Theory and Cyberspace: Culture,
301, Summer 2005 (July 5 - Aug. 4), Tues. - Thurs. 9:00-12:45, A303 Old
31 So. Prospect (Benedict House)
This course will explore intersections between, on
one hand, theories of culture, technology, and society and, on the
that set of cultural and sociological phenomena associated with
colloquially known as "cyberspace." Scholarly work that discusses the
between media, spatial relations, social and legal regulation,
bodies, and society will be explored alongside examples of "cyberspace"
assignment (roughly 50% of
grade) will be a research paper (perhaps 20-25 pages).
Also, every week, you will
turn in a two or three page reflective essay on two or more of
the readings for that week. The essay should make some
central point, argument, or observation -- that is, it should be an
essay, not a list. As a general rule, the essay should discuss at
least one aspect of each reading that pointed out something unique
about the topic in question, and one aspect that pointed out something
general, something shared with the topics of other readings or class
discussions will also count as part of your grade.
[Add Borges library;
my piece for Institute; Computer Power and Human Reason excerpt, other
critiques; bodies earlier]Readings and films: most of
the readings will be
electronic reserve; there will be links from the online version of this
Most of the online readings will require you to provide your UVM "net
id," (i.e., you zoo username and password). I strongly recommend
you print out online readings, which makes them much easier to read and
allows you to bring them to class.
William Gibson's Neuromancer
1984] is available at local bookstores or online.
semester we'll also look at the
films, which will be on reserve in the media library: Metropolis (Fritz
Lang, 1926); Blade
Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982),
and Mark Neale's 1999 documentary "William
Gibson - No Maps for These Territories." We'll work out a schedule for viewings
day of class. (All this is subject to changes and additions during the
read and/or view the materials listed below before the class on the
July 5: Introduction -- Modernization and
- Streeter, "The Puzzle of Modernization," http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/Courses/Soc43/pages/lecture_modernization.html
Castells, "Prologue: the Net and the Self," from The Rise of Network Society, 2nd
edition (Vol 1 of The Information
Age: Economy, Society, and Culture) Blackwell, 2003, pp. 1- 27.
- William Gibson, Neuromancer
July 7: Life in the Matrix of Modernity
- Raymond Williams, "The Social History of the Uses of
Technology," from Television:
and Cultural Form, pp. 19-31.
Benjamin, "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," from
NY: Schocken, 1969, pp. 217-251. http://library.uvm.edu/e-res/bailey/soc/wbents295.pdf.
Castells, "The Culture of Real Virtuality: the Integration
of Electronic Communication, the End of the Mass Audience, and the Rise
of Interactive Networks," pp. 355- 406.
- View: Mark
Neale's 1999 documentary "William Gibson - No Maps for These Territories."
July 12: The Original Information
Technologies: Orality, Writing, Books, Printing
J. Ong, "Orality, literacy and modern media" (excerpts from Orality
literacy : the technologizing of the word, Methuen, 1982) chapter 9
from Communication in history: technology, culture, society, Boston,
MA Allyn & Bacon 2003 http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/humn/wongts301.pdf.
Eisenstein, excerpts from The Printing Press as an Agent of Change:
and cultural transformations in early-modern Europe, London:
University Press, 1979, pp. 43-47, 66-91, 113-125, 129-136; http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/soc/eisensteints295.pdf.
Darnton, "Readers Respond to Rousseau: The Fabrication of Romantic
from his The Great Cat Massacre(New
York: Basic Books, 1984) pp. 215-56.
- Jay David Bolter, "The Idea of the
Book," from Cyberreader, http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/readings/elecbookt100.pdf
July 14: The
Problem of Determination
- Streeter, "The Politics of Technological Development: Comparing
the History of the Radio to the History of the Internet," http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/Courses/Soc43/pages/lecture_radio.html.
"Do Artifacts Have Politics?" http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/soc/winnts295.pdf
- Daniel Chandler, "Technological Determinism" http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/tecdet/tecdet.html.
Williams, "The technology and the society," from Television: Technology
and Cultural Form, Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press ;
NH : University Press of New England,  (Originally published:
: Fontana, .) pp. 9-19; http://library.uvm.edu/e-res/bailey/soc/raywilts295.pdf
Fritz Lang, Metropolis
July 19: Beyond the Book?
Barthes, "From Work to Text," and "Change the Object itself," from Image,
Music, Text, New York, Hill and
1997, pp. 155-169; http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/soc/barthests295.pdf.
"What is an Author?" Language, Counter-Memory, Practice: Selected
and Interviews, Donald F. Bouchard Ed., Ithaca: Cornell University
1977, p. 138.
July 21: The Postmodern Condition
W. Carey, "The
of the Electronic Revolution," and "The
of the Future," in Communication as Culture: Essays on Media
Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989, pp. 113-141 and pp. 173-200.
Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition, Manchester University Press, 1984, pp.
Dery, "The Cult of the Mind," New York Times Magazine, Sept. 28, 1997, pp. 94-96; http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/soc/deryts295.pdf.
"The Ecstasy of Communication," from Hal Foster (ed.) The
Essays on Postmodern Culture, Port Townsend, WA: Bay Press, 1983,
- Manuel Castells, "Conclusion: social change in the network
society," from Power of identity,
Blackwell 2003, pp. 418-428,
Kittler, Introduction to Gramophone,
Typewriter, Translated by Geoff
and Michael Wutz (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999), Preface, Introduction, and Chapter 1: Gramophone.
- Slavoj Zizek, "Welcome to
the Desert of the Real," published on Sept. 17, 2001 [note the date!] http://web.mit.edu/cms/reconstructions/interpretations/desertreal.html.
26: Space, Time, Society
"Time, Work-discipline, and Industrial Capitalism," Past and Present,
No. 38, 1967, pp. 56-97.
Foucault, Excerpts from Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the
York Vintage Books 1979
W. Carey, "Technology and Ideology: The Case of the Telegraph," from Communication
as Culture: Essays on Media and Society, Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1989, pp. 201-230. http://library.uvm.edu/e-res/bailey/soc/techidts295.pdf
"Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy," Theory,
& Society, Vol. 7, 1990, pp.
Berland, "Angels Dancing: Cultural Technologies and the Production of
in Grossberg et al. (eds.), Cultural Studies, New York:
Davis, "Fortress LA," from City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in
July 28: Selves, Bodies, and Virtuality
"A Rape in Cyberspace," Village Voice, Dec. 21, 1993, pp. 36-42; http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/soc/dibbellts295.pdf.
Weizenbaum, "Science and the compulsive programmer," Chapter 4
power and human reason, San Francisco WH Freeman and Co.
Stone, "Will the Real Body Please Stand Up? Boundary Stories about
Cultures" in Michael Benedikt (ed.) Cyberspace: First Steps, pp. 81-118.
- Sherry Turkle, "Constructions and reconstructions of the self in
reality," Mind, culture, and activity, Summer 1994, pp. 1-15; http://library.uvm.edu/e-res/bailey/soc/sturkts295.pdf.
"Come In, CQ: The Body on the Wire," in Cherny and Weise (eds.),Wired
Gender and New Realities in Cyberspace, pp. 3-23
Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and
in the Late Twentieth Century," in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The
of Nature, New York: Routledge, pp. 149-181: http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/humn/cymants301.pdf.
Zizek, "Cyberspace, or, the unbearable closure of being," Pretexts: Studies in Writing and Culture, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1997, pp. 53-79; http://www.uvm.edu/bhreserves/soc/zizekts295.pdf.
Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
Aug 2: Gender and Technology
- Paulina Borsook, "The Diaper Fallacy Strikes Again," ReWired, December 3rd, 1997, http://www.rewired.com/97/1203.html
- Jennifer Light, "When Computers were Women,"
Technology and Culture - Volume 40, Number 3, July 1999, pp. 455-483, http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/technology_and_culture/v040/40.3light.html. (Access from the campus network only.)
- William Boddy: "Archaeologies of Electronic Vision and the Gendered Spectator," Screen 35:2 Summer 1994, http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/readings/boddyts295.pdf
- Helen W. Kennedy "Lara Croft: Feminist Icon or Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis," http://www.gamestudies.org/0202/kennedy/
- Wendy Wahl essay: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/postmodern_culture/v003/3.2wahl.html
- Cheris Kramerae: http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/djglp/articles/gen4p149.htm
- Women and Technology, Beyond the Binary: A Roundtable Discussion
with N. Katherine Hayles, Marjorie Perloff, Diane Greco, Linda Carroli
and Shelley Jackson, hosted by Jennifer Ley http://www.heelstone.com/meridian/rtable3.html
- Streeter, "The Romantic Self and the Politics of Internet Commercialization," Cultural Studies 17 (5) 2003, http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/readings/Streeter_Romantic_Self.pdf
- Heim, "The Erotic Ontology of Cyberspace," http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/readings/heimts295.pdf
Aug 4: Presentations
Carey, "Culture, Technology and Communications: Bibliography and
for Reading and Writing," 1980 (a course syllabus that's also an
Boyle's excellent page of copyright links: http://www.law.duke.edu/boylesite/copyright.htm.
Interactive Can Fiction Be?"Critical
Inquiry Volume 31, Number 3, Spring 2005,
Some interesting and potentially useful books:
Code and Other
Laws of Cyberspace
Shamans, Software, and Spleens: Law
Construction of the Information Society
The Condition of Postmodernity: An
Enquiry into the
Origins of Cultural Change
How We Became Posthuman : Virtual
Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics
Sherry Turkle, Life on
Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet
New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.
The Language of New Media