DTC 475: Digital Diversity Syllabus

DTC 475 – Digital Diversity

Tuesday and Thursday 2:50pm – 4:00pm
Dr. Jason Farman

Email: jfarman@tricity.wsu.edu

Office: West 207H

Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00-12:00/1:30-2:30 or by appointment
Office Phone: 509.372.7285

Catalog Description: “Digital Diversity” is intended to teach students about the “cultural impact of electronic media, especially the World Wide Web; issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality online.”

Required Texts (available in the campus bookstore):

● Technology and Social Inclusion, by Mark Warschauer. MIT Press: ISBN-10: 0262731738
● Race In Cyberspace, Edited by Beth Kolo, Lisa Nakamura, and Gilbert B. Rodman. Routledge: ISBN-10: 0415921635
●Gender and Computers, By Joel Cooper and Kimberlee D. Weaver. Lawrence Erlbaum: ISBN-10: 0805844279
● Digital Disability, by Gerard Goggin and Christophr Newell. Rowman & Littlefield: ISBN-10: 0742518442
●The Digital Divide, by Reneta Lawson Mack: Carolina Academic Press: ISBN-10: 0890896410

Assignments: Reading assignments are listed on the day they will be discussed in class. You are expected to arrive to class having read the works listed. All written assignments are to be turned in at the beginning of class. No papers will be accepted via e-mail and computer problems are not an excuse for late work. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Written Assignment 1: 15%
Written Assignment 2: 15%
Journals 10%
Web Page Assignment 3: 20%
Attendance/Participation: 10%
Quizzes: 10%
Final Project: 20%

Written Assignments:
There will be two essays due throughout the semester, one on “Identity Tourism” and a second essay that is a web-page analysis. Each essay must be 3-5 pages in length, written in 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced, and cite sources accurately in MLA or APA style. A hard copy of your essay is due at the beginning of class AND you must also upload an electronic version to the course’s digital dropbox on BlackBoard (blackboard.wsu.edu). This electronic version of your essay will be scanned to make sure you have accurately cited your sources. Each essay is worth 15% of your grade.

Note on Academic Honesty and Plagiarism: Any source that you draw ideas and quotes from must be cited accurately in your paper in APA or MLA style. If you use any source in your work without correctly citing the work, this constitutes plagiarism. Any intentional plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the assignment and may result in a failing grade for the course.

Category A: Sloppiness. Automatic “0” on paper, with option to rewrite for no better than a “C”
Category B: Ignorance. Automatic “0” on paper, with option to rewrite for no better than a “C”
Category C: Obvious Conscious Cheating. Automatic “0” on paper, with no option for rewriting

Students caught plagiarizing a second time will be asked to leave the class and will receive an automatic “0” in the course.
For those of you who are not aware of what constitutes plagiarism, here is a breakdown of the various types:

1. Buying papers, borrowing papers, or recycling former papers unrevised and claiming these types of papers as your own for your assignment in this course. (This constitutes a Category C offense)
2. Cutting and pasting parts of a webpage or borrowing passages from a book for your paper without properly citing these parts and claiming the material as your own for the expressed intent of cheating. (This constitutes a Category C offense)
3. Failing to use proper citation style for material you borrow, accidentally. (This constitutes either a CategoryA or B offense)

For further information regarding plagiarism, please see:

At the beginning of the semester, you will sign up to participate in an online community. From Week 2 through Week 9 you will journal on your experiences in the community and how diversity is portrayed. You should also keep in mind the reading assignments for the course and connect your observations to the readings for that week. Since these observations will be later turned into webpages for a group website, you should also take some screen captures when appropriate. These journal entries should be ½ page to 1 page in length for each week and will be turned in on the day of your group’s presentation. These journal entries are worth 10% of your grade.

Website Assignment:
You will be placed into groups according to the online community you have chosen to journal about. As a group, you will create a digital diversity website based on your particular online community. You must designate one web designer. This person must construct a look and overall template for the group’s website (keep you website-analysis essay in mind). The web designer must also create a front page for the site and upload each of his or her member’s content according to the template designed. This person must also be a co-presenter on the group presentation day. The remaining members of the group must create the content for the website. Each person must contribute 3 web pages based on your personal observations in the online community (and visuals captured while in the community) demonstrating the various ways diversity and/or the digital divide is seen and experienced. You may draw from your journal entries, course readings, or outside sources (as long as they are cited) for your content. As a group, you must choose a co-presenter to guide the class through a very short walk-through of your site. This co-presenter is only responsible for the creation of 2 pages, but must familiarize him or herself with the group’s webpage. This assignment is worth 20% of your grade and grades will be given for individual work.

Attendance and Participation:
You may miss up to three classes, however, anything beyond this amount will lower the grade significantly and six missed classes may constitute a failing grade. Attendance is taken only during the first 10 minutes of class. If you are 10 minutes late, this will constitute a tardy. Multiple tardies equate an absence and can affect your grade just as missing a class can. Your participation is crucial to the learning you will experience in this class and absences are weighed accordingly. Because this is a discussion-driven and hands-on class, the quality of the class for everyone is in large part dependent on the quality of preparation and visible engagement of each participant. Please realize that although you may have prepared the readings and assignments and may be listening to others, if you do not actively demonstrate your preparation and ideas in discussion, there is no way to observe and, hence, evaluate the quality of your preparation and participation. Attendance and class participation constitute 10% of the grade.

There will be pop-quizzes throughout the semester based on the readings and in-class discussions. Quizzes will be distributed at the beginning of class. The quizzes are worth a total of 10% of your grade. Quizzes cannot be made up if you are late or absent.

