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Open Access Publications from the University of California


InterActions is an open access journal hosted by the eScholarship initiative of the California Digital Library, edited and managed by graduate students, based at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Our publication’s authors foster an open and critical dialogue with readers and colleagues through applying diverse social justice frameworks to the discussion of pressing issues in the fields of education and information.


The New Militarism, Global Terrorism, and the American University: Making Sense of the Assault on Democracy “Here, There, Somewhere”

This paper examines the ways in which the Bush administration and its allies have targeted the American university as part of a broad assault on democracy. The author maintains that the administration has used the tragic events of September 11 to strike fear in the American people for the purposes of formulating a more aggressive militarization both home and abroad. This “New Militarism” justifies two particular positions with regard to the relationship between the Bush administration and the nation’s universities. First, and because of the potential for criticism to arise from within the walls of the university, the Bush administration and its allies have sought to limit such critiques through a variety of actions and policies. Second, the Bush administration and its supporters have been intent on strengthening the already strong ties between the American university and the U.S. military industrial complex, including the Department of Defense. These two broad assaults have resulted in further deterioration to the American university’s democratic potential and its ability to advance a more just world.

The Dossier Novel: (Post)Modern Fiction and the Discourse of the Archive

This paper focuses on the relationship tying modern novels to the archive in the Modern Age following the centralization of the national archives during the French Revolution. It argues that a specific type of fiction that it calls the dossier novel embodies the significant intersection between archival and novelistic discourses.

The archive is the location where society preserves the heritage of its past, the workplace where the bureaucrat copies and stores records, and the institution where documents are authenticated by matching them with their originals. It establishes a peculiar truth that relies on the exhibition of written proofs. Novelistic discourse significantly overlaps that of the archive. Since writing means recording, an innate archival quality must be inscribed in the novel, the only major literary genre in the Western tradition that originates in the written page. Novels, too, above all historical and realist novels, aim at being stored as written records, in the archives available to society. Telling the truth by printing it on paper is the bread and butter of the novel, so to speak.

Dossier novels are hybrids that find an operational balance between narrative and documentation. They perform a dynamic compromise between archives, novels, and printed books. They collect records, and are structured, at times, as dossiers, presenting factual evidence of those ties linking the archival and novelistic discourses which represent the concern of this study.

More than a Child’s Work: Framing Teacher Discourse about Play

In early childhood education, tension between accountability pressures and romanticized notions of play influences teacher decisions, shapes classroom activities, and determines what counts as learning. Critical discourse analysis shows how discourses of work and play were activated as the teachers analyzed videotaped instances of children’s classroom activity. Microethnographic discourse analysis tracks the interactional frames within the teachers’ discussion. To interpret and justify their classroom practice, teachers voiced a prevalent cultural model, “play is a child’s work,” a naturalized storyline that circulates expectations for how teachers and children should act in school. Shifts between hypothetical, metalinguistic, and play frames enabled participants to self-critically assess their own teaching and to invent ways of successfully fulfilling teaching ideals within competing discourses.

Exploring Departmental Leadership: How Department Chairs Can Be Transformative Leaders

This article explores the role of departmental leadership in the context of transforming departmental climate and culture to be supportive work and family balance. The issue of work and family is ideal for framing discussions of leadership and cultural change because efforts to improve the "family-friendliness" of careers tend to focus on the creation of family-friendly policies, but leadership is needed to transform the workplace culture before employees feel safe using the policies. Discussions of leadership, including critically oriented and transformative qualities of leadership, support the claim that department chairs can be transformative leaders – leading their departments to become supportive environments for faculty with caregiving responsibilities.

Featured Commentary

LGBT and Information Studies: The Library and Archive OUTreach Symposium at UCLA; and In the Footsteps of Barbara Gittings: An Appreciation

On November 17, 2006 the InterActions editorial team attended the Library and Archives OUTreach symposium at UCLA. This galvanizing event brought together academics, practitioners, and activists from the information studies field to discuss the importance of increasing visibility around lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) issues as they pertain to libraries and information seeking. Given the tremendous energy generated by these proceedings, we asked Patrick Keilty, a doctoral student in UCLA’s Information Studies department and OUTreach founding president, to share his impressions and insights on this important event. Keilty prepared the following essay with full cooperation from the remarkable ensemble of symposium panelists. In order to expand upon some of the themes introduced at this event, Keilty also conducted follow-up email discussions with panelists. His essay represents a summary of these on-going discussions.

Sadly, LGBT activist and symposium keynote speaker Barbara Gittings died February 18, 2007 as this essay was being prepared. Keilty’s appreciation of Gittings serves as a fitting accompaniment to this piece.

In the Footsteps of Barbara Gittings: An Appreciation

Click on the supplemental links for video clips of Barbara Gittings' keynote address at the Library and Archive OUTreach Symposium at UCLA.

Barbara Gittings remembers HQ 76.5.

Barbara Gittings tells the story of the first gay kissing booth.

American Library Association members ogle the kissing booth.

The kissing booth will "show them how it's done."

"Hug a Homosexual" gets noticed.

An outraged ALA member objects to "Hug a Homosexual."

Barbara Gittings looks toward the future.

Barbara Gittings on her career with librarians.

  • 1 supplemental PDF
  • 8 supplemental videos

Book Reviews