Details about weekly topics and readings can be found in the dropdown links or the menu to the right. Below is an overview of the schedule.


Week 1: Internets That Weren’t

Aug 30       Lecture: England’s Victorian Internet, France’s Minitel, and the Soviet Internyet

                     Discussion: How did you use the Internet today?

Sept 4        Optional screening of Dr. Strangelove, dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1964.


Sept 6         NO CLASS, Labor Day

Sept 10      Assignment 1: Representation: Before the Internet

Sept 13      Reading: Mailland and Driscoll, 1–72

                     Lecture: The Culture of and around ARPANET, or How No Technology Is Neutral

                     Discussion: The culture and services of Minitel

Sept 17      Optional screening of WarGames, dir. John Badham, 1983.

Week 3: Bulletin Board Systems

Sept 20      Reading: Mailland and Driscoll, 73–128

                     Lecture: Afronet and the Digital Divide

                     Discussion: Minitel vs. BBSs

Sept 24      Assignment 2: Production: Minitel Services

Week 4: World Wide Web

Sept 27      Reading: Mailland and Driscoll, 129–156

                     Lecture: Hypermedia and the World Wide Web

                     Discussion: Minitel vs. WWW, Wikiracing

Oct 1           Optional screening of Ghost in the Shell, dir. Mamoru Oshii, 1995.

Oct 1           Final project topic

Week 5: Navigation

Oct 4           Reading: Borges, “The Library of Babel”; Gleick, “After the Flood” (Blackboard)

                     Lecture: Browsers, Portals, Search

                     Discussion: Micropayments vs. Advertising

Oct 8           Assignment 3: Consumption: Lost Sites and Web Design Comparison

Week 6: Hacking

Oct 11        Reading: “NSA Files: Decoded,” Guardian, November 1, 2013

                     Lecture: Encryption, Cybersecurity, and Threat Actors

                     Discussion: Multimedia journalism as example for final project

Oct 15        Optional screening of Citizenfour, dir. Laura Poitras, 2014.

Week 7: Social Media

Oct 18        Reading: Lockwood, 1–50

                     Lecture: Friends, Feeds, and the Hidden Work of Content Moderation

                     Discussion: Algorithmic feeds

Week 8: Streaming

Oct 25        Reading: Lockwood, 51–114

                     Lecture: From Jennycam to Zoom

Oct 29        Optional screening of Life in a Day, dir. Kevin Macdonald et al., 2011.

Oct 29        Assignment 4: Regulation: Encryption, Paywalls, and Takedowns

Week 9: Logistics

Nov 1         Reading: Lockwood, 115–208

                    Lecture: E-commerce and the Question of Free Labor

Nov 5         Final project annotated bibliography

Week 10: Blockchain

Nov 8         Reading: Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”; Iansiti and Lakhani, “The Truth about Blockchain”

                    Lecture: Peer-to-Peer Networks, from Pirated Music to Blockchain

                    Discussion: Steal this wallet

Nov 12      Assignment 5: Identity: Archaeology of an NFT

Week 11: Future Directions

Nov 15      Reading: Asimov, “The Last Question”; Dick, “Autofac”

                    Lecture: Internet for Machines: The Semantic Web and the Internet of Things

                    Discussion: Images of the connected future, past and present

Nov 19      Screening: Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, dir. Werner Herzog, 2016.

Nov 22      NO CLASS, Thanksgiving break

Week 12: Presentations

Nov 29 Final presentations

Week 13: Presentations

Dec 6 Final presentations

Dec 8 Final webpage due