Professors Il Hyun Cho (government and law), Douglas de Toledo Piza (international affairs) Hafsa Kanjwal (history), and Tim Laquintano (English) have been awarded grants to incorporate information literacy into spring classes. The IL grants, sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Lafayette Libraries, are designed to encourage faculty to develop more classes in which students have opportunities to deepen their information literacy skills.

Details about this year’s IL grant classes:

In Professor Il Hyun Cho’s Govt 419 Global Governance, students will conduct independent political science research and critically engage scholarly literatures. They will complete a series of scaffolding assignments, including a literature review with an annotated bibliography, an analytical response paper, and drafts of their paper. Students will identify the latest scholarship on their topic, and evaluate and synthesize various scholarly approaches while paying attention to similarities and differences in their theoretical claims and use of evidence. They will situate their own research in theoretical debates and organize existing scholarship into several competing groups against or on which students can build their own arguments. The culmination of their semester-long research will be their presentation at the end of the semester, during which students will assume the role of political scientists at a mock scholarly conference. Ana Luhrs will be the librarian for this class.

In Professor Douglas de Toledo Piza’s IA 200 Globalization and Its Critics, students will uncover the influence of power and privilege on the production and circulation of knowledge about globalization. Through class discussions and projects, they will research an author’s background, and compare and contrast whether and how the author’s position on a given topic has changed over time. Students will examine what makes a work canonical and challenge the assumptions of such work. They will also look at the publishing process—such as peer-review—and understand how this process might favor Euro-American centric views. For the end-of-the-semester presentation, students will research and discuss a topic of their choice from an underrepresented perspective. The presentation will be accompanied by student reflections on the challenges to find information from non-Euro-American centric perspectives and the role students can play in elevating such perspectives. Lijuan Xu will be working with this class.

In Professor Hafsa Kanjwal’s HIST 355 Global South Asia: Empire, Migration and Diaspora, students will complete a 20-page primary source-based historical research paper and practice how to intervene within a scholarly conversation or debate. They will locate primary sources, analyze the historical context in which the sources were written, and discuss the types of “voices” they have access to as historical researchers, as well as how to account for those who remain on the margins. Students will also research the kinds of research questions and arguments other scholars are making about the related topic, and evidence (sources) they use. They will examine contradictory arguments and consider whether their own primary sources might shed a different light on their topic or develop and refine existing arguments. Throughout the different stages of the project, students will reflect on their research process as well as how they become better informed users and producers of information. Ben Jahre will be the librarian for this class.

In Professor Tim Laquintano’s ENG 350 Reading and Writing in Screen Culture, a project-based course, students will engage with different research methods, and examine the research process critically. They will conduct research on the decline narratives related to language use, reading, and literature, and trace the kinds of evidence used in these narratives. They will assess how research findings get morphed, distorted, and shaped as they are cited and written about by scholars and the popular press. Students will confront issues of information and media overload by keeping an attention journal that documents the sources of their distractions. They will turn these sources into quantitative data, in order to discover the imperfections of the data collection process and the production of classification systems. The students will also conduct a case study of the writing and research processes of top-performing Lafayette seniors from different disciplines. Angela Perkins will be working with this class.