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 and Chapter 1

Week 6: Connection

Feb 26: Community in SL
Read I, Avatar, pgs 40 - 53 (Fur vs. Gor, Virtual Wars, Rituals and Archetypes, The Dive, On
   Drinking Virtual Wine

Feb 28: Virtual Community – Public Spaces Online
Read Malaby, Making Virtual Worlds: Introduction
Read: Mulgan, Connexity, Chapter 1
Web recommendation: Interview with Cyberanthropologist Tom Boellstorff

* Review Paper 2 due

Week 7: Midterm Exam Week
Mar 7: The Deep Web – Privacy Online
Read, European Union Privacy Law, TBA
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 4a: Institutions Online - Cyberpolitics and Internet Governance

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

Read Declaration of Cyberspace Independence and An Open Letter From Internet Engineers to
   the Senate Judiciary Committee

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
Web recommendation: Jordan, Cyberpower, Chp 7

Mar 21: Cyberwarfare

Read Website: Cyberwar and Netwar: New Modes, Old Concepts, of Conflict, 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)
Listen to Story: Are 'Stuxnet' Worm Attacks Cyberwarfare?

* Review paper 3 due

Week 9: Cybercrime

Mar 26: 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

Mar 28:
Combining the Virtual and the Real
Read Rosenfeld, Rethinking Cyberwar

* Blog Post 3 due

Topic 4b: Institutions Online - Virtual Economies

Week 10: Are YOU The Product?
Apr 2: Virtual Capital
Read Malaby, Making Virtual Worlds: Chp 1, The Product

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

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

Apr 9:
Are You A Gadget?
Read Lanier, You Are Not A Gadget, Chp 1

Apr 11: Do You Own the Future?
Read Lanier, Who Owns the Future?, Chp 1

* Blog Post 4 due

Topic 4c: Institutions Online - Religion

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

Read: Erik Davis's "Techgnosis", Chapter 6: "A Most Enchanting Machine"
Listen to Electrons to Enlightenment: The NeoPagans

Apr 18: Research on Online Religion
Read: CyberFaith: How Americans Pursue Religion Online

Topic 4d: Institutions Online - Education

Week 13: #OnlineEducation
Apr 23: Education Online
Read: Clifford Stoll, High-Tech Heretic
Read Website article: "Technology Literacy: Four Guiding Principles for Educators and Parents"

Apr 25: Education using Computers
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 4 due

Epilogue: The Future of Cyberculture

Week 14: The Dark Web and the Singularity
Apr 30: Cynicism
Watch: Alan Pearce, TEDxBrighton, The Dark [Deep] Net
Watch: Digital Download: Your Brain on Technology

May 2: 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.
Read the story "‘Turning Into Gods’ – Jason Silva’s Documentary on the Singularity" and watch BOTH Vimeo videos (~15 min total) in that article.

Week 15: Final Exam TBA