STS 316: Investigating Cyberculture Spring 2019 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: Defining Cyber-
Jan 22: Introduction to Cyberculture
Read Syllabus; Get Book

Jan 24
: The History of the Internet
Be prepared to discuss the following readings:
Read: Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Introduction
Read: A Brief History of the Internet (

Week 2: Connecting -Culture

Jan 31: No Class

Feb 2: The History of the Internet
Read: Castells, The Internet Galaxy, Chp. 1
Read: Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Chapter 1

Topic 2: Self and Identity in Virtual Reality

Week 3: 'Net Culture
Feb 5: The Culture of the Internet
Read: Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, Chapter 2
Read: Castells, The Internet Galaxy, Chp. 2

Feb 7: Self and Identity Online and Off
Read Weinberger, Small Pieces Loosely Joined, Chapter 1
         (available online here: Preface, Chapter 1,  recommended Chapter 2)

Week 4: Social Media


Feb 14: Self and Identity Online and Off
Read: Turkle, Life on the Screen (1998), Chp 10 Identity Crisis
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
*Review paper 1 due (see review paper guidelines)

Topic 3: Virtual Community

Week 5: What are Virtual Communities?
Feb 19: Self and Identity in Virtual Reality
Read I, Avatar, pgs 10-39 (on The WELL, What It Is Pts 1-4, Diving In, Roles and Rules, & Masks)
Read: What Can a Second Life Teach Me about Me?: Writing Our Identity in Second Life
* Blog Post 1 due

Feb 21: Virtual Communities
Read Rheingold (1993), The Virtual Community, Intro

Week 6: Connection

Feb 26: Community in SL
Read Rheingold (1993), The Virtual Community, Chapter 1
Read Mulgan, Connexity, Chapter 1

Feb 28: Virtual Community – Public Spaces Online
Read I, Avatar, pgs 40 - 53 (Fur vs. Gor, Virtual Wars, Rituals and Archetypes, The Dive, On
   Drinking Virtual Wine
Recommended Reading Malaby, Making Virtual Worlds: Introduction
Recommended Reading Interview with Cyberanthropologist Tom Boellstorff

* Review Paper 2 due

Week 7: Midterm Exam Week
Mar 5: *** MIDTERM EXAM -- Midterm Review Sheet

Mar 7: 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

* Blog Post 2 due

SPRING BREAK: March 11 - 15

Topic 3a: Institutions Online - Cyberpolitics and Internet Governance

Week 8: Freedom versus Security: the Politics of the Web
Mar 19: Internet Governance, Power and Privacy

Read Barlow, Declaration of Cyberspace Independence
Read New York Times, Dec 29, 2016, How Russia Recruited Elite Hackers for Its Cyberwar
Watch TEDx video Confessions of a Cyber Spy Hunter, feat. Eric Winsborrow

Mar 21: Cyberwarfare
Read: U.S. House Intelligence Committee Report on Edward Snowden (click for PDF; read Executive Summary pages 1-4)
Watch: Amy Zegart, TEDx, Cyberwar
Watch: Edward Snowden Interview, Katie Couric, ABC News (Dec 6, 2016)
Recommended video: Cyberdeterrence and Cyberwar - Congressional Hearings, from RAND Corporation

Week 9: Cybercrime
Mar 26: Crime and Hacking Online
Watch Digits: Guardians of the Web (2017)

Mar 28:
Combining the Virtual and the Real
Read Cybercrime and Economic Effects - Utica College Institute (2000)
Read McGuire, Into the Web of Profit: Tracking the Proceeds of Cybercrime (Powerpoint, 2018)
Web recommendation: Reymers (2011), Chicken Killers or Bandwidth Patriots: A Case Study of Ethics in Virtual Reality

* Review paper 3a due
Fri Mar 29

Topic 3b: Institutions Online - Virtual Economies

Week 10: Virtual Capital
Apr 2: Virtual Capital
Read Meadows, I, Avatar, p.60-71 (Virtual Work, The Suits Cometh, How Avatars Affect the Real World)

Apr 4: Virtual Political Economies
Read Dibbel, New York Times, The Life of a Chinese Gold Farmer

* Blog Post 3 due
Fri Apr 5

Week 11: “Whoever Controls Technology, Controls the World” – Lex Luthor

Apr 9: Jared Lanier asks, Are You A Gadget?
Read Lanier, Who Owns the Future?, Chp 1
Read Lanier, You Are Not A Gadget, Chp 2

Apr 11: Cryptocurrency
Watch Bitcoin Cryptocurrency for Beginners (Shameless Maya, 2017)
Read The Guardian, 2018, Cryptocurrencies have a mysterious allure – but are they just a fad?

* Review paper 3b due Fri Apr 12

Topic 4c: Institutions Online - Religion

Week 12: The Spiritual Web
Apr 16: Religiosity and Technology: Ecstatic Intersections

Watch: Teresa Berger, Religion on the Internet (TedX, Yale)
Read: Erik Davis's "Techgnosis", Chapter 6: "A Most Enchanting Machine"

Apr 18: Research on Online Religion
Listen to Electrons to Enlightenment: The NeoPagans

* Review paper 3c due Friday Apr 19

* Blog Post 4 due
Friday Apr 19

Topic 4d: Institutions Online - Education

Week 13: Education Online 
Apr 23: Designs for Online Learning
Watch: Niema Moshiri , TEDxUCSD, The Era of Online Learning
Read Website article: "Technology Literacy: Four Guiding Principles for Educators and Parents

Apr 25: Computers and Childhood Ed
Watch: How Real is Fake News? TedX
Read Website article: "Computers in Education: A Review of Arguments for the Use of 
Computers in Elementary Education
," Setzer (2000), in the Southern Cross Review, Issue 4

* Review paper 3d due Friday Apr 26

Epilogue: The Future of Cyberculture

Week 14: The Future
Apr 30: Race, Gender and Cyberculture
Read: Anthony Walton, The Atlantic, Technology versus African Americans
Watch: Anita Sarkeesian, on Tropes and Women in Video Games
Recommended: Andre Brock, Harvard Law School address, “My Constellation is Space”: Towards a Theory of Black Cyberculture (first 20 minutes)

May 2: Future of Cyberculture
Watch: The Internet in Society: Empowering or Censoring Citizens?, RSA Animate, 2011
Watch: In the Future We Will Wear the Internet, Michio Kaku, Big Think, 2011
Watch: The Future of the Internet of Things, Trae Vasallo, Stanford Univ., 2015

Week 15: Final Exam
Tuesday, May 7, 1:20pm - 3:50pm, Crawford 112