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I202 Introduction to Social Informatics:

Social informatics refers to an interdisciplinary body of research dedicated to studying the design, uses, and effects of information technologies. This course asks students to go beyond the technical aspects of IT and consider the social relations that are an integral part of designing and adopting a technology or technological system. It also challenges students to think critically about technological change and acquire a more sophisticated understanding of the political, economic, and social considerations that underlie technological development.

I453 Computer and Information Ethics:

This class will explore some of the ethical and professionalization issues that arise in the context of designing and using networked information technologies.  Using a combination of lecture, discussion, presentations, writing, and other methods, this course will examine frameworks for making ethical decisions, the process of and need for professionalization in informatics, and selected case studies in information ethics.

I400/I590 Geographies of Technology:

How do technologies and ideas move from one setting to another? How do political relations, regulatory institutions, economic policies, cultural norms, differing ideas of property, or colonial relationships shape processes of innovation, knowledge generation, and technological change?

This course will study how ideas and technologies travel, with a focus on how these flows are interrupted or redirected in unexpected, yet productive ways. The course will be linked to the year-long Mellon Sawyer Seminar "Rupture and Flow: The Circulation of Technoscientific Facts and Objects" that will take place at Indiana University during the 2010-2011 academic year. Students will have the opportunity to read and then interact with the leading scholars brought to campus for the Sawyer Seminar.

The course will be interdisciplinary in scope with readings from history, anthropology, sociology, geography, and science and technology studies (STS), and will be joint-listed in the School of Informatics and the Department of Geography. It will be open to a limited number of undergraduate and graduate students. Students are encouraged to learn more about the Sawyer Seminar by visiting

I590 Technology and the First Amendment:

This course will combine lecture and discussion to explore how new technologies challenge and are shaped by first amendment law. It will pay particular attention to how recent technological developments are shaping our understandings of free speech, press, and assembly. The course will also provide a historical perspective on how First Amendment law has changed over time with respect to various communications mediums, commercial speech, and the tension between free expression and intellectual property. Topics covered will include freedom of assembly in virtual spaces, the chilling effects of government surveillance on free expression, media regulation, whether software or data are forms of speech, hate speech online, obscenity and pornography, Internet filtering as a form of prior restraint, intellectual property v. free expression, and freedom of the press in the age of the Internet.

I590 Data and Society:

The course will introduce technically-trained students to the social, political, and ethical aspects of data science work. It is designed to create reflective practitioners who are able to think critically about how collecting, aggregating, and analyzing data are social processes, and processes that affect people. Students will also be asked to consider how they view their obligation to those who produce the data that data scientists collect and analyze. The will also apply what they have learned in a final project that addresses a current societal challenge. Grades will be based on a midterm exam, final project, class participation, and homework assignments given throughout the semester. Students will be expected to complete assigned readings prior to class and express their ideas in writing. The course will be structured as a lecture course that encourages class discussion.

I590 History of Technology:

This course surveys the ways that people have developed, designed, and used technologies in history and how technologies, in turn, have contributed to shaping culture, society, politics, and the environment. It is a graduate-level seminar where students will read and discuss new and canonical works in the field. Over the course of the semester, students will learn different historiographic approaches to technology, address key thematic discussions, and identify emerging areas of research. Much of the history of technology literature is U.S.-centered. The course includes readings that challenge this limited geography so that students can form understandings of technology that are transnational, diverse, and more globally inclusive.

I609 Advanced Seminar I in Social Informatics:

This seminar course introduces Ph.D. students to the core literature and emerging scholarship in the field of social informatics and draws from work in the history and social studies of science and technology. The seminar provides doctoral students with opportunities to examine and explore relevant influential research, literature, methods, and theoretical frameworks. I625 concentrates on the social and cultural aspects of informatics as well as qualitative research methods and prepares students for future doctoral work in social informatics.

I709 Advanced Seminar II in Social Informatics:

This seminar course will introduce graduate students to core and emerging literature on the political and legal aspects of information technology. We will adopt an interdisciplinary view of the topic and will draw from the fields of law, science and technology studies (STS), history, anthropology, sociology, and computer science. This semester we will address such topics as Internet governance; the creation, maintenance, and regulation of information infrastructures; civil liberties and human rights; information technology and development; open data and governance; algorithmic regulation; and policing. These topics have been selected to provide students with an understanding of the issues involved in major policy areas that pertain to information technology. Students will have the opportunity to examine and explore relevant and influential research literature, methods, and theoretical frameworks and apply this knowledge to a topic of their choosing in a final paper. This seminar will provide the foundation for future doctoral work in social informatics. It is cross-listed with Maurer School of Law.


Copyright © 2006 Eden Medina.