All readings and activities should be completed prior to the class meeting under which they are listed. Quizzes will take place and papers will be due at the beginning of lecture. Blog posts should be completed before your discussion section on the assigned week.

All readings are available below, either as PDFs for you to download or as links to elsewhere on the web. There are no books for you to buy— everything is available free online. Check the course blog regularly for the most up-to-date information on readings and assignments and to keep up with the latest blog posts.


Tues 9.6: What is the Internet?

Section: 9.6/9.7: Course and assignment introductions

Thurs 9.8: Early Internetworking

–       Janet Abbate, “Cold War and White Heat: The Origins and Meanings of Packet Switching,” from Inventing the Internet

–       David Bell, “Storying Cyberspace: Material and Symbolic Stories,” from Introduction to Cybercultures

Tues 9.13: The Emergence of the Web

–       Tim Berners-Lee, “Enquire Within Upon Everything” and “Tangles, Links, and Webs,” from Weaving the Web

Section: 9.13/9.14: Digital networking and the social shaping of technology; assign practicum projects

–      Blog 1: Set up your account and post an introduction of yourself, with a picture!

–      Blog 2: Watch and react to this video about internet history and technology— make sure to include any technical questions you still have

Thurs 9.15: The Era

–       John Cassidy, “Prologue” and “Irrational Exuberance,” from Dot.con

–       Megan Sapnar Ankerson, “Web Industries, Economies, Aesthetics: Mapping the Look of the Web in the Dot-com Era

Tues 9.20: Web 2.0

–       Tim O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0? Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software

–       Josh Green & Henry Jenkins, “The Moral Economy of Web 2.0: Audience Research and Convergence Culture

Section: 9.20/9.21: Web 2.0, participation, and amateurism

Thurs 9.22: Software and Interfaces

– QUIZ 1

–       Steven Johnson, “The Desktop,” from Interface Culture

–       Lev Manovich, “The Interface,” from The Language of New Media

Tues 9.27: Discursive Construction

–       Alice Marwick, “To Catch a Predator? The MySpace Moral Panic

–       Jean Burgess & Josh Green, “YouTube and the Mainstream Media” (pp 17-21), from YouTube

Section: 9.27/9.28: Discourses and representations of the internet; assign paper

–       Blog 3: Try out some technopanics for yourself! Pick one and write about it: look at 15 random MySpace profiles, watch an i-dosing video, or spend some time on Chatroulette


Thurs 9.29: Identity

–       Lisa Nakamura, “Race In/For Cyberspace: Identity Tourism and Racial Passing on the Internet

–       Nancy Baym, “Identity” (pp 105-119), from Personal Connections in the Digital Age

Tues 10.4: Community

–       Nessim Watson, “Why We Argue about Virtual Community: A Case Study of the Fan Community

–       Constance Steinkuehler & Dmitri Williams, “Where Everybody Knows Your (Screen)Name: Online Games as ‘Third Places’

Section: 10.4/10.5: Online Communities presentations

Thurs 10.6: Social Networking

–       danah boyd, “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life

–       Baym, “The New Shape of Community Online: The Example of Swedish Independent Music Fandom

Tues 10.11: Bodies and Disability

– QUIZ 2

–      Gerard Goggin & Christopher Newell, “Blind Spots on the Internet,” from Digital Disability

–      Liz Ellcessor, “Partici-bility: The Rhetoric and Realities of Participatory Culture and Disability Online

Section: 10.11/10.12: Identity and Social Networking presentations

Thurs 10.13: Gender and Gaming (guest lecture by Kyra Hunting)

–       TL Taylor, “Where the Women Are,” from Play Between Worlds

Tues 10.18: Space and Geography

–       William Mitchell, “Recombinant Architecture,” from City of Bits

–       Lee Humphreys, “Mobile Social Networks and Urban Public Space

Section: 10.18/10.19: Mobile internet use and virtual/physical space

Thurs 10.20: Mobility


–       Mimi Ito, et al, “Portable Objects in Three Global Cities: The Personalization of Urban Places

