Each unit lasts three weeks, is directed by a particular research question, and is composed of archival material produced during an event, cultural readings that look to explore how a particular medium or event functions, and technical readings that describe the materiality of a medium. A typical semester will consist of four or five units. Students learn how to conduct research by finding the primary source material related to the event, and learn about the cultural significance of the event and its technology through theoretical and technical readings provided by the instructor. For each unit, all students write a 1-2 page Reaction Statement in which they postulate a research question based on the material and media under address. For those students tasked with obtaining the primary source material for a unit, they also read the Research Presentation Guide. One longer research paper is written during the course of the semester (4-5 units), as is a Group Interactive Non-Fiction (INF) project. The INF groups comprise of students who are responsible for researching two or three of the units. The topics generally emerge from their unit research.

1Broadcast media and the Rwanda GenocideThis unit looks at the way local radio broadcasts were used to exacerbate the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, and how a blog was used to commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the 100-day event, one post at a time.
2MARKET GARDEN and the transmedia Band of BrothersFor some reason, this World War II operation and one of its principal military units have become a multimedia touchstone, appearing as document-based historical fictions in print, small- and large-screen adaptations, video games and photographs. This unit examines how historical material migrates from medium to medium.
3Cuban Missile Crisis officespaceThis unit contrasts document and documentary around the U.S. President's office during the days of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Students focus on the technology used to produce the period documents and recordings, and the technologies used to produce the contemporary archives and documentaries that represent the period.
4Cambodian Genocide dataThis unit looks at the way databases are being used to aggregate and organize traces of evidence for tribunals relating to the 1975-1979 genocide in Cambodia.
5Trojan War and the remains of poetic memoryIn what is generally the first unit of this course, students read a translation and a contemporary reworking of the central books of the Iliad so as to get a sense of what details get remembered in oral and print cultures, and the mechanisms by which that memory exists.
6Mob mentality: 4chan vs. ScientologyOn-line bulletin boards are a dominant text-based forum for knowledge sharing and the aggregation of communities of practice. This unit looks at one borderline instantiation of a bulletin board system, and the protest that board organized through a filter that asks what gets remembered and how are on-line identities composed.
7Meiji Restoration / Sengoku Jidai: image then and nowTwo new media — mass-produced woodblock prints and photography and the laws that emerged to curtail them altered political discourse and public memory of these two pivotal periods in Japanese history. This unit examines the impact and productions of those two technologies and the way contemporary media recycle the images they produced.
8Iran and "The Twitter revolution"More remarkable than the election protests in Tehran in June 2009 was the embrace of a popular myth that those demonstrations were the result of a novel micro blogging platform named Twitter. This unit examines the technology, hype, psychology and history of "The Twitter Revolution."
9Personal data storage / total information awarenessLearning how to scrape or extract their own or research subject's publically available on-line data while reading about American government and military programs that do the same exposes students to the presence, technology, and history of data.
10First generation console games: limited affordance simulationsWar games can be read as simulations of conflict. By examining games about conflict and the platforms that enable them, students get a sense of the history of contemporary gaming and simulation, and the relationship between abstraction and constraint. This unit looks at war games on the Odyssey, Intellivision, and Atari.
11Vietnam sound and image"The living room war" was the first tele-present conflict. Along with a revolutionary broadcast presence, it also was the first to feature portable magnetic recorders that captured the sound of war, and personal cameras used by servicemen to capture their views of the conflict. How did this multimedia and network encapsulation of the conflict serve to construct the historiography of the event?
12Gulf War 2 on-lineSoldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan from 2003 and 2001 onwards were connected to home and the world in ways unavailable to prior generations of servicemen and women. This connectivity and the widespread availability of digital cameras led to the proliferation of public, uncensored reports from the front on blogs, photo aggregator sites, social networking sites and video sharing sites. The archive of image, text and sound from these conflicts is massive, first-person, and graphic – so then why does reporting of this conflict feel sanitized?
13Technology of presidential politicsTelevised advertising for presidential campaigns offer an evocative combination of medium, rhetoric, and history. By reading the texts, technologies and arguments of political advertisements from Eisenhower to Obama, students become aware of the theater of mass-media.
14Adversarial media and the dialectical methodOppositional argument is older than the current political television talk shows would have us believe. In this unit, students read about of dialectical argument, and ask why news and political television-theater gravitated so strongly to that mode of difference resolution.
15The last village in the world to go onlineThis unit works well with student work to become proficient in coding Interactive Fictions in the Inform environment, as it focuses on a speculative fiction about the last village in the world to go online. That novel, Air: Or, Have Not Have, asks readers to identify with characters from a remote place forcibly connected to an on-line world. By oscillating that reading with student work on learning to code, students are exposed to and experience the story of a first encounter with a strange technology.
16Narco conflicts in sound and journalsReporting from the border of Mexico and America on the human costs of the drug trade takes many forms. This unit looks at two of those forms – the narrative interview and the narcocorrido or drug ballad. This unit asks how audiences are created and divided by mass-media by situating those forms in the history of the drug trade.
17World War II in propaganda and simulationImages and testimony from the battles of World War II have become documentary cornerstones for games set during those events. However, are these games documentaries or simulations and what would be the difference? Examining the primary source material of journalistic and propagandistic production and the primary material related to game production helps students trace the way new media documentation becomes digital media fiction.
18Bay of Pigs communiques and imagesRecently declassified material from the CIA archives relating to the planning and execution of the Bay of Pigs invasion revealed an early communication network telegraphically connecting those involved in the operation. These short messages and the maps, charts and figures they make reference to allow for an encounter with the impact of abbreviated, structured message formats and how those brief documents become the foundation of later histories.
19Cold War image and comicA study of how in the 1950s censorship and mass-market cartoons functioned together to create cultural icons that would serve as antipodes for an industry.
20Steam, Luddites, and vestigial technological metaphorsMetaphors for contemporary cultural phenomena are often drawn from antecedent technologies; this unit examines how steam became the touchstone for the anti-industrial movement, and how a fictional rabble-rouser donated his name to describe those resistant to technological change.
21Guatemalan disappearance archivesArchives of atrocities are typically kept by the regimes that commit the crimes. In the case of Guatemala, a dilapidated warehouse turned out to house a 75 million page document archive compiled by the security forces responsible for the human rights abuses of the early 1990s. How can one explore, organize, and read this massive, decaying archive of traffic tickets and interrogation transcripts – an archive at turns quotidian and traumatic?