Schedule of Weekly Topics and Readings

Week 1:  Sept. 14

Topic: Introduction to the Class

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:
  • Mosco, Vincent (2004). Digital sublime: Chapter 1

Week 2: Sept. 21

Topic: Knowledge and Information

Required Reading:

  • Vaidhayanthan, Siva (2006). Afterword: Critical information studies: A bibliographic manifesto. Cultural Studies 20(2-/3): 292-315. 
  • Foucault, Michel (2002/1966). The order of things: An archeology of the human sciences. London/New York: Verso. Preface + Chapter 1 (pp.xvi to 18) 
  • Harraway, Donna (1988) Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist Studies, 14(3), 575-599. 

Recommended Reading:

  • Mosco, Vincent (2004). Digital sublime: Chapters 2-4 

Week 3: Sept. 28

Topic: Information Technologies and Infrastructures

Required Reading:

  • Pinch, Trevor J. and Bijker, Wiebe E. (1984). The social construction of facts and artefacts: Or how the sociology of science and the sociology of technology might benefit each other. Social Studies of Science 14: 399-441. 
  • Eischen, Kyle (2003) Opening the ‘black box’ of software: The micro-foundations of informational technologies, practices and environments. Information, Communication & Society 6(1): 57–81. 
  • Friedman, Batya and Nissenbaum, Helen (1996). Bias in computer systems. ACM Transactions on Information Systems 14(3): 330–347. 
  • Zittrain, Jonathan (2008). Tethered appliances, software as service and perfect enforcement. In The future of the internet – and how to stop it (pp.101-126). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 
Recommended Reading: 
  • Mosco, Vincent (2004). Digital sublime: Chapter 5 
  • Coleman, Gabriella (2014). Hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower, spy: Chapters 1-2 

Week 4: Oct. 5

Topic: Control, Access and the New Information Class Systems
Required Reading: 

  • Melody, William (1994). Electronic networks, social relations and the changing structure of knowledge.” In Crowley, David and David Mitchell (eds.). Communication theory today (pp.254-273). Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. 
  • Wark, McKenzie (2006). Information wants to be free (but is everywhere in chains). Cultural Studies 20(2/3): 165-83. 
  • Coleman, Gabriella (2014). Hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower, spy: The many faces of Anonymous. London/New York: Verso: Chapters 3 & 4 
  • Strover, Sharon (2014). The US digital divide: A call for a new philosophy. Critical Studies in Media Communication 31(2): 114-122. 

Recommended Reading:

  • Coleman, Gabriella (2014). Hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower, spy: Chapters 5-6 

Week 5: Oct. 12: 

Thanksgiving Monday – University Closed 

Reminder: Assignment 1 is due October 16th at 11:59pm

Week 6: Oct. 19

Topic: Information Work, Immaterial Labour and the Commodification of Use

Required Reading:

  • Cohen, Nicole S. (2015). From pink slips to pink slime: Transforming media labour in a digital age. The Communication Review 18(2): 98-122. 
  • Côté, Michael and Pybus, Jennifer (2007). Learning to immaterial labour 2.0: MySpace and social networks. Ephemera: Theory & Politics in Organization 7(1): 88–106. 
  • Ritzer, George and Jurgenson, Nathan (2010). Production, consumption, prosumption: the nature of capitalism in the age of the digital ‘prosumer’. Journal of Consumer Culture 10(1): 13–36. 

Recommended Reading:

  • Coleman, Gabriella (2014). Hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower, spy: Chapters 7-9 

Week 7: Oct. 26

Topic: Playful technologies of oppression

Required Reading:

  • Ellerbrok, Ariane (2011). Playful biometrics: Controversial technology through the lens of play. The Sociological Quarterly 52(4): 528-547. 
  • Coleman, Sarah and Dyer-Witheford, Nick (2007). Playing on the digital commons: collectivities, capital and contestation in videogame culture. Media, Culture & Society 29(6): 934 – 953. 
  • Cybulski, Alex Dean (2014). Enclosures at play: Surveillance in the code and culture of videogames. Surveillance & Society 12(3): 427-432. 
  • Grimes, Sara M. (2015) Little Big Scene: Making and playing culture in Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet. Cultural Studies 29(3): 379-400. 

