NCSU Department of Communication

COM487-002::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)

Presentation 01: Interfaces.
Memex (Vannevar Bush), Mouse and Windows (Douglas Engelbart), and Sketchpad (Ivan Sutherland), by Jason Broadway, Odell Bizzell, and Miranda Ervin
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 Lauren Barry, and James Childs

-- 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 Mike O'Rourke, Lindsay Hertzog, and David Speidel


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 Ryan Bisesi, Jeff Curry, and Emily Blemker Blog post



Educational MUDs
Tu. 02.27

computer lab class (Whiters Hall 131)




Th. 03.01 Educational MUDs

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


Presentation 05: Educational MUDs. Quest Atlantis (Sasha Barab), Environmental Detectives (Kurt Squire), Frequency 1550 (Waag Society), by Jennifer Kepley, Lindsey Shields, and Stephanie Claxton

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. Bodies Inc., n0time (Victoria Vesna), and Placeholder (Brenda Laurel), by Sara Robertson, Kyle Zaepfel, and Lyndey Smith


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); (Katherine Moriwaki), and WiFi Art.Cache (Julian Bleecker), by Willa Nipper, Dan Strobel, and Ginny Terrell


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 Katie Archer, Brittany Caldwell, and Katie Sparrow


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), Wristomo & FingerWhisper (NTT DoCoMo), and Sousveillance Grid (Andrew Collins), by Jordan Elliker, Brandy Blackmon, and Angela Goymerac


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, The interpretive engine for vaior places on Earth (34North 118West), and Mogi Mogi (Newt Games), by Lillie Robertson, Dawn Gregory, and Ryan Fedell


-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)