Information Science & Information Studies

ISIS 650S/LIT 621S/ ARTHIST 537S/VMS 561S: Critical Studies in New Media
Timothy Lenoir

Th 3:05 pm - 5:35 pm in TBA

Addresses key issues in the philosophy of new media. Central themes include the materiality of media; media configurations and the co-evolution of human being; computational media and recent discussions of posthumanism; the merger of nano-bio-info-technology and the ubiquity of code; media convergence and the political uses of new media. Examines new media technologies from a transdisciplinary perspective. Builds upon existing expertise in film, literature, and media studies to analyze what is ?new? about new media and how they compare with, transform, and remediate earlier media practices. Proposes the development of a critical analytical framework for approaching new media and relating them to other areas of academic discourse. Promotes a hands-on, active engagement with the technologies as a means for analysis and critique of new media innovations in contemporary academic research. Instructors: Timothy Lenoir and Patrick Herron.

Spring 2011 Website

English 890S, ISIS 890S:   Web Literacies, Digital Knowledge, and Digital Humanities: Theories, Methods, and Tools for Research and Teaching   (#LiteraciesLab)
A Course Offered in Conjunction with the Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge
Cathy N. Davidson
Tuesday 4:40-7:10

DESCRIPTION: For more information and a sample syllabus, see:

Like Garry Kasparov playing chess with Deep Blue, “Digital Knowledge, Digital Literacies, Digital Humanities” brings together the possibilities of the human and the machine for new forms of research and teaching.  Our emphasis will include theory and practice, the expressive and the constructive, the individual and the collective, immediacy and distance, humanities and the lab.  The premise of this class offered in conjunction with the new Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge is that much on-line learning is now excellent (sometimes better at tailoring itself to individual learning styles than even good instructors, and certainly better than poor ones).  Given that, the 21st century classroom has to offer something more--something human, connected, vital, creative, ethical, practical, critical, and inspiring.  Additionally, we must find the best ways to reconceive of what it means to do research by  thinking about, with, and through our computational tools, networked communities, and  interconnected worlds.  In this very privileged and precious environment we call a “higher education,” we will explore all the forms of learning and thinking thatcannot be replicated by a computer alone--or by a professor alone in the traditional, hierarchical academic model.

The course begins with students constructing their own websites as a public representation (and ePortfolio) of their intellectual work in the course and also contributing to a collaborative, public site on which we will be partnering with students and professors at other universities. The course contends that we need both “hack” and “yack” (practice and theory), and that the humanities have special kinds of perspectives, skills, and talents necessary to an age characterized by new forms of information and communication technology. It is grounded in history, with an argument that contemporary educational institutions are the product of Taylorist  “scientific labor management” reconfigured as “scientific learning management” with the end of training workers for the Industrial Age.  It is based on theories of cognition, research in the science of attention and learning, and analyses of the digital architecture that pervades much of our lives outside of school but that has yet to transform the institutions of education (K-dissertation).  How we teach and how we learn have changed more radically in the last twenty years than our academic institutions, disciplines, academic reward systems,  classroom methods, and definitions of what constitutes an academic career.

The course will be offered in the Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge.  It will also be “teamed” with English 390-5/ISIS 390, an undergraduate class (“Surprise Endings:  Social Science and Literature”) team-taught by behavioral economist Dan Ariely and Cathy Davidson.   The experiments in pedagogy and multimedia student-generated production in that undergraduate class will serve as a “pedagogical lab” for the doctoral students in English 890, ensuring “vertical” collaborations of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.  Doing will be as important as thinking about it, practice as important as theory, experiment as knowledge, context as content.  Every student in English 890S will leave the class with a website, an e-portfolio of projects, public online writing, multimedia and collaborative productions. 
Students will also develop a suite of new tools they can use in their own research as well as in practical teaching methods.  It is assumed that students in the class will have different levels of technical expertise, that some (but not all) will be working  in the area of digital humanities, and that some will be pursuing traditional humanities professorial careers and others will be interested in “alt-ac possibilities. Students will also leave with a professional CV that records their ePublications and a cover letter that translates what we do in “21st Century Literacies” for traditional humanities audiences. 

READING LIST (evolving)

Anne Balsamo, Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work
Yochai Benkler, Wealth of Networks

Tim Berners-Lee,Weaving the Web
Ian Bogost, How To Do Things with Video Games
danah boyd apophenia, “making connections where none previously existed”

James Boyle, The Public Domain:  Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
Chen, W. & Wellman, B. (2004) The global digital divide within and between countries. IT & Society, 1(7), 39-45
Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, The Future of Thinking:  Institutions in a Digital Age (free pdf download)
Cathy N. Davidson, Now You See It:  How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (free copies provided)
John Dewey, Democracy and Education
Matthew K. Gold, ed., Debates in the Digital Humanities
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Planned Obsolescence:  Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy
N. Katherine Hayles, How Do We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis 
Lisa Nakamura and  Peter Chow-White, Race After the Internet
Christopher Newfield, Ivy and Industry:  Business and the Making of the University, 1880-1980
Howard Rheingold, Net Smart:  How to Thrive on Line

Howard Rheingold and others:  Peeragogy Handbook:

Douglas Rushkoff, Program or Be Programmed
Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown, A New Culture of Learning:  Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
Siva Vaidhyanathan, The Googlization of Everything
Barry Wellman, Connected Lives Project (articles, posts)
David Weinberger, Too Big To Know:  Rethinking Knowledge ...
Ian H. Witten, Data Mining:  Practical Machine Learning Tools and Techniques

Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet—and How to Stop It


  • NMC Symposium On New Media & Learning