Last night began a new quarter of the graduate-level Proseminar in New Media Studies. I’ve kept some perennial favorites on the reading list—Sherry Turkle’s Alone together and Jose van Dijck’s The culture of connectivity—but have added a few new titles, too. As a counterpoint to Turkle, we’ll read dana boyd’s It’s complicated: The social lives of networked teens, and I’ve adopted Jones and Hafner’s Understanding digital literacies: A practical introduction—one of the few suitable books I’ve found for giving a broad introduction to key issues in new media studies.
Though I’ve really enjoyed teaching Nardi and O’Day’s Information ecologies: Using technologies with heart, in tandem with a project that asks students to investigate the suitability of a new technology in a local setting of their choice, that book and project are gone on this year’s syllabus. Instead, students will have more time to investigate an interest area of their own choosing, which they’ll report out on in a “Term Inquiry Project” presentation near the end of the quarter.
As always, I’ve got a great mix of NMS students: some who are already working in new and digital media jobs, others who are excited to be entering a new field. I’m looking forward to a great quarter!