Tuesday, May 27, 2008


CMGA 6300 Summer 2008

Public Communication in Digital Environments

Dr. Lance Strate
Faculty Memorial Hall, Room 434A
E-mail: strate@fordham.edu
Office Hours: Tues. & Thurs. 5:30-6:00 or by appointment

Required Texts:

Jay David Bolter & Diane Gromala, Windows and Mirrors: Interaction Design, Digital
Art, and the Myth of Transparency.

David Brin, The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between
Privacy and Freedom?

N. Katherine Hayles, Writing Machines.

Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media.

Lance Strate, Ron L. Jacobson, & Stephanie B. Gibson, Communication and
Cyberspace: Social Interaction in an Electronic Environment (Second Edition).

Additional readings will be provided during the semester.


1. Regular attendance.
2. Relevant and sensible class participation and online interaction.
3. Careful reading of assigned texts.
4. Postings on the class blog at least twice a week related to readings, class discussion, and analysis of digital environments.
5. A term paper in the form of a scholarly article, essay, or research report. The paper should follow an accepted style guide (e.g., APA, MLA) and should be thoroughly proofread. Term papers will be due on June 26. Late papers may result in a grade of incomplete.
6. An oral presentation based on your term paper.


This course is devoted to the exploration of the computer as a medium of communication, and to the related technologies that make computer-mediated communication possible. This includes those communication technologies known as new media, the Internet, online communications, and concepts such as cyberspace, virtual reality, hypermedia, networking, social media, and of course digital media. The goal of this course is not, however, to study the technological workings of computer technology in all its detail, but rather to gain a general understanding of how these media work, and work us over. In other words, the main concern is with how we communicate in our new media environments, and how that communication differs from the way that we have interacted previously; how we think, feel, and behave in virtual worlds; how we form our sense of self and identity online (and off); how we form our sense of community online (and off). No special skill in computing is needed for this class, but it is assumed that students have access to and are familiar with e-mail and the Web.

Tentative Schedule:

May 27 Introduction to the Class

May 29 Writing Machines

June 3 The Transparent Society

June 5 Communication & Cyberspace

June 10 Communication & Cyberspace continued

June 12 The Language of New Media

June 17 The Language of New Media continued

June 19 No Class Meeting (but read Windows and Mirrors)

June 24 Windows and Mirrors

June 26 Windows and Mirrors continued/Oral Presentations

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