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This is the project site for the Cultural History of the Internet course at Johns Hopkins University.

A collective project, it takes a critical approach to internet history, considering a wide spectrum of cultural practices involved in web services and apps, while exploring questions of access and algorithmic bias. It takes an interest in not only the common narratives of innovation, extending from the military infrastructure of ARPANET to the nineties dot-com boom to the emerging internet of things, but also the host of dead ends and lost sites, net ephemera, and once thriving web cultures that risk being forgotten.

The course’s guiding framework is the circuit of culture approach developed by du Gay et al. (1997), which emphasizes the role of meaning in the creation of cultural commodities and outlines five interconnected areas for analyzing any cultural object: “how it is represented, what social identities are associated with it, how it is produced and consumed, and what mechanisms regulate its distribution and use” (3). Significantly, it is an approach that developed in the same cultural moment as the internet was coming into everyday life and might itself be seen as an artifact of that moment.

Taught by Kyle Stine.

Circuit of Culture: Twitter 2007-2010

Twitter is an application and website used by most people who own technology and the site helps us to communicate and receive news faster than ever before. Today, Twitter sees about 330 million monthly users which is short of only Facebook. In the early days of Twitter, messages and status updates would come through your

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The Distracted Boyfriend

The Distracted Boyfriend November 2020                The “Distracted Boyfriend” meme became an internet sensation in 2017, with anybody having a social media account probably seeing it at least a few times. It is known as an object labelling meme, where users place different labels on the people in the meme to produce different effects. The

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