Kiersten F Latham

Kiersten F Latham
Michigan State University | MSU · Arts & Cultural Management and Museum Studies

Ph.D.

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57
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374
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Publications

Publications (57)
Article
In the spirit of contemplative pedagogy, this panel introduces The Tree of Contemplative Practices – a graphic representation that helps educators and students to understand the main principles and seven major types of contemplative practices. Using the Tree as a framework, enthusiasts can learn contemplative practices in a systematic, secular, and...
Article
More than ever, Information Science needs a coherent, powerful, integrated vision of itself and the value proposition it delivers in this Information Age. Complex and multifaceted uncertainties like pandemics and climate change do not yield to narrow or piecemeal solutions. Holistic visions of Information Science existed at our field's formation a...
Article
Purpose Americans increasingly feel a sense of wonder at the universe; meditation and yoga are on the rise; and a field known as Contemplative Studies has emerged. These indicators, among others, suggest a groundswell of interest in contemplative practice and contemplative experience and raise intriguing questions for information and Information St...
Chapter
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This article is on museum studies, not on museums. Museum studies is defined as the interdisciplinary engagement in critical examination of the history, functions, and roles of museums in society. Although the name museum studies began to be used in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the late 1960s and early 1970s, an older term,...
Article
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In this article, we assess the state of museum studies, with special attention to programs in the United States. After briefly reviewing the historical trajectory of museum studies, we define this field of study and determine that it should more accurately be called museology. To investigate the most critical issues in current museological pedagogy...
Article
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The paper outlines a research effort into the changing representations, policies, strategies, activities, and practices of libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) in the digital age. Comprehensive social changes including big slow-moving processes, such as aging populations, global migration, technological change, and environmental change, expose c...
Article
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Since even before Frohmann (2009) proposed his document analysis on the meaning of cabinets of curiosity, I have been fascinated with them. Their emergence in the 15th century (MacGregor, 2007) is also the tantalizing beginnings of the birth of the modern museum. In museum studies, we often ask what the meaning of the museum is today (Latham & Simm...
Article
In this paper, I describe an interactive thought experiment and workshop that I conducted at a recent European LAM conference. In this experiment, I asked participants to imagine that we are at the very cusp of creating the next-generation curriculum for a libraries, archives, museum (LAM) program, and that we have a blank slate. I offered a way to...
Article
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How are information and inspiration connected? Answering this question can help information professionals facilitate the pathways to inspiration. Inspiration has previously been conceptualized as a goal or mode of information seeking, but this says little about the nature of inspiration or how it is experienced. In this study, we explore the connec...
Article
Purpose The authors discuss the lifeworld as a research concept for the field of information behaviour, which serves to problematise the concept of unit of analysis. In so doing, the authors demonstrate how the lifeworld can be adopted as a unit of analysis in information behaviour research, that is, how research can be based in the lifeworld rathe...
Article
As makerspaces and hackerspaces pop up in libraries and museums, one little lab sits in the middle of an Information School, but it is not a maker-space, a gallery, or a museum. The MuseLab, at the Kent State School of Information, is something else, something new - or perhaps something familiar, but situated in a different context, making it less...
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Museum crowdsourcing projects have drastically changed the ways in which individuals engage with cultural objects. In particular, individuals' participation in representation of cultural objects through creating, sharing, and curating museum cultural objects contributes to the creation of multifaceted and rich representation of cultural objects as...
Chapter
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In this chapter we explain our approach to teaching museum studies using systems thinking and why it provides an innovative framework for future museum professionals. We explain both how we teach in the program (the pedagogical), as well as what (the content and concepts). The chapter is organized into three broad areas: (1) an overview of the infl...
Article
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The authors discuss two conceptual frameworks of documents and documentation: Lund's complementarity theory of documentation; and Gorichanaz and Latham's framework of document phenomenology. The role of documentation in conceptualizing the document is discussed, and the notions of documentation and documental becoming are compared. Through the disc...
Conference Paper
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The authors discuss two conceptual frameworks of documents and documentation: Lund's complementarity theory of documentation; and Gorichanaz and Latham's framework of document phenomenology. The role of documentation in conceptualizing the document is discussed, and the notions of documentation and documental becoming are compared. Through the disc...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper is part reflection and part analysis. I use a personal document experience to illustrate the use of the holistic analysis framework of Document Phenomenology (Gorichanaz & Latham, 2016) to explore the notion of floating fixity and its relationship to authenticity.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to advance document ontology and epistemology by proposing a framework for analysing documents from multiple perspectives of research and practice. Design/methodology/approach Understanding is positioned as an epistemic aim of documents, which can be approached through phenomenology. Findings A phenomenologica...
Conference Paper
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Following from the Document Academy 2012 presentation of a similar name, this article commits to paper the beginnings of an exploration between the concepts around document (from neo-documentation studies) and museality (from museum studies). It will serve as an initial mechanism for the exploration into the history, use, and comparative usefulness...
Article
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to offer a platform for thinking about the reference interaction experience by borrowing from museum studies literature, particularly from a holistic understanding of the museum visitor’s experience. Design/methodology/approach – The goal of this paper is to offer a platform for thinking about the reference inter...
