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Syllabus

CLASS REQUIREMENTS

Attendance at lectures is required.  Students will be asked to read approximately 150 pages a week including books, articles and a range of primary sources.  While the reading averages 150 pages a week, there are several weeks where it exceeds that amount.  I urge you to peruse the syllabus (also a tab on the course web site) and get a jump on the reading for weeks when it is heavier than usual.  Most weeks, students will also view a required filmReadings should be completed and films viewed before sections meet on Thursdays.  There will be a short assignment each week that will be due at the start of section.  Each assignment will be graded.  Cumulatively, the assignments will count for 20 percent of your grade.  We will calculate that portion of your grade based upon the ten best assignments you hand in.   Discussion Sections are in integral part of the class and attendance is required.  Participation in sections counts for twenty percent of the total grade.

The capstone project for the course is a digital journal that you will keep over the course of the entire term.  In the first section, you will be assigned an "identity" that you will develop in your journal.  For instance, you might be assigned to be a sixty-seven year old white middle class Republican woman living in Roanoke VA.  You will spend the first few weeks setting up a twitter profile for your character, beginning to follow people she might follow, and in general, becoming familiar with your new digital identity.  We will provide instructions setting up this fake identity that protects your real identity.  By the third week of the class you will begin posting journal entries.  You will use a Google Doc to share this journal with your teaching associate.  Each weekly entry should address one of the major readings, films, lecture topics or issues raised in discussion that week.  It should be written from the perspective of your assigned identity.  In other words, how would your character react to one of the issues addressed in the unit being studied?  Your teaching associate will review your journal midway through the year, provide comments, and issue a provisional grade.  Your final grade for this assignment will be based upon the quality of your completed journal.  The digital journal exercise will count for 20 percent of your total grade.

There will be a midterm exam on Wed. February 26.  It will count for twenty percent of the total grade.  There will also be a final exam on Tuesday, May 6, at 9:00 am.  It will count for twenty percent of the total grade.

Summary of Graded Components of the Class:

Weekly Assignments: 20%

Section Participation: 20%

Midterm: 20%

Journal: 20%

Final Exam: 20%

Books You May Want to Purchase

Much of the reading for the class is hyperlinked to the assignments in each unit (and on the syllabus).  The exceptions are the following books which you may wish to purchase and which are starred on the syllabus.  These books and the recommended text will be placed on reserve at Clemons.

**Debora L. Spar, Ruling the Waves : Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth From the Compass to the Internet. (New York: Harcourt, 2001).

**Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism (paper, University of Chicago Press, 2008).

**James Bamford, The Shadow Factory : the Ultra-secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping On America (New York: Doubleday, 2008).

 

- Introduction: Booting Up

LECTURE:

  • Introduction: What Does Digital Mean and How does Digitizing America work?
  • The Cultural Context of Technology

READING:

  • Nicholas Negroponte, "The DNA of Information," in Being Digital, ch. 1, 11-20 DNA of Information
  • **Spar, Debora L. Ruling the Waves : Cycles of Discovery, Chaos, and Wealth From the Compass to the Internet. New York: Harcourt, 2001, Prologue, 1-22; “Echoes and Refrains,” 117-123; “Ruling the Waves,” 183-189; ch. 8, "Surfing the Barbary Coast," 367-383.
  • Thomas P. Hughes, “From Deterministic Dynamos to Seamless-Web Systems,” in Sladovich, Hedy E. Engineering As a Social Enterprise. (Washington: National Academies Press), n.19, pp. 7-25.  http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=1829&page=7
  • Gertner, Jon. The Idea Factory : Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation. New York: Penguin Press, 2012, ch. 7, "The Informationist."

FILM: 

  • Desk Set (1957), directed by Walter Lang (1957; CA: 20th Century Fox, 2004).  We have arranged for all films to be available through streaming. To view, visit and log into the Digitizing America Collab site and select "Kaltura Media Gallery" on the left side menu.

ASSIGNMENT:

  •  Write a one-page report on the person in your section whose name follows yours in the alphabet [TAs will e-mail list of section names by Tuesday night]

SECTIONS MEET ON THURSDAY



- Does Technology Over-Determine the Future?

