English | Projects in Reading & Writing: Technology, Identity, and Power in American Culture
W170 | 12228 | Basgier

TOPIC: 		Technology, Identity, and Power in American Culture
INSTRUCTOR:	Chris Basgier

12228		MWF		2:30P - 3:20P		WH 006

This course takes as its starting point the significant role
technology plays in the lives of many Americans: we communicate over
email daily; we supplement existing, "real-world" sites of commerce
with eBay and amazon.com; we create online profiles and build social
networks that are entirely digital; and we play video games that
allow us to be rock stars, wizards, or even "average Joes and
Janes," interacting with other constructed personae in virtual
worlds. We will investigate this "cyberculture" by analyzing texts
like facebook and MySpace, Second Life, The Matrix, Terminator 3,
other websites, and scholarly, academic articles with an eye towards
exploring how technology influences our understanding of our
identities. How do we define identity in a world where anonymity
allows us to play different roles? To what extent do social networks
allow for or restrict identity "play?" What happens when these texts
require various kinds of social interaction? How do particular
identity categories, such as race, class, and gender, get scripted,
re-scripted, and/or ignored through digital technology? In order to
begin formulating answers to these questions, students will write
course texts, and one major paper and presentation based on
students' research into an area of their own choosing regarding
cyberculture and identity.