Article
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Psychological flow, the autotelic, intrinsically rewarding experience also known as optimal experience (Csikszentmihalyi 1990) has been an important psychological construct for nearly half a century. Over the same time, drawn recently from the field of religious studies, the investigation of the numinous museum experience is in its infancy. Charact...
Conference Paper
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The DOCAM’15 theme called for an examination of the challenges ahead with our understanding of documents in a continuously changing information landscape. One such challenge has been to find specific intersecting areas of the information sciences on which authors from different disciplines might collaborate. We take ourselves as one such case study...
Presentation
During the first day of the 2016 conference, attendees were invited to "paint something" on a canvas in a collaborative work while images were capture in 15 second intervals through the day. On the second day, the authors whitewashed the document, then used the new white surface as the screen to show the film of images captured the previous day. Th...
Presentation
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At CoLIS 9, we facilitated a panel session entitled "Phenomenology in library and information science: studying information experiences." In this article, we discuss the unfolding of that panel. We begin by situating discussions of phenomenology in the historical thrust of information research. We then describe the content and summarize the key dis...
Article
Full-text available
The DOCAM’15 theme called for an examination of the challenges ahead with our understanding of documents in a continuously changing information landscape. One such challenge has been to find specific intersecting areas of the information sciences on which authors from different disciplines might collaborate. We take ourselves as one such case study...
Article
Full-text available
This article describes a study of the different ways museum visitors understand their experience of the real thing (TRT) in the museum context. Many professionals and scholars claim that the uniqueness of the museum – in relation to other leisure and educational experiences and offerings – centers on being the keepers of ‘real things.’ Having an in...
Article
This paper is an attempt to support and promote education programs that cover the entire cultural heritage landscape (libraries, archives, museums) as an integrated, larger meta-discipline. By taking a larger picture approach, professionals who do the work of memory institutions can be more effective in their work, in the promotion of that professi...
Article
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This article provides an overview of the creation and installation of the Document Academy (DOCAM) 2014 Instantiation, an experimental exhibition intended to develop a three dimensional representation of the DOCAM 2014 participants’ spoken presentations. During the installation process, it was evident that the Instantiation resembled a current tren...
Article
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This paper describes one session from the 2014 Document Academy that used an atypical presentation style inspired by the unconference trend. The session explored the meaning and language used to describe and discuss representations of documents and was purposefully open-ended by design. By incorporating the Document Academy participants as active m...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to invite further consideration of how people experience documents. By offering a model from Reader Response theory – Louise Rosenblatt's Transactional Theory of Reading – as well as examples from research on numinous experiences with museum objects, the author hopes to open further avenues of information beha...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes one session from the 2014 Document Academy that used an atypical presentation style inspired by the unconference trend. The session explored the meaning and language used to describe and discuss representations of documents and was purposefully open-ended by design. By incorporating the Document Academy participants as active m...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article provides an overview of the creation and installation of the Document Academy (DOCAM) 2014 Instantiation, an experimental exhibition intended to develop a three dimensional representation of the DOCAM 2014 participants’ spoken presentations. During the installation process, it was evident that the Instantiation resembled a current tren...
Article
Full-text available
It has been over a decade since Cameron and Gatewood (2000, 2003; Gatewood & Cameron, 2004) conducted their immensely intriguing research on numinous experiences in museums. Inspired by this pioneering work, the current study was undertaken to investigate more deeply these kinds of experiences with museum objects. The essence of this encounter, as...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this article is to understand the meaning of museum objects from an information perspective. Links are made from Buckland's conceptual information framework as a semiotic to museum object as “document” and finally to user experience of these museum “documents”. The aim is to provide a new lens through which museum studies r...
Article
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This paper is the second installment in a two-part series on the physicality of archival material in the context of the digital age. The first part reviewed key lessons in the history of new technologies that have affected archival practice. Part two will explore a holistic understanding of paper-based knowledge transmission in the context of the d...
Conference Paper
During the twentieth century there was a strong desire for information studies to become scientific, to move from librarianship, bibliography, and documentation to an information science. In 1968 the American Documentation Institute was renamed American Society for Information Science. By the twenty-first century, however, departments of (library a...
Article
Full-text available
This paper, which will be published in two parts, explores the physicality of archival materials in the context of the digital age. This first part reviews key lessons in the history of new technologies that have affected archival practice. The issues and problems we now face with conversion of physical archives to digital form are not entirely new...
Article
Full-text available
This paper investigates an interdisciplinary perspective on museum research, offering a new orientation and methodology for fieldwork. It begins from the stance of "object knowledge", which describes the ways of knowing that come from human interaction with and study of physical objects. Next, is the documentation of the power of objects to define...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to explore a certain kind of museum experience - the numinous experience - a deeply connective, transcendental encounter one may have with a museum object, site, or exhibit. A model, borrowed from reader response theory, is illustrated in order to aid in the exploration of these deeply moving museum experiences. Louise...