LECTURE:

  • Visions of the future

READING:

FILM:

  • Blade Runner (1982) Blade Runner, DVD, directed by Ridley Scott (1982 CA:Warner  Bros., 2007). To view via online streaming, log into the Digitizing America Collab siteand select "Kaltura Media Gallery" on the left side menu.

ASSIGNMENT:

LECTURE 

What is the relationship between technology and society?

Visions of the future

READING

Computerburger  From Popular Mechanics, 1966

Lanier, Jaron. Who Owns the Future?. First Simon & Schuster hardcover edition. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2013, “Motivation,” 7-21;

Moore, G.E., "Cramming More Components Onto Integrated Circuits," Proceedings of the IEEE , vol.86, no.1, pp.82,85, Jan. 1998  http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=658762&isnumber=14340

**Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism : 1-16

Siva Vaidhyanathan, Vaidhyanathan, Siva. The Googlization of Everything: And Why We Should Worry. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), ch. 2, "Google's Ways and Means: Faith in Aptitude and Technology," pp. 51-81.

FILM

Blade Runner (1982) Blade Runner, DVD, directed by Ridley Scott (1982 CA:Warner  Bros., 2007). For some reason Netflix is no longer streaming Blade Runner. Multiple copies of the film are on reserve in Clemons and you can also rent the film from both Amazon instant video or iTunes for $2.99. We apologize for any confusion.  

ASSIGNMENT

Please pick one article from the article exercise page linked below that has not already been chosen and write a one page essay on how this particular projection for the future worked out.  If possible, please engage the readings or the film to comment on enduring conceptions and misconceptions of new technology.  The essay is due in section— No late assignments will be accepted. 

Article Exercise - Past Visions of the Future



- Building a Digital Infrastructure in War and Peace

LECTURE:

  • The Cold War Digital Network
  • Smashing Hierarchies

READING:

  • **Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism: 28-174
  • Isaacson, Steve Jobs, ch. 1, "Childhood," pp. 5-11 Childhood; ch. 3, "The Dropout," pp. 33-41 The Dropout; ch. 5, "The Apple I, pp. 56-70 Apple 1; and ch. 15, "The Launch," pp. 159-170 The Launch
  • Hughes, “Technology as Systems, Controls, and Information,” in Thomas P. Hughes, Human-Built World: How to Think About Technology and Culture (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 77-110
  • Hughes, Rescuing Prometheus, ch. 6, "Networking: ARPANET," pp. 255-300. ARPANET

FILM:

ASSIGNMENT:

2/04   IJ: Submit full profile and first substantive journal entry to your TA for comments

  • Write a one page essay on the legacy of the counterculture that influences your life the most today.


- Shifting Domestic Boundaries

LECTURE:

  • Reconnecting Personal Computers
  • Letting Markets Decide and the Triumph of the Service Economy

READING:

FILM:

  • Office Space (1999, Dir. Mike Judge) - Streaming on Collab

ASSIGNMENT:

  • In one paragraph, describe a specific Massive On-line Open Course (MOOC).  In the next two paragraphs, comment on how changes in attitudes towards the market and in the digital infrastructure have enabled MOOCs.  In the final paragraph state the advantages and disadvantages of MOOCS.


- Redrawing Global Boundaries

Lectures:

  • What Intensified Globalization?
  • What did Globalizataion Intensify?

READINGS:

Listening or Viewing: 

Assignment:

  • Pick one article of clothing that you wear regularly and trace the way it is manufactured and where its components come from. 

READINGS:

Yergin and Stanislaw, Commanding Heights,  ch. 13, “The Age of Globalization, The Battle for the World Economy, pp. 379-398 and ch. 14, “The Balance of Confidence: the New Rules of the game,” pp. 399-418.

The World is Flat, 60-199 (or the end of chapter 3 for those with e-readers). 

 

VIEWING:  Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt

http://apps.npr.org/tshirt/#/title



- From Networks to Networking

LECTURES:

  • 2/17 Television in the Age of Convergence
  • 2/19 Comparing Regan and Obama's use of campaign media

READINGS:

  • Sarah Banet-Weiser, Cynthia Chris and Anthony Freitas, eds., Cable Visions "Introduction," 1-14
  • **Spar, Ruling the Waves, ch. 4, BSkyB and the new Wave of Television,” 190 - 243
  • Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York: NYU Press, 2006), “10-24.”
  • Andrew Chadwick, The Hybrid media System: Politics and Power (Oxford: Oxford University press, 2013) ch. 3, “The Contemporary Context of Hybridity,” Just the "U.S." section, 11-25.
  • Bagdikian, Ben H. The New Media Monopoly. Boston: Beacon Press, 2004.  Chapter 1, 1-26

FILM: 

ASSIGNMENT: 

  • The 2016 Republican nomination is up for grabs.  Write one paragraph that lists the leading contenders and why they are leading.  Write three paragraphs about the sources you used to determine this, and why you chose these sources.