Final Project:
Your final project will demonstrate your mastery over the material that we have studied throughout the semester. This will take form as a 6-8 page research paper due during week 17 of the course. There are three components of this project: 1) You must meet with me in office hours to discuss your proposed project and have it approved; 2) You must submit a rough draft of your paper during Week 16 of the course; 3) Your final paper is due during finals week. You must include at least two academic journal articles and two scholarly books in your paper and cite your sources accurately. You must turn in a hard-copy of your work AND an electronic version on BlackBoard. The final project is worth 20%.

—Please Note: This syllabus is subject to change at any time according to the professor’s discretion. The assignments below may also include readings handed out in class, which each student is responsible for completing.


Week 1:
August 21: Course Goals/Syllabus

August 23: ● Read, “ ‘Where Do You Want to Go Today?’: Cybernetic Tourism, the Internet, and Transnationality” by Lisa Nakamura in Race in Cyberspace (pg. 15-26)
● Bring in an ad of new technologies as a utopic, social panacea
**Sign up for Web Community you will journal about and present

Week 2:
August 28: ● Read Introduction of Technology and Social Inclusion (pg. 1-10)
● Read “Mind the Gap: The Digital Divde as the Civil Rights Issue of the New Millennium” by Andy Carvin online at:

August 30: ● Read “Language, Identity, and the Internet” by Mark Warschauer, Ch. 9 in Race in Cyberspace (pg. 151-170)
● Read “Bodies, Virtual Bodies, and Technology” by Don Ihde (online)


Week 3: Race in Chat Rooms
September 4: ● Read “Race in/for Cyberspace” by Lisa Nakamura (handout)
September 6: ● Class meets in CHATROOM

Week 4: Race and Online Communities
September 11: ● Read “Fear of Science and Technology” Ch 1 in The Digital Divide,
(pg. 3-33)
September 13: ● Read “I’ll Take My Stand in Dixie-Net: White Guys, the South, and Cyberspace” by Tara McPherson in Race in Cyberspace (pg. 117-131)

Click HERE to see images from our Identity Tourism Chat

Week 5: Race in Second Life
September 18: ● Read “The Computer Race Goes to Class” by Jonathan Sterne, Ch. 11 in
Race in Cyberspace (pg.191-212)
● Read “Walk Like an Orc, Talk like an Orc?: Racial Representation and Behavior in World of Warcraft” by Chris Ritter (online)
○ Last day to drop course without record

September 20: ● Read “The Appended Subject: Race and Identity as Digital
Assemblage” by Jennifer Gonzalez, Ch. 3 in Race in Cyberspace (pg. 27-50)


Week 6:
September 25: ● Read “The Education Gap” Ch. 3 in The Digital Divide (pg. 59-83)

September 27: ● Read “Models of Access: Devices, Conduits, and Literacy” Ch. 2 in Technology and Social Inclusion (pg. 31-48)
● Read, “Solutions: Single-Sex Schools and Classrooms?” Ch. 7 in Gender and Computers (pg. 129-152)

Week 7:
October 2: ● Read “Human Resources: Literacy and Education” Ch. 5 in Technology and Social Inclusion (pg. 109-152)

October 4: ● Read “Working Toward Solutions” Ch. 6 in Gender and Computers (pg. 109-128)


Week 8:
October 9: ● Read “Economy, Society, and Technology: Analyzing the Shifting Terrains” Ch. 1 in Technology and Social Inclusion (pg. 11-30)

October 11: ● Read “The Economic Gap” Ch. 2 in The Digital Divide (pg. 35-57)

Week 9:
October 16: ● In-Class Screening of Blade Runner

October 18: ● In-Class Screening of Blade Runner

Week 10:
October 23: ● Blade Runner discussion and midterm review

October 25: ● Group Websites Due and Presented In Class
● Journals Due


Week 11:
October 30: ● Read “Encountering Technology, Media, and Culture” Ch. 1 in Digital Disability (pg. 3-18)
● Read “Getting the Picture on Disability: Digital Broadcasting Futures” Ch. 5 in Digital Disability (pg. 89-107)
- Also listen to This American Life “Special Ed” Act II

November 1: ● Read “Disability in its Social Context” Ch. 2 in Digital Disability (pg.
● Read interview with Neil Marcus online at: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/projects/artistsdis/

Week 12:
November 6: ● Read “Blind Spots on the Internet” Ch. 6 in Digital Disability (pg. 109-127)

November 8: ● Read “Cultures of Digital Disability Ch. 7 in Digital Disability (pg. 129-143)


Week 13: Video Games and Gender

November 13: ● Read “Computer Anxiety: A Matter of Gender” Ch. 2 in Gender and Computers (pg. 11-39)
● Read “Can There Be a Form between a Game and a Story” by Ken Perlin in First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (handout)

November 15: ● Read “Does Lara Croft Wear Fake Polygons?: Gender and Gender Role Subversion in Computer Games” by Anne-Marie Schleiner online at http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/leonardo/v034/34.3schleiner.html

Week 14: Thanksgiving Break

Week 15: Social Networking and Gender
November 27: ● Read “The Social Context of Computing” ” Ch. 3 in Gender and Computers (pg. 40-66)
● Read “A Rape in Cyberspace” online at http://www.juliandibbell.com/texts/bungle.html

November 29: ● Read “On the Matrix: Cyberfeminist Simulations” by Sadie Plant in The Cybercultures Reader (pg. 325-336) (online)

Week 16:
December 4: ● Read “ ‘Oh No! I’m a Nerd!’ Hegemonic Masculinity in an Online Forum” by Lori Kendall (online)
● Read “Reflections on Gender and Technology Studies: In What State is the Art?” by Judy Wajcman (online)

December 6: ● Conclusions

Week 17: Final Projects Due