Examines a topic, theme, problem, or area of the world in order to provide a deeper understanding of an aspect of Global Studies.
The impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs), in particular the Internet, on the development, maintenance, and success of political mobilization is widely documented. People have been paying attention to the potential of ICTs to facilitate protest through "swarming" since journalists began covering the ability of star-struck students to suddenly appear wherever Prince William was while he was a student at St. Andrew's University. However, the “Arab Spring" has focused the entire world's attention on the potential of the Internet and other information technology to create and sustain prolonged challenges to state power. Students in this course will collectively engage questions about the Internet's prospects and limitations to facilitate political mobilization and creating political change. To do this, we will examine a range of cases including Anonymous, The Pirate Bay, WikiLeaks, the 2011 British riots, and the Arab Spring. We will also examine themes such as censorship, information flows, and the politics of resistance.
Student learning goals
The course is structured in such a way that the members of the class will jointly engage in an interdisciplinary conversation about technology and political change. This means the class will demand hard work and a willingness to actively engage with other students. Students will be asked to explore and understand the technology and social movements with writing, class discussion, and research. My goals for students in this class are that they be able to:
Think critically about the role of the Internet in global politics.
Form oral and written arguments in response to the class organizing questions.
Use writing as a way of understanding the course's organizing questions.
Use research in support of arguments about the Internet and global politics.
Craft their own narratives about the role the Internet is playing in contemporary politics.
General method of instruction
Lecture, participatory in-class activities, presentations
Class assignments and grading
Research paper, shorter writing, class presentations, class discussion