when you need to trust, what can you trust, when you should change what you trust, and, most important, how you should trust—by comparing the ways these questions arise on the information superhighway and the ways they arise in other contexts that turn out to be surprisingly similar.
Professor of English, Director of the Film Studies Program
Thomas Leitch is Professor of English and Director of the Film Studies Program. His most recent book, Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age, uses the recent emergence of problems concerning the authority of online informational sources like Wikipedia to reopen questions about authority—what gives authorities their authority, what to do when they disagree, whom to believe and why, when to change your mind and why, and how to become an authority yourself—that had long been regarded as settled in the institutions of American education.