There are three required papers. Students will present on paper three during the final day of class.
Paper One — The Relationship Between Computers and Gender, Labor, Calculation, and Cognition
Due Ses #5
Several of our authors think through the relation of computing devices and processes to matters of gender, labor, calculation, and cognition. Develop an argument about the character of that relation by drawing on at least three cases from our class reading. What determines the relationship? How have such relations changed over time? Provide a bibliography.
Paper Two — Representations of Computers in Film
Due Ses #8
Choose a film in which computers play a prominent role (some examples not on this syllabus include: 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, Flight of the Navigator, various Star Treks, etc.). Use the readings from this syllabus (feel free to read ahead!) to analyze how computers are represented in these pop cultural artifacts. What is being assumed about computers or computing in these films? How do computers stand as tokens for thinking about cognition, gender, sexuality, childhood, government, liberation, and other subjects of cultural significance? Provide a bibliography.
Paper Three — Social Meanings of Computing Artifacts
Due Ses #12
Choose an artifact from the history of computing or from the contemporary world of computing and write an essay about the social meaning of this artifact; appropriate examples might include the punch card, the listserv, iCloud, Kinect. Locate a primary source on the artifact as well as a couple of scholarly, secondary sources to help your analysis along. Be sure to bring in course readings relevant to the analysis you wish to develop. Provide a bibliography. Prepare an in-class presentation based on this paper for the final day of class.