|Instructors||Prof. Malte Ziewitz, TA Jeffrey Mathias|
|Location||McGraw Hall 165|
|Cross-listed as||INFO 3561, VISST 3560, COMM 3560, ANTH 3061|
Computers are powerful tools for working, playing, thinking, and living. Laptops, PDAs, webcams, cell phones, and iPods surround us. They are not just devices. They also provide narratives, metaphors, and ways of seeing the world. Computers have a long history in the workplace but, in the last 20 years, they have also become inextricably bound up in all aspects of our everyday lives. This generation of college students is the first for whom instant messaging, mobile phones, and on-line networking are a normal and an essential part of social life. How are the lives of people in the United States and elsewhere changing, for better and for worse, with these technologies? What cultural trends and political forces do they embody? And how could we design, engage, use, or not use them in ways that improve our lives and our societies?
In this course, we critically examine how computing technology and culture shape each other. We identify how computers, networks, and information technologies reproduce, reinforce, and rework historical trends, norms, and values. We look at the values embodied in the cultures of computing and consider alternative ways to imagine, build, and work with information technologies.