. 397M: N
UMass-Amherst, Spring 09
TU & TH, 2:30 - 3:45 pm., Machmer Hall E37
Professor Martha Fuentes-Bautista
TA: Thanu Yakupitiyage
Office: 308 Machmer
Office: Machmer E36
Phone: (413) 545-3455
Course description and objectives.
This course addresses the main debates and perspectives
on the economic and social transformation associated with the spread of new media
technologies, from various forms of collaborative and social media, to mobile phones and
wireless broadband delivery systems. This class will introduce you to recent developments in
cultural production brought about by new media, as well as to strategic modes of using these
technologies for social change.
Assuming a social shaping of technology approach, we will
examine topics such as: emerging peer to peer networks and new forms of social and cultural
production; mobile communications, social mobilization and political protest; and broadband
delivery systems, social inequalities and the digital divide. The course will provide participants
with tools to critically assess and engage these debates, identifying their implications for social
research and public policy.
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
Understand main theoretical approaches to the study of the relation between information
and communication technologies (ICT) and society;
Identify structural transformations and trends associated to changes in cultural production,
as enabled by peer-to-peer and social media technologies; and
Identify and critically discuss major ICT-related social issues in contemporary society, and
describe the various perspectives that characterize current debates on those issues.
Martha Fuentes’ office hours are
Wednesday 3-5:00 p.m. and TH 4-6:00
I will be happy to make alternate appointments if you truly cannot make those hours.
For an appointment, call during office hours or see me after class. Thanu Yakupitiyage’s office
hours will be announced. Please note, I check for, and respond to emails several times a day
from Monday to Friday, but I do not check emails so often during weekends or holidays.
Therefore, if you send me an email on Saturday, Sunday, or during a holiday break, chances are
that you will not get a reply from me until the following business day. Finally, though Thanu
and I use email for making appointments and other practical details of the class, we cannot
advise students, review exams or grades, discuss course material and assignments by email.
Please see us in our offices.
. This course draws from a wide range of literature on technology, social
theory and public policy.
There is a required book for this course:
Lessig, L. (2008)
Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy
. NY: The Penguin
Used and new copies of the book are available at Food for Thought Books on North Pleasant