Unravelling the world of information superhighway
Theophilus Albert Marryshow (1887-1958), Grenadian politician and father of West Indian Federalism, once owned and operated a newspaper, The West Indian, with the famous masthead, ‘The West Indian Must Be West Indian’. In its first issue, on January 1, 1915, Marryshow committed that his periodical would be “an immediate and accurate chronicler of current events, an untrammelled advocate of popular rights, unhampered by chains of party prejudice, an unswerving educator of the people in their duties as subjects of the state and citizens of the world”. This commitment could easily describe the purpose of the revised and renamed research degree programmes in Information Studies at The University of the West Indies.
The practices and principles of information disciplines in the Caribbean are still strongly shaped by global northern education and best practices management or at global northern universities. While these lens have yielded groundbreaking analyses and ideas, there is still a need for more reflection and literature that chronicles our current events, advocates the validity of our record-keeping traditions and practices, educates our own future professionals and shapes policies of our institutions. It is therefore a measure of our professional and societal maturity that we research and reflect on ourselves for ourselves. We must ‘West Indianise’ Information Studies.
This is the aim of the revamped Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Information Studies degree programmes now offered at the Department of Library and Information Studies, Mona, Jamaica Campus.
Information Studies is an interdisciplinary domain concerned with the creation, organisation, management, and uses of information in all its forms, formats and expressions. It includes Archival Studies, Library Studies, Museum Studies and Records Management and applies the practices, perspectives, and tools of management, information technology, information preservation, history and cultural heritage to the creation, collection, organisation, preservation, and dissemination of information resources. Information Studies brings together a variety of theoretical approaches. Its focus is on representations of information – the documentary and cultural evidence of society – as well as on the technologies and organisations through which information becomes accessible. Emphasis will be on the peoples of the Caribbean, and its diaspora, and the ways in which they create, engage with, preserve, and disseminate information.
The MPhil in Information Studies is designed to facilitate the candidate’s review of the knowledge in the field of Information Studies.
The candidate will evaluate seminal and current theories and models, as well as relevant literature and research findings, while developing an area of study which makes an independent contribution to knowledge or an understanding of the subject area.
The PhD in Information Studies is designed to facilitate the pursuit of scholarship of an original, independent and seminal nature in any of the disciplines within the domain of Information Studies. It will facilitate the candidate to evaluate seminal and current theories and models, as well as demonstrate a rich understanding of the literature and research methodologies in the field. Through the programme, the candidate will be assisted in honing the research problem, developing the investigation with competence and rigour, and presenting the achievements and findings with intellectual maturity.
We now have an opportunity to consider, reflect and write our own Information Studies for the validation of our Caribbean narratives, memory, information-creation traditions and innovations.
- Stanley Griffin, PhD, is a lecturer at Department of Library and Information Studies, The University of the West Indies, Mona. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information contact:
Department of Library and Information Studies
The University of the West Indies
Tel: (876) 927-2944
Dept Website: https://www.mona.uwi.edu/dlis/