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ATEC/EMAC 2322: Intro to Electronic and Digital Communication Fall 2010 [DRAFT – Subject to Revision]

Course Information

Meets: MW 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm Location: FO 2.604

Contact Information

Instructor: Kim Knight Email (preferred method of contact): kim.knight@utdallas.edu Phone: TBA Office Hours: Mon 2pm – 3pm, Wed 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm, and by appointment Office: TBA

Please be aware that I respond to most email messages within 24 hours Monday - Friday. If you send me an email and I do not respond during this timeframe, chances are that I did not receive it. It is your responsibility to re-send the email or to contact me another way.

Course website: http://kimknight.com Twitter and Delicious tag: ATEC2322

Course Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and/or Other Restrictions


Course Description

The Internet: We use it for research, communication, play, and a variety of other purposes. Early enthusiasts declared that it would change the world – leveling inequality and revolutionizing business. Though inequalities persist, business models continue to develop, and we struggle to even define what we mean by “the world,” it is probably safe to say that the Internet does have a major impact on our lives. Our project in this course is to critically evaluate the type and extent of the social changes that arise from the Internet. We will consider shifting paradigms of community, information access/ownership/distribution, political engagement, creativity, etc.

Course Goals

The goal of this course, which is one of the foundations of the major in Emerging Media and Communication, is to become active, engaged producers of today’s media and technology, as well as to prepare you for critical engagement with what comes

tomorrow. In addition, this course will introduce electronic and digital research methods for emerging media and communications.

Required Textbooks and Materials

Massanari, Adriane and David Silver, eds. Critical Cyberculture Studies. Various online readings and articles.

You will also need the following: an email account which is checked frequently, a Twitter account, a delicious account, a Wordpress or Blogspot blog.

Suggested Materials


Course Policies

Attendance: Some of the most valuable take-away from this course will come out of our class discussions. Your participation is necessary for our success. It is important that you come to every class prepared and on time. To be “prepared” means that you have thoughtfully engaged with the reading and are prepared to discuss it in class. Bring questions, comments, observations, disagreements, examples, etc.

Because your presence in class is important, more than three absences will affect your grade and in most cases, five or more absences will result in a failing grade. If you need to miss class for religious reasons, please speak to me ahead of time. Absences for religious purposes do not count against the permitted number (as long as prior notification is given). Lateness is also unacceptable; if you arrive late to class you will be marked as absent. Leaving early also counts as an absence. In addition, please try to be as fully present and engaged as possible – silence cell phones, don’t send or receive texts or emails, etc. Excessive distraction may be counted as an absence.

Online Etiquette: Our many online assignments will require vigilance to ensure that we are always preserving an atmosphere of mutual respect. Disagreements may arise and consensus may not be possible. We can, however, respect each person’s right to an opinion. Name calling or menacing behavior will not be tolerated.

Online Due Dates: All online assignments are due by 11:59pm on the date listed, unless otherwise noted.

Late work: Late assignments will not be accepted.

Academic Honesty: From the UT-D Handbook of Operating Procedures: “The university expects from its students a high level of responsibility with respect to academic honesty. Because the value of an academic degree depends on the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student maintain a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work. The dean may initiate

disciplinary proceedings under subchapter C against a student accused of scholastic dishonesty upon complaint by a faculty member or a student.” (http://www.utdallas.edu/dept/graddean/gsPolDishonesty.htm)

Plagiarism will result in a failing grade on the plagiarized assignment and possible disciplinary action by the university. If you have any questions regarding the proper use

of outside sources or the distinction between sampling and plagiarism, I encourage you

to meet with me.

University Policies: Please visit http://go.utdallas.edu/syllabus-policies for the University’s policies regarding all courses.

