NCSU Department of Communication

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




Class schedule





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 exams, presentations, and final paper.

Required Readings:

All texts are available online as PDF documents, through this Web site and the NCSU library online reserves. A few new ones may will be also available on the Web.

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


Abbate, J. (1999). Popularizing the Internet. In Inventing the Internet (pp. 181-220). Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Barab, S.; Thomas, M.; Dodge, T.; Carteaux, R. & Tuzun, H. (2005). Making learning fun: Quest Atlantis, a game without guns. ETR&D, 53 (1), 86-107. Retrived January 19, 2005 from

Briggs, A., & Burke, P. (2002). Conclusion: Into Cyberspace? In A Social history of the media (pp. 320-332). Cambridge: Polity Press.

Castells, M. (2002). The digital divide in a global perspective [part 1] [part 2]. In The Internet galaxy (pp. 247-274). New York: Oxford University Press.

De Souza e Silva, A. (2006). Interfaces of hybrid spaces. In A. Kavoori & N. Arceneaux (Eds.), The cell phone reader: Essays in social transformation (pp. 19-44). New York: Peter Lang Publishers.

Dibbell, J. (1999). The scarlet balloon (or tinygeography, a long view and an overview). In My tiny life: crime and passion in a virtual world (pp. 39- 69). New York: Owl Books.

Donath, J. S., Karahalios, K., & Viegas, F. (1999). Visualizing conversations. Proceedings of the HICSS-32 (Thirty-Second Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences) (2), 2023-2032. Retrieved January 19, 2006 from

Donath, J. S. (1997). Part I: The virtual society. In Inhabiting the virtual city: the design of social environments for electronic communities (pp. 15-42) Ph.D. Dissertation. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved January 19, 2005 from

Frattasi, S.; Fathi, H.; Fitzek, F.H.P.; Prasad, R.; & Katz, M.D. (2006). Defining 4G technology from the users perspective. IEEE Network, 20 (1), 35-41.

Galloway, A., & Ward, M. (2006). Locative media as socialising and spatializing practice: Learning from archaeology. Leonardo Electronic Almanac, 14 (3). Retrieved December 01, 2006, from

Johnson, S. (1997). Bitmapping: an introduction. In Interface culture: how technology transforms the way we create and communicate (pp. 11-41). San Francisco: Haper Edge.

Johnson, S. (1997). The desktop. In Interface culture: how technology transforms the way we create and communicate (pp. 42-75). San Francisco: Haper Edge.

Morningstar, C., & Farmer, R. (2006). The lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat. In In K. Salen, & E. Zimmerman (Eds.), The game design reader: A rules of play anthology (pp. 728-753). Thousand Oaks, CA : Sage Publications, Inc. (Also available online at:

Murray, J. (1997). From additive to expressive form. [Part 1] [Part 2] In Hamlet on the Holodeck: the future of narrative in cyberspace (pp. 65-96). New York: Free Press. Book website

Miyata, K., Boase, J., Wellman, B., & Ikeda, K. (2005) The mobile-izing Japanese: Connecting to the Internet by PC and Webphone in Yamanashi [part 1] [part 2]. In M. Ito, D. Okabe, & M. Matsuda, (Eds.), Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile phones in japanese life (pp. 143-164). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Rheingold, H. (2002). The era of sentient things [part 1] [part 2]. In Smart mobs: The next social revolution (pp. 83-112). Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.

Rheingold, H. (2002). Wireless Quilts [part 1] [part 2]. In Smart mobs: The next social revolution (pp. 133-156). Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.

Rheingold, H. (2002). Always on panopticon. In Smart mobs: The next social revolution (pp. 183-215). Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. [The physical book is on reserve at the library reserves desk].

Robins, K. (2000). Cyberspace and the world we live in. In D. Bell & B M. Kennedy (Eds.), The Cybercultures Reader (pp. 77-95). New York: Routledge.

Schmidt, T., & Townsend, A. M. (2003). Why wireless networks want to be free. Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 46 (5), 47-52. (also available at Townsend's homepage:

Taylor, T.L. (2003). Intentional bodies: Virtual environments and the designers who shape them," International Journal of Engineering Education, 19 (1), 25-34. (also available from T.L. Taylor's website at

Townsend, A. (2004). Digitally mediated urban space: new lessons for design. Praxis, 6, 100-105. (also available in Townsend's home page at:

Thomas, A. (2004). Digital literacies of the cybergirl. E-Learning, 1 (3). Retrieved September 29, 2005, from

Turkle, S. (1995). A tale of two aesthetics. In Life on the screen: identity in the age of the Internet (pp. 29-49). New York: Simon & Schuster.

Weiser, M. & Brown, J. S. (1996). Designing calm technology. Power Grid Journal, 1(1). Retrieved April 07, 2005, from

Weiser, M. (1994). The world is not a desktop. ACM Interactions, 1(1), 7-8. Retrieved April 07, 2005, from


Recommended readings:

Benford, S., Flintham, M., Drozd, A., Anastasi, R. Rowland, D., Tandavanitj, N., et. al. (2004). Uncle Roy All Around You: Implicating the city in a location-based performance, Proceedings of the Conference on Advanced Computer Entertainment (ACE), Singapore, June 3-5. Retrieved January 19, 2006 from

Barkuus, L., & Dey, A. (2003). Location-based services for mobile telephony: A study of users’ privacy concerns. Proceedings of the INTERACT 2003, 9TH IFIP TC13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, July. Retrieved January 19, 2006

Bharat, R., & Minakakis, L. (2003). Evolution of mobile location-based services. Communications of the ACM, 12 (46), 61-65.

De Souza e Silva, A. (2004). Defining Cyberspace = Cybernetics + space. In From multiuser environments as (virtual) spaces to (hybrid) spaces as multiuser environments: Nomadic technology devices and hybrid communication places (pp. 20-32). Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

De Souza e Silva, A. (2004). From simulations to hybrid space: how nomadic technologies change the real. Technoetic Arts -- an international journal of speculative research, 1 (3), 209-221.

Hayles, N. K. (1999). Contesting for the body of information: The Macy conferences on cybernetics. In How we became post-human: virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics(pp. 50-83). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Klopfer, E. Squire, K., & Jenkins, H. (2002). Environmental Detectives: PDAs as a window into a virtual simulated world. Proceedings of IEEE International Workshop on Wireless and Mobile Technologies in Education, 95- 98. Retrieved January 19, 2006 from

Manovich, L. (2002). The poetics of augmented space: learning from Prada. Retrived Aug. 16, 2003, from .

Morse, M. (1996). Nature Morte: Landscape and narrative in virtual environments. [Part 1] [Part 2] In: M. A. Moser & D. MacLeod, (Eds.), Immersed in Technology (pp. 195-232). New York: Leonardo Books.

Squire, K.D. (2002). Cultural Framing of Computer/Video Games. Game Studies, 2 (1). Retrieved August 31, 2005, from

Taylor, T.L. (1999). Life in virtual worlds: plural existence, multi-modalities, and other online research challenges, American Behavioral Scientist, 43 (3), 435-449. Retrieved December 13, 2005, from

Turkle, S. (1995). Aspects of the self. [Part 1] [Part 2] In Life on the Screen: identity in the age of the Internet (pp. 177-209). New York: Simon & Schuster.