Book Reviews

History of Classification and Information Reading List

Genealogical distribution of the arts and sciences’ by Chrétien Frederic Guillaume Roth from Encyclopédie (1780) by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert

For your summer reading pleasure and in the context of the ever rising importance of critically thinking through classification, here is my complete qualifying exam list on HISTORY OF CLASSIFICATION AND INFORMATION.

Cindy Nguyen
Examiner: Cathryn Carson
Second Field: History of Knowledge Systems

History of Classification and Information

1. STS & Memory Practices: Classification, Documentation, Catalogs, Libraries, Archives
2. History of Information, Information Age, Enlightenment Institutions
3. History of statistics: governance and discipline
4. Data Science: theory, explanation; experts

I. STS and Memory Practices: Classification, Documentation, Catalogs, Libraries, Archives

1. Bowker, Geoffrey C., and Susan Leigh Star. Sorting Things out: Classification and Its Consequences. Inside Technology. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1999.
2. Lampland, Martha, and Susan Leigh Star, eds. Standards and Their Stories: How Quantifying, Classifying, and Formalizing Practices Shape Everyday Life. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009.
3. Krajewski, Markus. Paper Machines: About Cards & Catalogs, 1548-1929. History and Foundations of Information Science. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2011.
4. Gitelman, Lisa. Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents. Sign, Storage, Transmission. Durham ; London: Duke University Press, 2014.
5. Yeo, Richard. “Reading Encyclopedias: Science and the Organization of Knowledge in British Dictionaries of Arts and Sciences, 1730-1850.” Isis 82, no. 1 (1991): 24–49.
6. Olson, Hope A. “The Power to Name: Representation in Library Catalogs.” Signs 26, no. 3 (2001): 639–68.
7. Brown, Richard Harvey, and Beth Davis-Brown. “The Making of Memory: The Politics of Archives, Libraries and Museums in the Construction of National Consciousness.” History of the Human Sciences 11, no. 4 (November 1, 1998): 17–32.
8. Manoff, Marlene. “Theories of the Archive from Across the Disciplines.” Portal: Libraries and the Academy 4, no. 1 (2004): 9–25.
9. Jacob, Elin K. “Classification and Categorization: A Difference That Makes a Difference.” Library Trends 52, no. 3 (Winter 2004): 515–40.

Scientific Archives
10. Bowker, Geoffrey C. Memory Practices in the Sciences. Inside Technology. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2005.
11. Daston, Lorraine. “The Sciences of the Archive.” Osiris 27 (2012): 156–87.
12. Daston, Lorraine, and Peter Galison. “The Image of Objectivity.” Representations, no. 40 (October 1992): 81–128.

Scientific Libraries
13. Marco Beretta, Bibliotheca Lavoisieriana: The Catalogue of the Library of Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (Florence, 1995), 13– 58.
14. Grafton, Anthony. “Libraries and Lecture Halls.” In The Cambridge History of Science, edited by Katharine Park and Lorraine Daston, 238–50. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

15. Grafton, Anthony Worlds Made by Words: Scholarship and Community in the Modern West. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2009.
a. chapters: A sketch map of a lost continent: the republic of letters & Codex in Crisis: the book dematerializes
16. Ludovico, Alessandro. Post-Digital Print – The Mutation Of Publishing Since 1894. Ram Publications, 2013.

Science & Technology Studies
17. Biagioli, Mario. The Science Studies Reader. New York: Routledge, 1999 (selections)
18. Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern. Translated by Catherine Porter. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1993.
19. Latour, Bruno. Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers through Society. Milton Keynes ; Philadelphia: Open University Press, 1987.
20. Golinski, Jan. Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
21. Daston, Lorraine. “The Moral Economy of Science.” Osiris 10 (1995): 2–24.

II. Historical studies of Information, Enlightenment, Europe, ‘Information Ages’

In chronological order
16th-17th Western Europe
22. Blair, Ann M. Too Much to Know : Managing Scholarly Information Before the Modern Age. New Haven, CT, USA: Yale University Press, 2010.
23. Soll, Jacob. The Information Master: Jean-Baptiste Colbert’s Secret State Intelligence System. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009.

18th Enlightenment- Post-1789 French Revolution “modern nation state”/19th Western Europe
24. Wellmon, Chad. Organizing Enlightenment: Information Overload and the Invention of the Modern Research University. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.
25. Headrick, Daniel R. When Information Came of Age : Technologies of Knowledge in the Age of Reason and Revolution, 1700-1850. Cary, NC, USA: Oxford University Press, USA, 2000.
26. Darnton, Robert. “An Early Information Society: News and the Media in Eighteenth-Century Paris.” The American Historical Review 105, no. 1 (February 1, 2000): 1–35.
27. Burke, Peter. A Social History of Knowledge: From Gutenberg to Diderot. Cambridge, UK : Malden, MA: Polity ; Blackwell, 2000.

