Serendipitous Paths

Creators: Kascie Shewan, Kendra Cowley, Maureen Engel

How might we build a digital interface to facilitate the exploration and discovery of feminist resources by expert and non-expert users alike? Serendipitous Paths takes seriously the fact that making resources accessible is, as we know, not the same as making them merely available. A conventional annotated bibliography might be accessible to scholars and academics, but it cannot do the work of bringing non-expert users and works together in an organic and generative way.  Similar shortcomings are embedded in “search” interfaces, wherein the act of “searching” (via keywords or ideas) presumes that users know what they want to locate, limiting the possibilities of knowledge discovery.  In contrast, our navigational tool is something that facilitates users’ journeys along exploratory and serendipitous paths into and through the materials.

With over 700 critical connections and 189 annotated articles, the bibliography summarizes key ideas and arguments from sources that reflect the broad interests of EFECT members, with an orientation towards disrupting and reimagining our relationships to, and mediated through, power. Both a pedagogical tool for potential users and a pedagogical process for its creators, the bibliography encourages new ways of encountering connections between ideas, experiences, and texts. It mobilizes curiosity and imagines research not only as a quest for answers but an openness to new questions.