NCSU Department of Communication

COM477::Mobile Technologies and Cultures (Spring 2012)
Instructor: Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva






There will be weekly readings. This is a reading-intensive course in which you will be asked to deal with material that is often quite challenging in its language and theoretical positions. You should expect to read about 60 pages a week, and write a brief summary/comment on each text you read. You are excused from writing your comment if you are presenting to the class. You are responsible for not only reading all the material assigned to you, but engaging with it before class in a way that prepares you to participate in class discussion. In order to do this, you will need to take careful reading notes and review your notes before each class. The readings shall be used not only for class discussion, but also to support your arguments on the mid-term exam, presentation, and final exam.

Unless otherwise noted, all texts --except for the textbook -- are available online as PDF documents, through the NCSU library online reserves. However, you should not rely on Internet connection.

Warning: Download/print all texts at the beggining of the semester so you can have them with you ahead of time. I won't accept late blog posts due to internet problems.

Note: All students must regurlary check e-mails, as well as the class Website, for messages and readings from this course.



Gordon, E., & de Souza e Silva, A. Net Locality: Why location matters in a networked world. New York: Routledge. 29.30 USD.


Required Readings:

Abrahamson, E. (2003). Hear me now: Competition, regulation and innovation in mobile telephony in the United States: 1945-1983. Von Gremp Workshop in Economic and Entrepreneurial History. University of California, Los Angeles.

Benford, S., & Giannachi, G. (2011). Hybrid Space: Between real and virtual, local and global. In Performing Mixed Reality (pp. 27-70). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Campbell, S. (2007). A cross-cultural comparison of perceptions and uses of mobile telephony. New Media & Society, 9 (2), pp. 343-363.

Castells, M., Fernandez-Ardevol, M., Qiu, J. L., & Sey, A. (2007). The mobile civil society. In The mobile communication society: A global perspective (pp. 185-214). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Cresswell T. (2010). "Towards a politics of mobility," Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28(1), 17 – 31.

de Souza e Silva, A., Sutko, D. M., Salis, F., & de Souza e Silva, C. (2011). Mobile phone appropriation in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. New Media & Society, 13 (3), 363-374. 1461444810393901.

Dourish, P. (2006). Re-place-ing place: "Place" and "Space" ten years on. Proceedings of the 2006 ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work (pp.299-308). Cambridge, MA: ACM.

Farley, T. (2005). Mobile telephone history. Telektronikk, 3 (4), 22-34.

Frattasi, S., Fathi, H., Fitzek,F., & Prasad, R. (2006). Defining 4G Technology from the
User’s Perspective, IEEE Network, 35-41.

Horst, H. (2011). Free, Social, and Inclusive: Appropriation and Resistance of New Media Technologies in Brazil. International Journal of Communication, 5, 437–462.

James, J, & Verteeg, M. (2007). Mobile phones in Africa: How much do we really know? Social Indicators Research, 84 (1), 117-126.

Madianou, M., & Miller, D. (2011). Mobile phone parenting: Reconfiguring relationships between Filipina migrant mothers and their left-behind children, New Media & Society, May 2011 13: 457-470, first published on March 23, 2011 doi:10.1177/1461444810393903

Manovich, L. (2006). The poetics of augmented space. Visual Communication, 5 (2), 219-240.

Rheingold, H. (2011). Mobile Media and Political Collective Action. In In Katz, J. E. (Ed.) Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies (pp.225-240). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Sey, A. (2011). ‘We use it different, different’: Making sense of trends in mobile phone use in Ghana.
New Media & Society, May 2011 13: 375-390, first published on March 31, 2011 doi:10.1177/1461444810393907

Sheller, M., & Urry, J. (2006). “The new mobilities paradigm,” Environment and Planning A, 38 (2), 207-226.

Sutko, D. M., & de Souza e Silva, A. (2011). Location aware mobile media and urban sociability. New Media & Society, 13 (5), 807-823. 1461444810385202.

Tuters, & Varnelis, K. (2006). Beyond Locative Media: Giving shape to the internet of things. Leonardo, 39 (4), 357-363.

Wallis, C. (2011). Mobile phones without guarantees: The promises of technology and the contingencies of culture. New Media & Society May 2011 13: 471-485, first published on March 25, 2011 doi:10.1177/1461444810393904

Weiser, M. (1991). The computer for the 21st century. Scientific American (pp. 94-104), September.

Wilson, J. (2006). 3G to Web 2.0? Can mobile telephony become an architecture of participation? Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, 12 (2), 229–242.