NCSU Department of Communication

COM487-001::Internet & Society
Instructor: Dr. Adriana de Souza e Silva




Class schedule





Part I: cyberspace and computer interfaces


Week Day Topic Readings due Presentations Assignments


Th. 01.11


course overview      
Tu. 01.16


Cyberspace vs. Internet: an introduction Briggs, A., & Burke, P., "Conclusion: Into Cyberspace?" (pp. 320-332)   Blog post
Th. 01.18 (The utopia of) cyberspace as an immaterial and libertarian place.

Robins, K., “Cyberspace and the world we live in” (pp. 77-95)

visit from the library Blog post
Computers as space / history
Tu. 01.23 Computers as (narrative) spaces. What's an interface?

Murray, J., “From additive to expressive form” (pp. 65-96)

  Blog post
Th. 01.25 Early interfaces

Johnson, S. "Bitmapping: an introduction" (pp. 11-41)

  Blog post
Interfaces / history
Tu. 01.30

The Macintosh and the desktop metaphor: First signs of immersion in the “computer for the rest of us.


Johnson, S. “The Desktop” (42-75)

Blog post
Th. 02.01

From calculations to simulations. Computers as simulation machines.


Turkle, S. “A tale of two aesthetics” (29-49)



Blog post

-- mid-term 1 announcement

Internet / history
Tu. 02.06

The Internet and WWW. Historical facts.

Abbatte, J. Popularizing the Internet. (pp. 181-220).



Blog post


Th. 02.08 Early Internet


Watch movie: The Thirteenth Floor Presentation 02: Early Internet.
Email (Ray Tomlinson), and Usenet (Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis), by Taylor Templeton and Valanda Pettis

-- mid-term 1 questions

Part II: The Internet as a social environment: space, body, identity
MUDs (community)
Tu. 02.13 The history of MUDs


Dibbell, J. “The scarlet balloon (or tinygeography, a long view and an overview)” (pp. 39-69)


Blog post

mid-term 1 due


Th. 02.15 MUDs as communities

Morningstar, C., & Farmer, R., "The lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat" (pp. 728-753).

Presentation 03: MUDs.
MUD (Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw), LambdaMOO, and Habitat (LucasFilm), by Rich Ivey, and Lauren Roland.


Blog post

Chats (space)
Tu. 02.20

Visualizing communication environments: 2D and 3D Chats.

Donath, J.; Karahalios, K., & Viegas, F. “Visualizing Conversations” (pp. 2023-2032)


Blog post


Th. 02.22 Chats

Donath, J. “Part I: the virtual society” (pp. 15-42)

Presentation 04: Chats. Habbo Hotel, The Palace, and Second Life, by Kelvin Tranphuoc, Jennifer Lemkes, and Rob Bradley Blog post



Educational MUDs
Tu. 02.27

computer lab class (Whiters Hall 131)



Blog post


Th. 03.01 Educational MUDs

Barab, S., et. al., “Making learning fun: Quest Atlantis, a game without guns ” (pp. 86-107)



Blog post
Spring break
Tu. 03.06

no class. Spring break





Th. 03.08 no class. Spring break



Virtual Bodies
Tu. 03.13 The construction of the online body: Avatars Thomas, A., “Digital literacies of the cybergirl” (pp. 358-382)   Blog post



Th. 03.15

Online bodies

Taylor, T.L., "Intentional bodies" (pp. 25-34)

Presentation 06: Avatars. n0time (Victoria Vesna), and Placeholder (Brenda Laurel), by William Long, and Angela Hughes


Blog post


Part III: Current Issues on the Internet
The mobile Internet


Tu. 03.20

The mobile internet: an introduction


Frattasi, S., at. al., "Defining 4G technology from the user's perspective" (pp. 35-41)

discuss posters


Blog post

Th. 03.22 The mobile internet: an introduction

Miyata, K.,et. al., "The mobile-izing Japanese" (pp. 143-164)




Blog post

Tu. 03.27 Wi-Fi


Rheingold, H.,
"Wireless Quilts" (pp. 133-156).



Blog post

Th. 03.29



Schmidt, T., & Townsend, A., "Why wireless networks want to be free" (pp. 47-52).


Presentation 07: Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi Hog (Jonah Brucker-Cohen); and (Katherine Moriwaki), by Elizabeth Bridenstine, and Andrew Jones.


Blog post
Ubiquitous computing
Tu. 04.03 Ubiquitous computing

Weiser, M., "The world is not a desktop" AND

Weiser, M., & Brown, J. S., "Designing calm technology"


  Blog post
Th. 04.05 Ubiquitous computing Rheingold, H. "The era of sentient things" (pp. 83-112). Presentation 08: Ubiquitous computing. ParcPAD and ParcTab (Mark Weiser); CoolTown (HP pervasive computing lab), and ClearBoard (Iroshii Ishii), by Jessica Manuel, Heather Gentle, and Shawn Downey


Blog post


Wearable computing
Tu. 04.10 Wearable computing Film: Cyberman

de Souza e Silva, "Interfaces of hybrid spaces" (pp. 19-44)



Blog post



Th. 04.12 Wearable computing Rheingold, H. "Always on Panopticon" (pp.183-215)

Presentation 09: Wearable computers. WorldBoard (Jim Spohrer), and Sousveillance Grid (Andrew Collins), by Ray White, and Ian McShane


Blog post


Tu. 04.17 Defining location-based services Townsend, A. "Digitally mediated urban space" (pp. 100-105).



Blog post

Th. 04.19

Location-based services


Presentation 10: Location-based services. Geocaching, and Mogi Mogi (Newt Games), by Meghan Balfrey, and Sarah Andrews


- give questions for final exam


Digital Divide
Tu. 04.24 Digital Divide

Manuel Castells, "The digital divide in a global perspective " (pp. 247-274).



Blog post


Th. 04.26 final presentations



-- final exam due

Finals week
Tu. 05.01 Finals week (no class)      
Th. 05.03 Finals week (no class)