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Project
Abstract for i3 conference: In this paper, we present an exploratory investigation of information as inspiration using a novel methodology: collaborative auto-hermeneutics. We discuss our exploration and findings regarding inspiration in the museum context, and we take the opportunity to reflect on how our chosen methodology afforded these findings and discussion. In this paper, we will primarily focus on our findings regarding inspiration; at this conference we are also conducting a roundtable in which we will discuss the methodology in greater depth. Though information science has traditionally focused on providing access to information and solving problems, information is also a part of “the pleasurable and profound” (Kari & Hartel, 2007) aspects of people’s lives. Just as psychology and other social sciences have expanded from a deficit model to one of flourishing (Seligman, 2012), so information science has begun a turn toward aspects of human life beyond information needs, seeking, and use. One such aspect is inspiration. Inspiration has not been heavily explored in information behavior research. And when it has been, it is conceptualized as goal or mode of information seeking (Mougenot, Bouchard, & Aoussat, 2008). In order to better develop tools and systems that support inspiration, we need a more detailed account of how information and inspiration are connected. In light of the ongoing (re)convergence of the information professions across libraries, archives and museums, we contend that the museum context is a good place for the naturalistic study of inspiration: “Museum,” after all, literally means “house of the muses,” which suggests a direct connection with inspiration, and previous work by Latham (2012; Gorichanaz & Latham, 2016) has articulated how museum objects are informative. To explore the connection between information and inspiration, we conducted a collaborative auto-hermeneutic study on our experiences of being inspired during museum visits. Auto-hermeneutics is a methodological toolkit that allows a researcher to study their own information experiences (Gorichanaz, 2017). Gorichanaz (2017) suggests that collaborative auto-hermeneutics may be fruitful, taking a cue from other collaborative automethodologies, such as collaborative autoethnography (Chang, Ngunjiri, & Hernandez, 2012). In this study, the collection of empirical material proceeded as follows: First, each of us individually memoed, using freewriting, about the way we define inspiration and information, and how we suspect information and inspiration are connected. Next, each of us individually visited a museum or exhibition within a museum that we had never been to before and which was of personal interest. As we each went through the museum, each time we felt a sense of inspiration, we recorded an answer to the prompt: “What are you feeling, thinking and doing right now?” and noted the context in which we found ourselves. Each of us set reminders on our smartphones to prompt us three times after the museum visit: on the evening after our visit, one week after our visit, and finally one month after our visit, with the questions: “Did you recall any of your moments of inspiration? Did you do something about it?” Each of us then analyzed our empirical material individually. We first transcribed our audio recordings, and then thematically coded our transcripts through iterative rounds of open coding, as described by Gorichanaz (2017). During coding, we looked back at our pre-visit memoing and looked in our empirical material for both examples and counter-examples of our preconceptions. After each of us performed this individual analysis, the three of us convened on Skype to discuss our findings, looking for both differences and similarities in our experiences. After this, we attempted to answer the following research questions by referring to our empirical experiences and analysis: (RQ1) What is inspiration? and (RQ2) How are inspiration and information related? Outcomes of this study are an inductive definition of inspiration and a nascent framework for how inspiration and information are connected, particular to the museum context. Our findings, which will be discussed in full in the paper, point to conceptualization of inspiration that goes beyond cognitive utility. It demands recognition of the pathic dimensions of knowledge in addition to the gnostic. As van Manen (2014) writes, findings regarding the pathic are uniquely possible in hermeneutic-phenomenological research approaches. We discuss how these findings fit in with select current concepts from information science and museum studies, and we also connect this with the literatures in information behaviour on serendipity and artists’ information seeking. We intend for the results and implications from this study to be validated and extended by other scholars in different contexts and using different methodological approaches. References Chang, H., Ngunjiri, F., & Hernandez, K.–A. C. (2012). Collaborative autoethnography. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press. Gorichanaz, T. (2017). Auto-hermeneutics: A phenomenological approach to information experience. Library & Information Science Research, 39(1). Gorichanaz, T., & Latham, K. F. (2016). Document phenomenology. Journal of Documentation, 72(6), 1114– 1133. Kari, J., & Hartel, J. (2007). Information and higher things in life: Addressing the pleasurable and the profound in information science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 58(8), 1131–1147. Latham, K. F. (2012). Museum object as document. Journal of Documentation, 68(1), 45-71. Mougenot, C., Bouchard, C., & Aoussat, A. (2008). Inspiration, images and design: an investigation of designers' information gathering strategies. Journal of Design Research, 7(4), 331–351. Seligman, M. E. P. (2012). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Free Press. Van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.