- Why Y2K?

LECTURE:

  • 2/24 Why Y2K?

VIEW:

THERE ARE NO SECTIONS THIS WEEK.  THE SHORT VIDEO ABOVE IS THE ONLY ASSIGNMENT.  NO NEED FOR AN IDENTITY JOUNRAL ENTRY THIS WEEK.  PLEASE USE THE TIME TO REVIEW NOTES FROM LECTURE, CATCH UP ON READING AND VIEWING, AND CATCH UP ON IDENTITY JOURNAL ENTRIES.



- MIDTERM In Class: 2 IDs (no choice); 1 short essay (no choice); one longer essay(choice of 2 questions)


- Protecting the Homeland: from 9/11 to Edward Snowden

LECTURES:

  • 9/11 and After

READINGS:

ASSIGNMENT:

  • Assuming your twitter identity, write a one page essay stating where you were on 9/11 and how it changed your life or why it did not.


- Real or Fake? Public or Private?

READINGS:

Listening:

FILM: 

ASSIGNMENT: 

  • Compare your own reaction to online piracy to your twitter character’s reaction.

READINGS

Robert I. Berkman and Christopher A. Shumway, Digital Dilemmas: Ethical Issues for Online Media Professionals  (Ames: Iowa State Press, 2003), ch. 6, “Intellectual Property and Copyright,” 173-217.

Cory Doctorow, "Lockdown: The Coming War on General Purpose Computing, Boingboing.net Lockdown 

Lawrence Lessig, The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World: Chapter 1: Free, 3-16. Free

Spar, Riding the Waves, ch. 5 “The last Stand of the Cyberpunks,” 244-286.

Cindy Cohn, NYT 7/25/13 “Should Reddit Be Blamed for the Spreading of a Smear?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/magazine/should-reddit-be-blamed-for-the-spreading-of-a-smear.html?ref=magazine&_r=1&

EFF Foundation, MIT in Aaron Swartz Case: Not Neutral, Not Leading, Not Standing Up for Technologists

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/07/mit-aarons-swartz-case-not-neutral-not-leading-not-standing-technologists

“Bruce A Williams and Michael X. Deli Caprini, “Real Ethical Concerns and Fake News: The Daily Show and the Challenge of the New Media Environment, in Amarasingam, Amarnath Stewart/Colbert Effect : Essays on the Real Impacts of Fake News (Jefferson , NC: McFarland & Company), 181-192.

EBook:  Access Online

http://RE5QY4SB7X.search.serialssolutions.com/?V=1.0&L=RE5QY4SB7X&S=JCs&C=TC0000525882&T=marc

“Who Owns Comedy,” Backstory 5/20/13

http://backstoryradio.org/shows/patent-pending/

FILM:  Gattaca directed by Andrew Niccol (1996, Sony Pictures, 1998).

ASSIGNMENT:  Compare your own reaction to online piracy to your twitter character’s reaction



- Social Identity

LECTURES:

  • Digital Sovereignty: Who Rules in Cyberspace?
  • Discovering Racial and Gendered Identity

READINGS:

ASSIGNMENT:

  • Tweet about one of this week’s lectures from the perspective of your assumed identity


- Barcode Identity

LECTURES:

  • Digitizing Social Identity
  • You are what you Buy

READINGS:

  • Joseph Turow, Breaking Up America:  Advertising and the New Media World (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997) ch. 8, “Image Tribes,” 184-200.
  • Henry Jenkins, “Buying into American Idol: How We Are Being Sold on Reality Television" in Convergence Culture: 59-93 Buying Into An American Idol
  • Chris Anderson, “The Long Tail,” Wired Magazine The Long Tail
  • Cynthia Chris, “Discovery’s Wild Discovery: The Growth and Globaliztion of TV’s Animal Genres": 137-57 in Sarah Banet-Weiser, Cynthia Chris and Anthony Freitas, eds., Cable Visions   Discovery's Wild Discovery

ASSIGNMENT:

  • Make a note of where you see advertising through the course of your day - on billboards, magazines, television, online, etc. Which ads are the most appropriate for you? How do you think that advertising has pegged you so accurately or inaccurately?


