Culture of Information

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2002 course


"This course studies contemporary information culture from the viewpoint of the humanities. We ask the basic question: "what is information, and why is the concept now so important that it not only affects much of our economy, politics, and society but also our sense of culture (the culture of "cool," it has been called) and our arts (the new literatures, arts, music, games, and media). To answer this question, the course brings writings about information society together with works of new literature and art to study the following aspects of "information": information as media, communication, and "new media"; information as work and power; and information as identity (see the Schedule page for details). Required readings are in print (e.g., William Gibson's novel, Neuromancer), on the Web, and on CD-ROM (e.g., M. D. Coverley's hypertext novel, Califia, and the game Riven). Assignments include some Web-authoring at the beginner's level."