–       Goggin, “Adapting the Mobile Phone: The iPhone and its Consumption


Tues 10.25: Activism

–      Evgeny Morozov, “How Dictators Watch Us on the Web

–       Clay Shirky, “The Net Advantage

–       Jesse Lichtenstein, “Did Twitter Make Them Do It?: The Battle over Social Media Revolutions

Section: 10.25/10.26: The internet and democracy

Thurs 10.27: Democracy

–       Zizi Papacharissi, “The Virtual Sphere 2.0: The Internet, the Public Sphere, and Beyond

–       Yochai Benkler, “Critiques of the Claims that the Internet has Democratizing Effects” and “Toward a Networked Public Sphere,” from The Wealth of Networks

Tues 11.1: Digital Divides

–       Eszter Hargittai, “Digital Na(t)ives? Variations in Internet Skills and Uses among Members of the ‘Net Generation’

–       Henry Jenkins, et al, “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” (pp 12-21)

Section: 11.1/11.2: Internet Users presentations

Thurs 11.3: Net Neutrality

– QUIZ 3

–       Tim Wu, “Network Neutrality FAQ

–       Lessig, “Commons on the Wires,” from The Future of Ideas

Tues 11.8: Privacy

–       boyd & Marwick, “Social Privacy in Networked Publics: Teens’ Attitudes, Practices, and Strategies

–       Joseph Turow, “The Internet as a Test Bed,” from Niche Envy

Section: 11.8/11.9: Privacy and publicity

– Blog 4: Google yourself and write about what you find (and don’t find)

Thurs 11.10: Intellectual Property

–       Tarleton Gillespie, “The Copyright Balance and the Weight of DRM,” from Wired Shut

Tues 11.15: Regulation and Governance

–       Lawrence Lessig, “Regulating Code” and “Regulating by Code,” from Code

–       Milton Mueller, “A Battle for the Soul of the Internet,” from Networks and States

Section: 11.15/11.16: Copyright, fair use, and free culture

– Blog 5: Write about how you experience content online— do you pay attention to copyrights or other regulations?

Thurs 11.17: Freedom

–       Lessig, “‘Free,’” from The Future of Ideas

–       Gillespie, “The Politics of ‘Platforms’


Tues 11.22: Participatory Culture

–       Pierre Levy, “Collective Intelligence,” from Collective Intelligence

–       Jenkins, et al, “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century” (pp 1-11)

Section: 11.22/11.23: Social Production presentations

– Blog 6: Compare and contrast one YouTube video and one Hulu video

Thurs 11.24: Go eat turkey!

Tues 11.29: Remix and Remediation

–       Jay David Bolter & Richard Grusin, “Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation” (pp 44-50), from Remediation

–       Lessig, “RW: Revived,” from Remix

Section: 11.29/11.30: Interactive Media presentations

Thurs 12.1: Web Comedy (guest lecture by Evan Elkins)

– QUIZ 4           

–       Nick Marx, “‘The Missing Link Moment:’ Web Comedy in New Media Industries

–       Aymar Jean Christian, “The Past and Future Market for Web Comedy”

Tues 12.6: Peer Production

–       Benkler, “A Moment of Opportunity and Challenge,” from The Wealth of Networks

–       Jonathan Zittrain, “The Lessons of Wikipedia,” from The Future of the Internet

Section: 12.6/12.7: Ubiquitous computing and networked futures

– Blog 7: Keep track of every computerized thing you use in an evening

… and Beyond

Thurs 12.8: Networked Futures

–       Mark Weiser, “The Computer for the 21st Century

Tues 12.13: Sustainability

–       Elizabeth Grossman, “The Underside of High Tech,” from High Tech Trash

–       EPA, “Where Can I Donate or Recycle My Old Computer and Other Electronic Products?”

Section: 12.13/12.14: Final Review

Thurs 12.15: The Web Showcase!!


Sat 12.17, 12:25-2:25 pm [location TBA]: FINAL EXAM

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