This course introduces students to the theoretical aspects of emerging network culture. Beginning in the first week, the readings and discussions explore the concept of networks not (only) as an instances of social media (Facebook or Twitter) but network as material practices through which many of our most vital interactions occur, including economic transactions, defense strategies, political formations, educational transitions, and artistic expressions. As the course progresses through its readings, we arrive at a better understanding of the increasing ways that networks—broadly construed—proliferate through our daily lives and help shape our shared cultures.
A chief goal for the course is to identify, interrogate, and trace a number of emerging concepts pertaining to the practice and theory of network culture. Assignments and projects expand from the course readings and discussions by developing the concepts examined toward original analysis and demonstration. At each stage, the course attempts to connect its assignments, readings, and discussions to current events as a way to concretize our work. Ultimately, the class seeks to explore networks as activity that organize many of our contemporary social interactions.