Spring Courses

I’m teaching two courses in the spring that are both, in essence, special topics seminars.

One, IS212, I teach regularly, is, in essence, Science and Technoloogy Studies (STS) as applied to information systems. It has a core of STS readings, but with a lot of variability (within and in addition to STS) to accomodate who’s in the course and people’s interests. The best description is the website from the last time I taught it, 2 years ago. It’s scheduled Mon 1-4, but if the class size is what I’ve seen in last years, about 10-15, we may be able to vary that if we can come up with a time that suits everyone in the class. Students who have taken the course before may take it again as an independent study; you should check with me. Since the content varies, it’s not the same course from year to year.

The other is a new, special topics course, I290-3, New Media Meets Visual Studies, TuTh 2-3:30. I’ m still developing it. Below is the official description; there’s a longer and more recent description here. I have never taught this and have no idea who will show up. The content will depend in part on who the participants are. (If there are people interested in participating who have ideas about what they would like to see in the course, let me know; I may or may not incorporate your suggestions.)

This course takes a social science approach to new media, specifically visual media. The social sciences are concerned with visual media in two ways: as research tools, and as a topic of research. As research tools, visual media are created and analyzed in field research, and used in publication. As a research topic, visual media represent a significant form of activity and communication. People are increasingly using new technologies and media, including digital photography, cameraphones, video, and the internet, to create and use visual media for new purposes.

We will explore a variety of issues related to both these approaches. Our primary orientation is from the social sciences, not the humanities, but both are needed to understand this topic. In addition, we’ll look at the technologies involved.

This course should be of interest to students in the social sciences, computer science, and the humanities who are interested in expanding their understanding of the uses of visual media and methods of studying them. This will be a highly-participatory seminar, with students expected to contribute to the discussion from their own discipline and to learn about other disciplines’ approaches and understandings.

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