Schedule of Readings

Week 1: Introduction to Information Theory

August 31

  • Introductions, Course Requirements, and Syllabus

September 2

Week 2: The Victorian Internet

September 7

  • Standage, Tom. The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Centuryʼs On-Line Pioneers. New York: Walker and Co., 1998. Chapters 1 through 5

September 9

  • Standage, Tom. The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Centuryʼs On-Line Pioneers. New York: Walker and Co., 1998, Chapters 6 through 10(skip Chapter 8)

Week 3: Analogue Computing and Business Machines

September 14

September 16

  • Wiener, Norbert. “Men, Machines, and the World About.” The New Media Reader, 1954, 71.
  • Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” The Atlantic Monthly 176, no. 1 (1945): 101–8.
  • Campbell-Kelly, Martin. “Babbage’s Dream Comes True.” In Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Third edition. The Sloan Technology Series. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, A Member of the Perseus Books Group, 2014.

Week 4: Gender and the Digital Computer

September 21

  • Campbell-Kelly, Martin. “Inventing the Computer.” In Computer: A History of the Information Machine, Third edition. The Sloan Technology Series. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, A Member of the Perseus Books Group, 2014.
  • Ensmenger, Nathan. “The Digital Construction of Technology: Rethinking the History of Computers in Society.” Technology and Culture 53, no. 4 (2012): 753–76.

  • Submit three tentative books you hope to review by email in order of preference.

September 23

  • Ensmenger, Nathan. “Making Programming Masculine.” Gender Codes: Why Women Are Leaving Computing, 2010, 115–41.
  • “In Tech, Some Bemoan the Rise of ‘Brogrammer’ Culture.” CNN.

Week 5: Cybernetics

September 28

  • Hayles, Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press, 1999, Chapters 1 and 3

September 30

  • Hayles, Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press, 1999, Chapters 4 and 6

Week 6: Cyberculture and the Computer in Popular Culture

October 5

  • Hayles, Katherine. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago, Ill: University of Chicago Press, 1999, Chapters 9 and 11

October 7

  • Badham, John. WarGames. 1983.

Week 7: Fall Break and Book Reviews

October 11

  • Fall Break

October 14

  • **Each Student will provide a five minute overview of their book. No Questions or Discussions Due.
  • Critical Readings/Book Review Paper Due in Class

Week 8: Hackers

October 19

  • Levy, Steven. Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1984. Read Chapters 1 and 2
  • Stallman, Richard. “Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software.” GNU.

October 21

  • McPherson, Tara. “US Operating System at Mid-Century: The Intertwining of Race and UNIX.” Race after the Internet, 2012, 21–37.
  • Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 2008, Introduction and Chapter 1

Week 9: Computer Games

October 26

  • Frasca, Gonzalo. “Ludologists Love Stories, Too: Notes from a Debate That Never Took Place.” In DIGRA Conf., 2003.
  • Juul, Jesper. “Games Telling Stories.” Game Studies 1, no. 1 (2001): 45.
  • Mäyrä, Frans. “Introduction: What Is Game Studies?” In An Introduction to Game Studies: Games in Culture. London: SAGE, 2008.

October 28

Week 10: Inventing the Internet

November 2

  • Schulte, Stephanie Ricker. Cached: Decoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture. Critical Cultural Communication. New York: New York University Press, 2013. Introduction to the End of Chapter 3

November 4

  • Schulte, Stephanie Ricker. Cached: Decoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture. Critical Cultural Communication. New York: New York University Press, 2013. Finish Book

Week 11: Race and Digital Democracy

November 9

  • Nakamura, Lisa. “Race In/for Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet.” Works and Days 25, no. 26 (1995): 13.
  • Boyd, Danah. “White Flight in Networked Publics?” How Race and Class Shaped American Teen Engagement with Myspace and Facebook.” Race after the Internet. Ed. Lisa Nakamura and Peter A. Chow-White. Routledge, 2013, 203–22.

November 11:

  • Hindman, Matthew Scott. The Myth of Digital Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Read Chapters 1, 2, 3, and 4

Week 12: Activism?

November 16

  • Hindman, Matthew Scott. The Myth of Digital Democracy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009. Read Chapters 5, 6, and 7

November 18

  • Gladwell, Malcolm. “Small Change.” The New Yorker 4, no. 2010 (2010): 42–49.
  • Putnam, Robert D. “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital.” Journal of Democracy 6 (1995): 68.

Week 13: Big Data and the Novel

November 23

  • Sloan, Robin. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, 2013. Read Sections 1 and 2

November 25

  • Sloan, Robin. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, 2013. Finish Book

Week 14: Open Access

November 30

  • Aaron Swartz. “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto.”
  • Wark, McKenzie. “A Hacker Manifesto 4.0.”

December 2

  • Van Dijck, Jose. “Wikipedia and Neutrality Principle.” In The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media.
  • Wu, Tim, and Christopher Yoo. “Keeping the Internet Neutral?: Tim Wu and Christopher Yoo Debate.” Fed. Comm. LJ 59 (2007): 575–615.
  • Watch President Obama’s Speech on Net Neutrality here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKcjQPVwfDk.

Final Paper Due During Exam Time