INF2103H Diplomatics and Genre Theory: Understanding Forms and Functions of Traditional and Contemporary Records
This course builds on the body of theories, methods, and practices introduced in INF1330H and INF2175H. By drawing on the principles, concepts, and methods of diplomatics, an old archival discipline specialized in the form and function of documents created in business contexts, the first part of the course will uncover the physical and intellectual articulation of traditional records, both paper-based and electronic. Digital preservation issues, with particular regard to establishing and protecting the authenticity of electronic records, will be discussed at the end of this first part.
In the second part of the course, the concept of genre will be introduced in order to provide a different reading of the semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic components of written and unwritten texts, and to enable the analysis of contemporary, non-traditional information objects, including web records and social media. By combining diplomatics and genre theory, the course aims at enabling students to understand the specific characteristics of records and their aggregations, the relationships between records creators, records forms and functions, and the evolution of the structure of information objects as socially constructed communicative actions.