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 film. Readings 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%
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).