Spring 2018

LMC 6320: Globalization and New Media

Office: TSRB 316A
Office Hours: By appointment
Email: ledantec@gatech.edu

Class Meetings: Monday/Wednesday, 3:00–4:15PM
Location: TSRB 323 (PPL)

Course Description

This course is a theoretical exploration of the variety of interfaces and interactions of digital civics. We will read broadly from HCI, STS, Sociology, Anthropology and Design in order to interrogate systems that enable participation and activism, as well as those that support surveillance and authoritarianism. The class will be structured around exploring the challenges in interaction and information design when producing and using data, and confronting the conflicting goals of building systems (and processes) that are data reliant while resisting the authoritarianism such systems of surveillance enable. We will investigate participatory design practices, data representation and identity, the design of software services and interfaces for data analysis, and the design of sensors and other artifacts that support digital civics.

Course Objectives

After taking this course you should be able to:

  • Have a more comprehensive understanding of the technologies and interaction techniques available and appropriate for mobile application design.
  • Be able to use the theories and works presented in this course to frame and support discussion and critique of mobile technologies.

This class is intended to provide theoretical and critical perspectives that will help you reflect on the kinds of trade-offs that may be confronted during design. This should include issues of participation, privacy, and identity, among others.


The total grade for the class will be based upon the following factors and weights:

Seminar Participation: 50%
Writing Assignments: 50%

Participation & Attendance

Class attendance and participation is mandatory. Participation in discussion is imperative because it allows you to explore content and design process collaboratively. Participation in class also challenges you to continuously question, refine, and articulate your own ideas and interpretations.

Missing more than 2 classes will result in a loss of 1 letter grade.

Writing Assignments

Writing assignments are due each Wednesday (starting in week 2). You need to complete 5 assignments over the course of the semester and you may choose the format each week. Each assignment will take the form of a short essay (~1k words, not more than 1k words) putting the present reading to use analyzing an area of interest.

Readings & Texts

The following books are required for the class.

Books are (or should be) available at the Bookstore. Some of these titles are available free online (e.g. Twitter and Tear Gas).

  • Twitter and Tear Gas, Zynep Tufekci
    ISBN: 9780300215120

  • Digital Countercultures, Jessa Lingel
    ISBN: 9780262036214

  • Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics, Zizi Papacharissi
    ISBN: 9780199999743

  • Aramis, or the Love of Technology, Bruno Latour
    ISBN: 9780674043237

  • Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics, Noortje Marres
    ISBN: 9780230232112

  • Digital Materialities, Eds. Pink et al.
    ISBN: 9781472592590

  • Data and the City, Eds. Kitchin et al
    ISBN: 9781315407364

  • What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing, Ed Finn
    ISBN: 9780262035927

  • The Stuff of Bits, Paul Dourish
    ISBN: 9780262036207

Course Schedule

What follows is an outline for the semester. As the semester progresses, we may adjust dates and materials; however, unless specifically stated in class, you should assume this schedule is current and accurate.

Week 1

January 8

First day administrivia.

Design Assignment 1

January 10

Twitter and Tear Gas

Week 2

January 15

No Class

MLK Day.

January 17

Twitter and Tear Gas

Week 3

January 22

Digital Countercultures

January 23

Digital Countercultures

Week 4

January 29

Digital Countercultures

January 31

Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics

Week 5

February 5

Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics

February 7

Affective Publics: Sentiment, Technology, and Politics

Week 6

February 12

Aramis, or the Love of Technology

February 14

Aramis, or the Love of Technology

Week 7

February 19

Aramis, or the Love of Technology

Februar 21

Aramis, or the Love of Technology

Week 8

February 26

Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics

February 28

Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics

Week 9

March 5

Material Participation: Technology, the Environment and Everyday Publics

March 7

Digital Materialities

Week 10

March 12

Digital Materialities / Data and the City

March 14

Data and the City

Week 11

March 19

Spring Break

March 21

Spring Break

Week 12

March 26

What Algorithms Want

March 27

What Algorithms Want

Week 13

April 2

What Algorithms Want

April 4

The Stuff of Bits

Week 14

April 9

The Stuff of Bits

April 11

The Stuff of Bits

Week 15

April 16

Final Presentations

November 18

Final Presentations

Week 16

April 22

Conference Travel. No class.

Debate, Diversity, and Respect

In this class, we will present and discuss a diversity of perspectives. Although you may not always agree with others’ perspectives, you are required to be respectful of others’ values and beliefs. Repeated inappropriate or abusive comments and/or behavior will be cause for disciplinary action. If you feel that your perspectives are being ignored or slighted, or you in anyway feel uncomfortable in the classroom, please contact me immediately.

Students with Disabilities

Students should self-report to the Access Disabled Assistance Program for Tech Students at:
220 Student Services Building
Atlanta, GA 30332-0285
404.894.2564 (voice) or 404.894.1664 (voice/TDD)

Scholastic Dishonesty and Academic Misconduct

This class abides by the university’s policies relating to plagiarism, scholastic dishonesty, and academic misconduct. Per the Georgia Tech Code of Conduct, plagiarism is defined as:

  • Unauthorized Access: Possessing, using, or exchanging improperly acquired written or verbal information in the preparation of a problem set, laboratory report, essay, examination, or other academic assignment.
  • Unauthorized Collaboration: Unauthorized interaction with another Student or Students in the fulfillment of academic requirements.
  • Plagiarism: Submission of material that is wholly or substantially identical to that created or published by another person or persons, without adequate credit notations indicating the authorship.
  • False Claims of Performance: False claims for work that has been submitted by a Student.
  • Grade Alteration: Alteration of any academic grade or rating so as to obtain unearned academic credit.
  • Deliberate Falsification: Deliberate falsification of a written or verbal statement of fact to a Faculty member and/or Institute Official, so as to obtain unearned academic credit.
  • Forgery: Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any Institute document relating to the academic status of the Student.
  • Distortion: Any act that distorts or could distort grades or other academic records.

For more details on the honor code see: http://policylibrary.gatech.edu/student-affairs/academic-honor-code