20th information ages, 1960’s-1980s, United States
28. Kline, Ronald R. The Cybernetics Moment, Or, Why We Call Our Age the Information Age. New Studies in American Intellectual and Cultural History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.
29. Nunberg, Geoffrey. “Farewell to the Information Age.” The Future of the Book 125 (1996).
30. Day, Ronald E. Indexing It All: The Subject in the Age of Documentation, information, and Data. History and Foundations of Information Science. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2014.
31. Frickel, Scott, and Neil Gross. “A General Theory of Scientific/Intellectual Movements.” American Sociological Review 70, no. 2 (April 1, 2005): 204–32

III. History of statistics: governance and discipline

In chronological order
17th-19th Enlightenment
32. Gigerenzer, Gerd, ed. The Empire of Chance: How Probability Changed Science and Everyday Life. Ideas in Context. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
33. Daston, Lorraine. Classical Probability in the Enlightenment. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press, 1988.
34. Hacking, Ian. The Taming of Chance. Ideas in Context. Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

19th-20th Science, Public & Social Life, the State
35. Porter, Theodore, M. The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986.
36. Porter, Theodore, M. Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1995.
37. Agar, Jon. The Government Machine: A Revolutionary History of the Computer. History of Computing. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2003
38. Bouk, Daniel B. How Our Days Became Numbered: Risk and the Rise of the Statistical Individual. Chicago ; London: University of Chicago Press, 2015.
39. Desrosières, Alain. The Politics of Large Numbers: A History of Statistical Reasoning. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1998.
40. Scott, James C. Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale Agrarian Studies. New Haven [Conn.]: Yale University Press, 1998.
41. Scott, James C., John Tehranian, and Jeremy Mathias. “The Production of Legal Identities Proper to States: The Case of the Permanent Family Surname.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 44, no. 1 (January 1, 2002): 4–44.

IV. Data Science: practice, algorithms, computers, role of experts

42. Boyd, Danah, and Kate Crawford. “CRITICAL QUESTIONS FOR BIG DATA: Provocations for a Cultural, Technological, and Scholarly Phenomenon.” Information, Communication & Society 15, no. 5 (June 2012): 662–79.
43. Dourish, Paul, and Genevieve Bell. Divining a Digital Future : Mess and Mythology in Ubiquitous Computing. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press, 2011.
44. Ensmenger, Nathan. The Computer Boys Take over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise. History of Computing. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2010.
45. Fox, Peter, and James Hendler. “The Science of Data Science.” Big Data 2, no. 2 (June 2014): 68–70.
46. Galison, Peter, and David Stump. “Computer Simulations and the Trading Zone.” In The Disunity of Science: Boundaries, Contexts, and Power, 118–57. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996.
47. Halpern, Orit. Beautiful Data: A History of Vision and Reason since 1945. Durham: Duke University Press Books, 2015.
48. Hey, Anthony J. G, Stewart Tansley, and Kristin Michele Tolle. The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery. Redmond, Wash.: Microsoft Research, 2009.
49. Christopher M. Kelty, Two bits: The cultural significance of free software (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008).
50. Kitchin, Rob. The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences. SAGE, 2014.
51. Mahoney, Michael S. “The Histories of Computing(s).” Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 30, no. 2 (June 2005): 119–35.
52. O’Neil, Cathy, and Rachel Schutt. “Doing Data Science.” In Doing Data Science. O’Reilly Media, Inc., 2013.
53. Tuomi, Ilkka. “Data Is More than Knowledge: Implications of the Reversed Knowledge Hierarchy for Knowledge Management and Organizational Memory.” Journal of Management Information Systems 16, no. 3 (December 1, 1999): 103–17.

BOOK REVIEW: Curating Recent Memory in Cambodia


Arnold-de Simine, Silke. Mediating Memory in the Museum: Trauma, Empathy, Nostalgia. Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Ledgerwood, Judy. “The Cambodian Tuoul Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes: National Narrative.” Museum Anthropology 21, no. 1 (1997).

Ly, Boreth. “Of Performance and the Persistent Temporality of Trauma: Memory, Art, and Visions.” Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique 16, no. 1 (2008): 109–30.

Thompson, Ashley. “Forgetting to Remember, Again: On Curatorial Practice and ‘Cambodian Art’ in the Wake of Genocide.” Diacritics 41, no. 2 (2013): 82–109.

Uk, Krisna. “Aesthetic Forms of Post-Conflict Memory.” In Interactions with a Violent Past: Reading Post-Conflict Landscapes in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, edited by Oliver Tappe and Vatthana Pholsena. Baltimore, Maryland: Project Muse, 2013.

Um, Khatharya. “Exiled Memory: History, Identity, and Remembering in Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian Diaspora.” Positions 20, no. 3 (June 20, 2012): 831–50.


BOOK REVIEW: Nicholas Dirks’ Castes of Mind

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Dirks, Nicholas B. Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Histories Implicated in Colonialism

Nicholas Dirks’ Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India is a literature review of four centuries of scholarship on caste, a study of colonial knowledge and categorization, and an intervention in understandings of caste politics and nationalism, wrapped into a post-colonial history of modern India. A tremendous feat of anthropological history, Castes of Mind demonstrates how the nationalist movement and post-colonial histories are implicated in British colonial processes of knowledge production. The work is divided into three parts—parts one and two consider the “invention” of caste starting from early orientalist and Indological studies to the archival representation of caste and social difference; part three studies the ethnographic state in action through practices of enumeration, classification, and the census; and part four examines the relationship between the ethnographic state, caste politics, and Indian nationalism.