- From the Public Square to Echo Chambers
LECTURES:
  • Why Can't we be Friends?  The Partisan Divide
  • Why we Still Can't be Friends: The Digital Construction of Echo Chambers
READINGS:

ASSIGNMENT

  • What echo chamber do YOU belong to?  Describe the ideological contours of this echo chamber, the news and advertising outlets that fuel it and the ways that it has shaped your views of a specific political issue.  If you believe that you have been able to avoid living in an echo chamber, explain how you have accomplished this.



- Work and Play in the Digital Age

Military Industrial Gaming Complex

Travel in the "ShareEconomy"

READINGS:

Listen:

ASSIGNMENT:

  • Spend a day with no digital entertainment or social media and report on the experience in a one page essay.

 



- Local and Foreign Relations in a Digital World

Lectures:

Producing Local Knowledge in a Digital Global Age

A Global Community?

 

READINGS:  YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANY OF THESE READINGS.  I HAVE LEFT THEM POSTED FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE INTERESETED AND WOULD LIKET TO LOOK AT THEM.  BUT THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED.

 ASSIGNMENT: 

icklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, A Future Perfect:  The Challenge and Promise of Globalization, ch. 6, "The Five Myths of Globalizataion," pp. 97-118; and ch. 14, "The Enemies Gather," 267-288. A Future Perfect

Matthew M. Aid, The CIA's New Black Bag Is Digital, Foreign Policy, July 17, 2013

 

Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman, To hunt Osama bin Laden, satellites watched over Abbottabad, Pakistan, and Navy SEALs,” The Washington Post, 29 August 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/to-hunt-osama-bin-laden-satellites-watched-over-abbottabad-pakistan-and-navy-seals/2013/08/29/8d32c1d6-10d5-11e3-b4cb-fd7ce041d814_story.html?wpisrc=al_national

 

Barton Gellman and Ellen Nakashima, “U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show,” The Washington Post, 30 August 2013.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-spy-agencies-mounted-231-offensive-cyber-operations-in-2011-documents-show/2013/08/30/d090a6ae-119e-11e3-b4cb-fd7ce041d814_story.html

 

Daniel W. Drezner, Henry Farrell. “Web of Influence,” Foreign Policy
Web of influence  [NOTE:  This PDF is downloading correctly]

21st Century Stagecraft 21st Century Stagecraft

"Digital Diplomacy," Jesse Lichtenstein Digital Diplomacy

 

Assignment:  "Senses of Place" Exercise 

 

READINGS

John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, A Future Perfect:  The Challenge and Promise of Globalization, ch. 6, "The Five Myths of Globalizataion," pp. 97-118; and ch. 14, "The Enemies Gather," 267-288. A Future Perfect

Matthew M. Aid, The CIA's New Black Bag Is Digital, Foreign Policy, July 17, 2013

 

Craig Whitlock and Barton Gellman, “To hunt Osama bin Laden, satellites watched over Abbottabad, Pakistan, and Navy SEALs,” The Washington Post, 29 August 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/to-hunt-osama-bin-laden-satellites-watched-over-abbottabad-pakistan-and-navy-seals/2013/08/29/8d32c1d6-10d5-11e3-b4cb-fd7ce041d814_story.html?wpisrc=al_national

 

Barton Gellman and Ellen Nakashima, “U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show,” The Washington Post, 30 August 2013.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-spy-agencies-mounted-231-offensive-cyber-operations-in-2011-documents-show/2013/08/30/d090a6ae-119e-11e3-b4cb-fd7ce041d814_story.html

 

Daniel W. Drezner, Henry Farrell. “Web of Influence,” Foreign Policy
Web of influence  [NOTE:  This PDF is downloading correctly]

21st Century Stagecraft 21st Century Stagecraft

"Digital Diplomacy," Jesse Lichtenstein Digital Diplomacy

 

Assignment:  "Senses of Place" Exercise 



- My Journal