Recommended Reading:

  • Coleman, Gabriella (2014). Hacker, hoaxer, whistleblower, spy: Chapters 10-11 
  • Pasquale, Frank (2015). The black box society: Chapters 1-2. 

Group Activity:

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you download ImagePlot, free data visualization software co-created by new media scholar Lev Manovich, and (at the very least) play around with it before class. NOTE: Use of this software is required for completing Assignment 2, which is due at the end of Week 9.

Week 8: Nov. 2

Topic: “We Are Data”

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

  • Pasquale, Frank (2015). The black box society: Chapters 3 

Reminder: Final date to drop fall session full (Y) or half (F) courses without academic penalty is Nov 2, 2015.

Nov. 9-13 : Fall Reading Week

Week 9: Nov. 16

Topic: Surveillance and Security

Required Reading:

  • Deibert, Ronald and Rohozinski, Rafal (2010). Risking security: The policies and paradoxes of cyberspace security. Intern’l Political Sociology 4(1): 15-32. 
  • Cohen, Julie E. (2010). The inverse relationship between secrecy and privacy. Social Research 77(3): 883-898. 
  • Bonilla, Yarimar and Rosa, Jonathan (2015). #Ferguson: Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States.” American Ethnologist 42(1): 4-17. 
  • Lyon, David (2014). Surveillance, Snowden, and big data: Capacities, consequences, critique. Big Data & Society 1(2): 1-13. 
Recommended Reading:
  • Pasquale, Frank (2015). The black box society: Chapter 4-5 

Reminder: Assignment 2 is due on November 20, 11:59pm

Group Activity: Nominate (and vote on) a case study topic to serve as the focus our Week 13 lecture/discussion.

Week 10: Nov. 23

Topic: Shifting Modes of Distribution and Production

Required Reading:

  • Henderson, Scott (2008). Canadian content regulations and the formation of a national scene. Popular Music 27(2): 307-15. 
  • Sinnreich, Aram, Latonero, Mark and Gluck, Marissa (2009). Ethics reconfigured: How today’s media consumers evaluate the role of creative reappropriation. Information, Communication & Society 12(8): 1242–1260. 
  • Sørensen, Inge Ejbye (2012). Crowdsourcing and outsourcing: the impact of online funding and distribution on the documentary film industry in the UK. Media, Culture & Society 34(6): 726-743. 
  • Lobato, Ramon, Thomas, Julian and Hunter, Dan (2011). Histories of user-generated content: Between formal and informal media economies. International Journal of Communication 5(2011): 899–914. 
Recommended Reading:
  • Pasquale, Frank (2015). The black box society: Chapter 6 

Week 11: Nov. 30

Case Study: “The Right to be Forgotten” Controversy

Required Reading

  • Kroslák, Daniel (2015). Practical implementation of the right to be forgotten in the context of the Google Spain decision. Communication Today 6(1): 58-71. 
  • Fazlioglu, Muge (2013). Forget me not: the clash of the right to be forgotten and freedom of expression on the Internet. International Data Privacy Law 3(3): 149-157, URL
  • O'Hara, Kieron (2015). The right to be forgotten: The good, the bad, and the ugly. IEEE Internet Computing 19(4): 73-79. 
Background Reading (Required):

Week 12: Dec. 7:

Case Study: The Politics of Information “Freedom”:

Required Reading:

  • Consalvo, Mia (2012). Confronting toxic gamer culture: A challenge for feminist game studies scholars. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media & Technology (1), online:
  • Chess, Shira and Shaw, Adrienne (2015). A conspiracy of fishes, or, how we learned to stop worrying about [#GG] and embrace hegemonic masculinity. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 59(1): 208-220. 
  • Janea, Emma Alice (2014). ‘Back to the kitchen, cunt’: speaking the unspeakable about online misogyny. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 28(4): 558-570. 

Background Reading (Required):

Week 13 (make up class) Dec. 14

Case Study: Class Wrap Up Through Collaborative Case Study (TBD)
During week 9, students will nominate and vote on the case study topic to be discussed for our final “wrap up” class. Topic must be relevant, related to theories, concepts readings and subjects discussed over the course of the semester; should be based on current events and emerging developments.

Reminder: Assignment 3 due Monday December 14, 11:59pm

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