Course Requirements and Grading Policy

Grading Scale:

A Range:

B Range:

C Range:

D Range:

F: Failing








94% to 100%

B+ 87 – 89% B 83 – 86% B- 90 – 92%

C+ 77 – 79% C 73 – 76% C- 70 – 72%

D+ 67 – 69% D 63 – 66% D- 60 – 62%

F 59% and below

A- 90 – 93%



Participation (10%): Participation includes attendance and participation in discussion, both in class and online (blog, twitter, delicious, etc.) To receive full participation credit, you should visit my office hours at least twice during office before finals week. (Expect

to spend 3 hours a week in class and roughly 2-3 hours a week doing reading for the


Individual Blogs (20%): Each student will be required to develop his/her own online “presence,” the center of which will be a blog. This will serve as a place for weekly

thoughts and writings about the material covered in class, about emerging media, and about our learning group in general. At times I will give you specific writing assignments;

at others your assignment will be more open. (Expect to spend 1 hour each week on


Social Media (20%): In addition to the individual blogs, we will be using more “collaborative” or social media tools, including but not limited to Twitter, social bookmarking, and wikis. Additionally there will several creative projects using digital media throughout the semester

Collaborative Teaching (20%): Students will be divided into groups and be responsible for developing and focusing our inquiry during weeks fourteen through sixteen. You will not be lecturing for two days, but instead providing the basis for class. Each group will

be responsible for one class session and will meet with me prior to the assigned class to focus your effort (this meeting will count as one of your office hours visits). More on this after the first week of class. (Expect to spend 8-10 hours over the course of the semester on this.)

Final Project (30%): Each student will be responsible for producing a final project that reflects upon, builds upon, and engages one of the issues surrounding emerging media which we have covered in class. These can take a variety of forms – a traditional academic paper of 5-6 pages, or a shorter paper 2-3 pages accompanied by a digital project (thoughtfully informed videos, podcasts, websites are all acceptable). You will be allowed to work in groups or individually on these (but you will have to supply a rationale as to why you chose to work the way you did). More on this after the midpoint of class. (Expect to spend 10 hours over the final weeks of class on this.)

General Requirements: You will be most successful in this class if you are able to have an open mind and take a critical approach to our topics. Please note that being “critical” does not necessarily mean being negative, but it does mean that you are willing to question assumptions and explore the implications of the seemingly mundane and minute aspects of contemporary media culture. Openness to experimentation and play and a willingness to try and fail are critical to the study of emerging media. In short, in this class we will be enacting some of the very changes we are studying – collaborative learning, alternative models of scholarship, etc.

Academic Calendar

“CCS” indicates that a reading is available in the Critical Cyberculture Studies reader.

Introduction and Taking Stock

Course Introduction and Early Predictions Monday, August 23: Intro and Overview


Syllabus Review

Wired.com, “How to Behave: The New Rules for Highly Evolved Humans”

Wednesday, August 25: Early Predictions

Bush, “As We May Think”


Leary, “The Cyberpunk: The Individual as Reality Pilot” Mississippi Review, Vol. 16, No. 2/3 (1988), pp. 252-265 (Available through JSTOR)

Turing “Computing Machines and Intelligence” http://loebner.net/Prizef/TuringArticle.html

Taking Stock Monday, August 30

Silver, “Where is Internet Studies?” – CCS

Castells, “Why Networks Matter”


Wednesday, September 1:

McLuhan, “The Medium is the Message” –


Sterne, “The Historiography of Cyberculture”- CCS Friday, September 3:

Last day to drop without a “W”.

The State of Information

Finding and Sharing Information Monday, September 6: Holiday

Wednesday, September 8:

O’Reilly, “What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation” http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html

Carr, “Is Google Making us Stupid?”



Cascio, “Get Smarter” http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/07/get-


Monday, September 13

Lanier, “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism”


Levy, “Collective Intelligence” - .pdf available soon

Wednesday, September 15:

BBC “The Great Levelling?” (video)

Weinberger, “The New Order of Order” from Everything is Miscellaneous.



Monday, September 20

“Social Bookmarking in Plain English” (video) http://www.commoncraft.com/bookmarking-plain-english

An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube:


Poe, “The Hive” http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/09/the-


Information Ownership Wednesday, September 22:

Robinson, “Catching the Waves: Considering Cyberculture, Technoculture, and Electronic Consumption” – CCS

Zittrain, “Part I” from The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it” http://futureoftheinternet.org/download

Monday, September 27

Zittrain, “Part II” from The Future of the Internet and How to Stop it” http://futureoftheinternet.org/download

Ertuna, “Digital Pirates and the Enclosure of the Intellect”



Introduction to Open Sources http://oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/intro.html

Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” http://catb.org/esr/writings/homesteading/cathedral-bazaar/

Learning & Privacy Wednesday, September 29: Shifting Habits of Learning

Rheingold, “Attention Literacy” http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-


Video: “May I Have Your Attention, Please? Linda Stone – SIME 09”


Monday, October 4: Protecting Your Information

Rosen, “The Web Means the End of Forgetting” –


“A Bill of Privacy Rights for Social Network Users” -


“Circumvention Tools” – http://en.flossmanuals.net/CircumventionTools

Networks and Communities

Community Wednesday, October 6:

Elmer, “The Vertical Layered Net” – CCS

Rheingold, “Introduction” from The Virtual Community http://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/intro.html

BBC “Homo Interneticus” (video)

Monday, October 11

Gotved, “The Construction of Cybersocial Reality” – CCS

Boyd, “Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics

in Teenage Social Life” http://www.danah.org/papers/WhyYouthHeart.pdf

Identity Wednesday, October 13:

Nakamura, “Cultural Difference, Theory, and CCS: A Case of Mutual Repulsion” - CCS

Nakamura, “Race and Identity in Digital Media” http://sites.google.com/site/theresearchsiteforlisanakamura/ Monday, October 18:

O’Riordan, “Gender, Technology ,and Visual Cyberculture: Virtually Women” – CCS

Schaap, “Disaggregation, Technology, and Masculinity: Elements of Internet Research” – CCS

Politics and Activism Wednesday, October 20:

Sandvig “The Structural Problems of the Internet for Cultural Policy” – CCS

Poster, “Cyberdemocracy” http://www.hnet.uci.edu/mposter/writings/democ.html

Critical Art Ensemble, “Nomadic Power and Cultural Resistance” http://www.critical-art.net/books/ted/

BBC, “The Enemy of the State?” (video)

Monday, October 25:

Siler, Marwick “Internet Studies in Times of Terror” – CCS

Pilkington, “New York Man Accused of Using Twitter to Direct Protestors during G20 Summit” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/04/man-arrested-twitter-


“Heartbreaking Images from the Iran Green Revolution” (video)


Work, Creativity, and Play

Work and Commerce Wednesday, October 27: Labor

Scholz, “What the MySpace Generation Should Know about Working for Free”


Terranova, “Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy” http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/technocapitalism/voluntary

Barbrook and Cameron “The Californian Ideology” http://www.alamut.com/subj/ideologies/pessimism/califIdeo_I.html Monday, November 1: Commerce

BBC, “The Cost of Free” (video)

Chris Anderson, “Free! Why $0.00 is the Future of Business”


Malcolm Gladwell, “Priced to Sell”



Redefining Creativity Wednesday, November 3

A Million Penguins, a wikinovel http://www.amillionpenguins.com/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

Howard Rheingold on Collaboration (video) http://www.ted.com/talks/howard_rheingold_on_collaboration.html

Hardin, “Tragedy of the Commons” http://dieoff.org/page95.htm

Monday, November 8:

“About” page of Creative Commons website http://creativecommons.org/about

Lamb, “Dr. Mashup: Or Why Educators Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Mashup” http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Review/EDUCAUSEReviewMagazineVol


Rip: A Remix Manifesto (video)

New Aesthetics Wednesday, November 10

Vesna, Introduction to Database Aesthetics – Google books

Cayley, “The Code is Not the Text”

http://www.electronicbookreview.com/thread/electropoetics/literal Monday, November 15

Norrington, “Transmedia and the Future of Storytelling”



Newman, “Awra Amba Documentary and Transmedia Activism”



Hope, “Allowing A Transmedia Approach To Process”



Play Wednesday, November 17

Aarseth, “How we became Postdigital” – CCS

Galloway, “Game Action: Four Moments” from Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture http://kimknight.com/readings/galloway-gameaction.pdf Monday, November 22

Fruin, Introduction to Expressive Processing


The Economist, “Reality, Improved” http://kimknight.com/readings/economist- realityimproved.pdf

Student Presentations

Wednesday, November 24: Group 1

Monday, November 29: Group 2

Wednesday, December 1: Group 3

Monday: December 6: Group 4

Final Project Due:

Monday, December 13