50:209:101 Introduction to Digital Studies (Spring 2023)

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The goal of the course is to help students develop critical vocabularies for analyzing digital objects and also to provide students with a space to tinker with those objects. The class examines contemporary issues surrounding digital media and some of the historical roots of those issues. We will address how our everyday encounters with computational tools sometimes obscure important dimensions of those tools, how these systems create and exacerbate inequalities, and how our understandings of digital media are too often shaped by a white, Western, and/or masculine perspective. In addition to discussing and analyzing digital media, the course features lab sessions that will involve working directly with digital artifacts. In these lab sessions, our goal is not mastery but instead exploration.

No technological expertise is required, and students will be encouraged to experiment with a variety of ideas and technologies.

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