STS 316: Investigating Cyberculture Spring 2017 Course Schedule
(tentative and subject to change)

Topic 1: History of the Internet and Computerization in the '90s: the Popularization of Computer Communications

Week 1: Cyber-

Jan 17: Introduction to Cyberculture
Read Syllabus; Get Book

Online: The History of the Internet
Discuss the following readings:
Read: Castells, The Internet Galaxy, Chp 1
A Brief History of the Internet (

Week 2: -Culture
Jan 24: The Culture of the Internet
Read: Castells, The Internet Galaxy, Chp 2

Online: The Culture of the Internet
Read: Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Chp 1

Topic 2: Self and Identity in Virtual Reality
Week 3: Are We Ourselves Online?
Jan 31: Self and Identity Online
Read Turkle, Identity Crisis (The Second Self, Chp 10)
Read Weinberger, Small Pieces Loosely Joined, Chapter 1 
         (available online here: Preface, Chapter 1,  recommended Chapter 2)
*Review paper 1 due Thurs (see review paper guidelines)

Online: Self and Identity in SL
Read I, Avatar, pgs 1-23 (Introduction and Pts 1-4 of "What It Is")

Week 4: Social Media

Feb 7: Self and Identity Online
Watch: TedX, Allison Graham, How social media makes us unsocial
Watch: Business Insider, How Social Media Is Rewiring Our Brains
Web recommendation: Reymers, Identity and the Internet

Online: Self and Identity in SL
Read I, Avatar, pgs 24-39 (on Virtuality, Diving In, Roles and Rules, Masks)
Read Baldwin, What Can a Second Life Teach Me about Me?: Writing Our Identity in Second Life

Topic 3: Virtual Community
Week 5: What are Virtual Communities?
Feb 14: Virtual Communities
Read Rheingold (1993), The Virtual Community, Intro and Chapter 1
* Review Paper 2 due Thurs Feb 16

Online:  Community in SL
Read I, Avatar, pgs 40 - 53 (Fur vs. Gor, Virtual Wars, Rituals and Archetypes, The Dive, On Drinking Virtual Wine)

Week 6: Connection

Feb 21: Virtual Community – Public Spaces Online
Read Malaby, Making Virtual Worlds: Introduction
Read: Mulgan, Connexity, Chapter 1
Web recommendation: Reymers (2004) Communitarianism on the Internet, Chps 1 & 2

Online: The Deep Web – Privacy Online
Watch Alex Winter, TEDxMidAtlantic, The Dark Net isn't what you think
Watch Jacob Appelbaum, TEDxFlanders, The Tor Project, protecting online anonymity

Week 7: Second Life
Feb 28: I, Avatar / Review for Exam
Read I, Avatar p. 54-79 (The Night of the Dance, The Morning After, Virtual Work, The Suits Cometh, How Avatars Effect the Real World, A Few Notes on Griefing and Mortality)
Web recommendation: Interview with Cyberanthropologist Tom Boellstorff

Online: *** MIDTERM EXAM

SPRING BREAK: March 6 - 16

Topic 4a: Institutions Online - Cyberpolitics and Internet Governance
Week 9: Freedom versus Security: the Politics of the Web
Mar 21: Internet Governance, Power and Privacy
Read Declaration of Cyberspace Independence
Read Information Week, Who Is Anonymous: 10 Key Facts (2012)
Read New York Times, Dec 29, 2016, How Russia Recruited Elite Hackers for Its Cyberwar
* Review paper 3 due Thurs March 16

Online: Cyberwarfare

Watch: Confessions of a Cyber Spy Hunter: Eric Winsborrow at TEDxVancouver
Read Cyberwar is Coming! by Arquilla and Ronfeldt for RAND Corporation
Read the Executive Summary of Review of the Unauthorized Disclosures of Former National Security Agency Contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. House of Representatives (Sept 15, 2016)
Watch: Edward Snowden Interview, Katie Couric, ABC News (Dec 6, 2016)

Week 10: Cybercrime
Mar 28: Crime and Ethics Online
Read FBI Futures Working Group Cybercrime Report
Read Allmer, The Internet & Surveillance
Web recommendation: Reymers (2011), Chicken Killers or Bandwidth Patriots: A Case Study of Ethics in Virtual Reality

Combining the Virtual and the Real
Read Rosenfeld, Rethinking Cyberwar
Read I, Avatar p. 80 - 91 (Gunid's Babies to Sticks and Stones)

Topic 4b: Institutions Online - Virtual Economies
Week 11: You Are The Product
Apr 4: Virtual Capital
Read Malaby, Making Virtual Worlds: Chp 1, The Product
* Review paper 4a due Thurs March 30 (or)

Online: Virtual Political Economies
Read I, Avatar p.92-105 (Car is Avatar is Prosthetic to Celebrities and Millions of Us)
Read Dibbel, New York Times, The Life of a Chinese Gold Farmer

Week 12: “Whoever Controls Technology, Controls the World” – Lex Luthor

Apr 11:
Are You A Gadget?
Read Lanier, You Are Not A Gadget, Chp 2

Online: Do You Own the Future?
Read Lanier, Who Owns the Future?, Chp 1

Topic 4c: Institutions Online - Education Online
Week 13: #OnlineEducation
Apr 25: Education Online
Read: Clifford Stoll, High-Tech Heretic
Read Website article: "Technology Literacy: Four Guiding Principles for Educators and Parents"
* Review paper 4c due

Online: Education using Computers
Read Website article: "Computers in Education: A Review of Arguments for the Use of Computers in Elementary Education," Valdemar W. Setzer (2000), in the Southern Cross Review, Issue 4.

Epilogue: The Future of Cyberculture
Week 14: The Dark Web and the Singularity
Apr 25: Cynicism

Read: War of the Worlds, Chp 1, Slouka
Watch: Alan Pearce, TEDxBrighton, The Dark [Deep] Net
Read Lanier, You Are Not A Gadget, Chp 2

Online: Hope
Read the story "A Short Documentary About the Future of the Web" and watch the 15 min Vimeo video at the end of the article ("Web 3.0" here).
Read the story "‘Turning Into Gods’ – Jason Silva’s Documentary on the Singularity" and watch BOTH the following Vimeo videos (~15 min total) from that article:
The Immortalists
Jason Silva on Singularity and Omega Point

Week 15
May 2: Final Exam on Blackboard

The final exam for the course will be on Blackboard. I will post the exam on Tuesday, May 2, 9am and you will have until Thursday, May 4, 9pm to take the exam. You will be tested only on the topics since  the midterm exam. To prepare, review the assigned readings, the "textbook," the notes, and review the discussions and blogs for a comprehensive review of the topics we have covered.