Professor: Jim Brown
Meeting times: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:35am-10:55am
Meeting Place: Digital Commons, Room 102 (WWCAUD)

Prof. Brown's Office: Digital Commons, Room 104
Prof. Brown' Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00-12:00, or by appointment
Prof. Brown's Email: jim[dot]brown[at]rutgers[dot]edu

Course Website:

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the histories and cultures that influence and shape digital technologies
  • apply a critical vocabulary for analyzing digital technologies
  • analyze, summarize, and compare academic arguments about digital media and culture
  • experiment with the affordances and constraints of digital tools

Required Texts

  • You must buy a physical copy of this text and bring it to class each day. You cannot purchase an electronic version of this book. Having a physical copy is important for class discussions:
    Your Computer is on Fire, eds. Mar Hicks, Benjamin Peters, Thomas S. Mullaney, Kavita Philip
  • You are also required to have a notebook devoted to this class, and you must bring it to class every day. This book will be used for reading notes, lecture notes, and lab sessions. It will be available to you during quizzes and exams.

Any other readings will be distributed by me during our class sessions, and I will provide physical copies. If we have an assigned reading, you are expected to bring the physical copy of that reading to class.

Attendance in this class is crucial, and it is worth 10% of your grade, which makes each day's attendance is worth .36 points. That seems small, but those points add up. If you arrive more than 5 minutes late for class, you will receive half-credit for that day's attendance. If you arrive more than 10 minutes late, you will be marked absent. If there is something that regularly prevents you from arriving to class on time, please speak with me during the first week of class.

Course Work and Grades
Grades will be determined based on the following course work:

  • Attendance (10%)
  • Reading Quizzes and Class activities (10%)
  • Lab Reports (15%)
  • R-CADE Report (5%)
  • Midterm Exam (30%)
  • Final Exam (30%)

Grades will be assigned on the following scale:

A 90-100
B+ 88-89
B 80-87
C+ 78-79
C 70-77
D 60-69
F 59 and below

Content Warnings
If we will be reading and discussing material that addresses sensitive topics, I will do my best to let you know in advance. If there are certain specific topics you would like me to provide warnings about, please let me know. I will do my best to flag content based on your requests.

Technology Policy
We will use digital technology frequently in this class. Although I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of computers, such as how to use a keyboard and mouse, and how to use the internet and check e-mail, most things will be explained in class. If you don’t understand what we are doing, please ask for help.

Canvas, Course Website, and Email
This class will not make use of Canvas for many things. While I will use it to communicate with you, I will not post assignments to Canvas. The course website will have important information about assignments and policies. Pay close attention to the course calendar as we move through the semester. I reserve the right to move things around if necessary.

University policies and resources

Academic Integrity
My assumption is that any work you turn in for this course has been completed by you. If you ever have questions about proper attribution or citation, please don't hesitate to ask.

Code of Conduct
Rutgers University-Camden seeks a community that is free from violence, threats, and intimidation; that is respectful of the rights, opportunities, and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and guests of the University; and that does not threaten the physical or mental health or safety of members of the University community and includes classroom space. As a student at the University, you are expected adhere to Student Code of Conduct:

Rutgers-Camden has a wide range of resources to help you stay on track both personally and academically. The Raptor Cares Report ( connects you to our Dean of Students Office and they can assist you with a variety of concerns: medical, financial, mental health, or any life issue that impacts your academic performance. You can share a concern for yourself, a classmate or a friend.

Office of Disability Services
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) provides students with confidential accommodation services in order to allow students with documented physical, mental, and learning disabilities to successfully complete their course of study at Rutgers University – Camden. ODS provides for the confidential documentation and verification of student accommodations, and communicates with faculty regarding disabilities and accommodations. The ODS provides accommodation services, which can include readers, interpreters, alternate text, special equipment, and note takers. The ODS also works with students, faculty, staff and administrators to enforce the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Office of Military and Veterans Affairs
The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs can assist our military and veteran students with benefits, deployment issues and much more. Contact: Fred Davis 856-225-2791

Support for Undocumented and Immigrant Students
In an ongoing effort to support all students on campus, Rutgers University has established two offices to support undocumented and immigrant students with questions or concerns related to immigration status. The Rutgers Immigrant Community Assistance Project (RICAP) provides free and confidential immigration legal consultations and direct representation to currently enrolled students. For more information or an appointment, contact Jason Hernandez, Esq., at 856-225-2302 or The Rutgers Office of Undocumented Student Services provides one-on-one case management to assist undocumented students and help them access campus resources including financial aid, career services, health services, etc.