Social informatics refers to an interdisciplinary
body of research dedicated to studying the design,
uses, and effects of information technologies.
This course asks students to go beyond the "technical"
aspects of IT and consider the social relations
that are an integral part of designing and adopting
a technology or technological system. It also
challenges students to think critically about
technological change and acquire a more sophisticated
understanding of the political, economic, and
social considerations that underlie technological
This class will explore some of the ethical
and professionalization issues that arise in
the context of designing and using networked
information technologies. Using a combination
of lecture, discussion, presentations, writing,
and other methods, this course will examine
frameworks for making ethical decisions, the
process of and need for professionalization
in informatics, and selected case studies in
I400/I590 Geographies of Technology:
How do technologies and ideas move from one setting to another? How do political relations, regulatory institutions, economic policies, cultural norms, differing ideas of property, or colonial relationships shape processes of innovation, knowledge generation, and technological change?
This course will study how ideas and technologies travel, with a focus on how these flows are interrupted or redirected in unexpected, yet productive ways. The course will be linked to the year-long Mellon Sawyer Seminar "Rupture and Flow: The Circulation of Technoscientific Facts and Objects" that will take place at Indiana University during the 2010-2011 academic year. Students will have the opportunity to read and then interact with the leading scholars brought to campus for the Sawyer Seminar.
The course will be interdisciplinary in scope with readings from history, anthropology, sociology, geography, and science and technology studies (STS), and will be joint-listed in the School of Informatics and the Department of Geography. It will be open to a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students. Students are encouraged to learn more about the Sawyer Seminar by visiting http://sawyer.indiana.edu.
I590 Technology and the First Amendment:
This course will combine lecture and discussion to explore how new technologies challenge and are shaped by first amendment law. It will pay particular attention to how recent technological developments are shaping our understandings of free speech, press, and assembly. The course will also provide a historical perspective on how First Amendment law has changed over time with respect to various communications mediums, commercial speech, and the tension between free expression and intellectual property. Topics covered will include freedom of assembly in virtual spaces, the chilling effects of government surveillance on free expression, media regulation, whether software or data are forms of speech, hate speech online, obscenity and pornography, Internet filtering as a form of prior restraint, intellectual property v. free expression, and freedom of the press in the age of the Internet.
I590 History of Technology:
This class is a graduate seminar on the history of technology. It will cover both classic and new works in the field and will be structured to meet student interests. The course will consist of two parts. The first part is a reading seminar. Students will read and discuss a series of texts assigned for each week. The second part is a writing workshop. Students will work on a writing project over the course of the semester (e.g. an article, dissertation proposal, or thesis chapter) which they will workshop with their peers in the middle of the semester.
Advanced Seminar I in Social Informatics:
This seminar course introduces Ph.D. students
to the core literature and emerging scholarship
in the field of social informatics and draws
from work in the history and social studies
of science and technology. The seminar provides
doctoral students with opportunities to examine
and explore relevant influential research, literature,
methods, and theoretical frameworks. I625 concentrates
on the social and cultural aspects of informatics
as well as qualitative research methods and
prepares students for future doctoral work in
I709 Advanced Seminar II in Social Informatics:
This seminar course will introduce graduate students to core and emerging
literature on the political and legal aspects of information technology.
We will adopt an interdisciplinary view of the topic and will draw from the
fields of law, science and technology studies (STS), history, anthropology,
sociology, and computer science. This semester we will address such topics as
Internet governance; the creation, maintenance, and regulation of information
infrastructures; civil liberties and human rights; information technology and
development; open data and governance; algorithmic regulation; and policing. These
topics have been selected to provide students with an understanding of the issues
involved in major policy areas that pertain to information technology. Students
will have the opportunity to examine and explore relevant and influential research
literature, methods, and theoretical frameworks and apply this knowledge to a topic
of their choosing in a final paper. This seminar will provide the foundation for
future doctoral work in social informatics. It is cross-listed with Maurer School of Law.