Monday, November 5, 2012


In the winter quarter 2013 I will be teaching the Technology & Society gateway seminar at UCSB. Here are some details.
Technology & Society Gateway Seminar
Winter 2013
Theme: Infrastructures of the Information Age
FMST 595TS - T  1-3pm
1310 SSMS
The Technology and Society gateway seminar is designed to introduce graduate students who are interested in the Technology and Society Ph.D. emphasis to an interdisciplinary area of research. The gateway is also required for all Technology and Society Ph.D. emphasis students. Students who have already taken the gateway course but are interested in this topic are encouraged to take the course again. CITS affiliated faculty members are also invited to participate in the seminar. The course is graded P/NP with attendance, participation, and a class presentation during the quarter as the only requirements.
The winter 2013 gateway seminar will focus on infrastructures of the information age—the physical objects, sites, and systems through which data is distributed on local, national, or global scales. The course will provide opportunities for students to engage with interdisciplinary research on Internet, mobile telephone, transoceanic cable, satellite, and/or broadcasting systems. Each week seminar participants will develop a presentation and facilitate a discussion about an infrastructure-related research project in his/her area of interest. Students can either choose from a bibliography provided by the instructor or select another topic. The course will provide opportunities to explore information infrastructures in relation to such issues as: mapping; history; economics; globalization; citizenship; digital divides/ICTD; policy and regulation; network design; environmental concerns; security; labor; art; visualization; and cultures of everyday life. Students will be asked to share relevant websites, maps, and media as part of our collective investigation of information infrastructures. We will also do an infrastructure site visit together.
Possible Readings
Bijker, Wiebe, et al. The Social Construction of Technological Systems: New Directions in the Sociology and History of Technology. MIT Press, 1987.
Blum, Andrew. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet. Ecco, 2012.
Cohen, Julie. Configuring the Networked Self: Law, Code, and the Play of Everyday Practice. Yale University Press, 2012.
Downey, Greg. Telegraph Messenger Boys: Labor, Technology, and Geography, 1850-1950. Routledge, 2002 
Frischmann, Brett. Infrastructure: The Social Value of Shared Resources. Oxford University Press, 2012.
Galloway, Alex. The Interface Effect. Polity, 2012.
Goldsmith, Jack and Tim Wu. Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Graham, Stephen, ed. Disrupted Cities: When Infrastructures Fail. Routledge, 2009.
Jaeger, Paul T. et al, “Where is the cloud? Geography, economics, environment, and jurisdiction in cloud computing,” First Monday, vol. 14: no 5, May 4, 2009.
Larkin, Brian. Signal and Noise: Media, Infrastructure, and Urban Culture in Nigeria. Duke University Press, 2008.
Levinson, Marc. The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger. Princeton University Press, 2008. 
Marvin, Simon and Stephen Graham. Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition. Routledge, 2001.
Pinch, Trevor. How Users Matter: The Co-Construction of Users and Technology. MIT Press, 2003.
Rainie, Lee and Barry Wellman. Networked: The New Social Operating System. MIT Press, 2012.
Shannon, Kelly and Marcel Smets. The Landscape of Contemporary Infrastructure. NAi Publishers, 2010.
Star, Susan Leigh. “The Ethnography of Infrastructure.” American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 43 No. 3, Nov/Dec 1999, 377-391.
Suchman, Lucy, Human-Machine Reconfigurations: Plans and Situated Actions. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Tufte, Edward. Envisioning Information. Graphics Press, 1990.


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