Telecommunications | Seminar in Media and Society
T195 | 17563 | Terry, H

Social media (things like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wiki's) are
changing the way groups express dissent (or, in general, engage in
social activism even if what they are doing might not be called

In this seminar, we'll study these media and assess how they are
affecting social activism -- in the U.S. but also in the world.

Depending on the background and interests of those who enroll in the
class, there may be the opportunity to participate in a relevant
class research project -- I am currently taking with graduate
students in telecommunications with interests in social media to see
if, working with them, we could come up with a research project that
would contribute to your learning in this seminar.

We will cover a variety of social media, and a variety of groups who
have put them to use.  Given the dates for this class (Spring,
2011), I anticipate that we will devote some time to learning how
social media will be (or by then, were) used in the November, 2010
U.S. midterm elections.  But we'll treat other movements and other
nations as well.

I plan to divide the class into groups, and group members will study
specific topics or specific social media.  You'll be responsible for
identifying "readings" (which, obviously, may be web based) for us
all and for making in-class presentations.  But there will also be
some, common, "textbook" readings as well.  I have not yet settled
on those since this is a very turbulent topic and even though the
class starts in a few months, things we may want to use are being
published constantly in electronic (and print) form.

There will be a written midterm exam, but I anticipate that
the "final" exam will be a one-on-one conversation with me (the
class instructor) that will be scheduled at a mutually convenient
time during final exam week.  I've taught something like this class
previously (as a Hutton Honors College) seminar and have often, in
this and other classes, done these final one-on-one interviews.
They have worked well and students, I think, have enjoyed the
opportunity at the end of the semester to demonstrate their
knowledge of course content this way.

There are no specific prerequisites for this class and I welcome
both Telecommunications majors (and prospective majors) and others
from the College of Arts and Sciences (or, for that matter, from
other IUB Schools).  The main thing that's required is an interest
in how "new" (and not-so-new) electronic media can be or have been
used in support of social activism.  Those interested in how these
media are increasingly used in advertising are also welcome, since
we'll treat that topic in the context of understanding how social
activists can use social media.  Past versions of this class have
been enhanced by having students from the Kelley School of Business
enroll -- so you are certainly welcome.  But students from other
schools (e.g., Informatics) would be great additions to the student
body too.

Class attendance is also required.  In general, more than four
absences (equal to two weeks of this class!) will severely adversely
affect your course grade.  When you are in class, you're expected to
be well-prepared and engaged in what I trust will be a class much
more focused on class discussion than on "lectures" from me.

I will follow IU's standard grading system, giving an "A" for
excellent work, a "B" for good work, a "C" for average work, a "D"
for poor but passing work and an "F" for work that is
unsatisfactory.  In the past, the average grade in my TEL-T 316
classes has been about a 2.5 (between a B and a C).  Most students,
obviously, do "average" work.  A few will do good work and
justify "B" grades.  Only a few, most likely,  will do truly
outstanding work and earn "A" grades.

Class meets 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. MW.

This course may fulfill some requirements for your major (or
prospective majors).  For more information about which requirements
this course could fulfill see the College of Arts and Sciences
Bulletin at
If you have questions, or need additional help, see your academic

More details of what this class will cover will emerge in coming
weeks (again, this is subject to change because of the dynamic
nature of the topic).  Please contact me at to
schedule an appointment and we can get together to discuss the class
in more detail if you have further questions about it before you