Spring 2009: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30am to 11am
- Also listed as:
- Cogsci C103
- Media Studies C104C
- History C192
Room and Instructor Info
Class Schedule and Readings
Mid-term study guide - Exemplary essay responses
Final study guide
203A South Hall
Office Hours: Thu 11:30-1:00
203A South Hall
Office Hours: Tues 11:15-12:15, 1:15-2
Course TA:Megan Finn
TBA South Hall
Office Hours: TBA
Class Schedule & Readings:
- = available online
- = California Digital Library
- = in reader
Reader is available at Copy Central, 2560 BancroftAll slides are in .pdf format.
20 Jan: CLASS CANCELLED
22 Jan: Introduction: Why "History of Information"?
24 Jan: Talking about information Geoff's slides Paul's slides
Week 2Paul's slides
27 Jan: On Determinism
- Heilbroner, Robert L. 1994. "Do Machines Make History?", pp. 53-65 in Merrit Roe Smith & Leo Marx eds., Does Technology Drive History? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
- Bijker, Wiebe. 1995. "King of the Road: The Social Construction of the Safety Bicycle," pp. 19 - 100 in Wiebe Bijker, Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs: Towards a Theory of Sociotechnical Change. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
29 Jan: The First Technologies of Information: Writing SystemsGeoff's Slides
- Marshack, Alexander. 1999. "The Art and Symbols of Ice-Age Man," in David Crowley, ed. Communication in History: Technology, Culture, Society. Allyn & Bacon. Pp. 5-14
- Robinson, Andrew. 1999. "The Origins of Writing. In David Crowley, ed. Communication in History: Technology, Culture, Society. Allyn & Bacon. pp 36-42
Week 3Geoff's Slides
3 Feb: Cultural Effects of Writing
- Havelock, Eric. "The Coming of Literate Communication to Western Culture," in Eugene R. Kintgen, Barry M. Kroll, Mike Rose, eds. Perspectives on Literacy. Southern Illinois University, 1988. Pp. 127-134.
- Scribner, Silvia and Michael Cole. 1988. "Unpackaging Literacy." at Social Science Information, 17, 1 (1978)
5 Feb: Manuscript CulturePaul's Slides
- Trithemius, Johannes. 1974/1492. In Praise of Scribes. R. Behrendt, ed. Lawrence, KA: Coronado Press. chapters I-III, V-VII, XIV.
- Plato. 1973. Phaedrus & the Seventh & Eighth Letters. W. Hamilton, trans. Harmondsworth: Penguin. pp 21-26, "Prelude" pp. 95-103, "The inferiority of the written to the spoken word", & "Recapitulation and conclusion"
Week 4Paul's Slides
10 Feb: Print Culture
- Eisenstein, Elizabeth. 1983. "Some Features of Print Culture," pp 42-91 in Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
12 Feb: Emergence of the Public SphereGeoff's Slides
- Cowan, Brian. 2005. "Inventing the Coffee House" and "Penny Universities," pp. 79-112 in The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse. New Haven. Yale University Press.
- Darnton, Robert. 2000. "An Early Information Society: News and the Media in Eighteenth-Century Paris." American Historical Review 105.1.
Week 5Paul's Slides
17 Feb: Scientific information
- Sprat, Thomas. 1667. pp 60-79 in The History of the Royal Society of London for the Improving of Natural Knowledge London.
Available at Early English Books Online
Read from: from p. 60 "I come now to the Second Period of my Narration..." to p. 79, "The Royal Society will become Immortal."
- Stubbe, Henry. 1670. 'Mistakes about the Sweating-Sicknes, and its Cure,' pp. 23-25 in Legends No Histories, or, A Specimen of Some Animadversions upon the History of the Royal Society. London.
Available at Early English Books Online.
19 Feb: Reference Books and the Organization of Knowledge
- McArthur, Tom. 1986. Ch 12-15, pp. 91-133 in Worlds of Reference. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
24 Feb: Science & Statistics, continued
Paul's Slides26 Feb: Information Work
- Thompson, E.P. 1967. Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism. Past & Present 38 (Dec): 56-97.
- Edwards, James Don. 1960. Early Bookkeeping and its Development into Accounting. Business History Review 34(4): 446-458..
3 Mar: Reference Books and the Organization of Knowledge, continued.
5 Mar: The Modern Postal System (David Henkin to guest lecture.)
- Henkin, David. 2007. Becoming Postal, pp 15-41 in The Postal Age: The Emergence of Modern Communications in Nineteenth-Century America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
10 Mar: Point-to-Point: Telephone & Telegraph
- Friedlander, Amy. 1995. 'Telegraphy: The Precursor to Telephony, 1837-1873' pp 10-21 in Amy Friedlander, Natural Monopoly and Universal Service: Telephones and Telegraphs in the U.S. Communications Infrastructure, 1837-1940. Washington, D.C. CNRI.
- Fischer, Claude S. 1992. Chapter 2 "The Telephone in America." The Social History of the Telephone to 1940. University of California Press. Berkeley. pp 33-59
12 Mar: The Growth of Literacy and the 19th-century Public Sphere
- Now optional: Stone, Lawrence. 1969. "Literacy and Education in England 1640-1900." Past and Present 42: 69-139 (necessary to read only to p. 102).
- Schudson, Michael. 2003. "Where News Came From: The History of Journalism," Ch. 4 in The Sociology of News, Norton. Pp. 64-89.
- Optional: Mindich, David. 1998. "Nonpartisanship," pp. 40-63 in Just the Facts: How "Objectivity" Came to Define American Journalism. New York: NYU Press.
17 Mar: MIDTERM
19 Mar: Visual Information (David Rumsey to guest lecture)
Week 10 - SPRING BREAK
Week 11Geoff's Slides
31 Mar: Technologies of the Image: Photography
- Newhall, Beaumont. 1964. "Prints from Paper," "Portraits for the Million," "The Faithful Witness," and "The Conquest of Action," pp. 32-57 in The History of Photography, From 1839 to the Present Day. New York: Museum of Modern Art.
2 Apr: Broadcast: Radio & Television
- Czitrom, Daniel J. 1982. "The Ethereal Hearth: American Radio from Wireless through Broadcasting, 1892-1940." in Media and the American Mind. University of North Carolina Press. Pp. 60-88.
- Gitlin, Todd. 2001. "Supersaturation, Or, The Media Torrent And Disposable Feeling," Ch. 1 of Media Unlimited, Metropolitan Books. Pp. 12-70.
7 Apr: Broadcast, cont.
9 Apr: Advertising
- McKendrick, Neil. 1982. "Josiah Wedgwood and the Commercialization of the Potteries," pp. 100-145 in McKendrick et al. Birth of a Consumer Society. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
- Klein, Naomi. 2000. part 1 from No Logo
14 Apr: Information as property
Paul's Slides-Advertising 2
Paul's Slides-Information as Property 1
16 Apr: Advent of the computer
- "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by Vesting the Copies of Printed Books in the Authors or Purchasers of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned." Available here
- U.S. Constitution Article 1. Section 8, Clause 8.
Paul's Slides-Information as Property
Paul's Slides-Advent of the Computer
- Babbage, Charles. 1835. "Registering Operations" and "On the Division of Mental Labour," chapters 8 & 20 in On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures.
- Campbell-Kelly, Martin & William Aspray. 1996. "'Babbage's Dream Comes True," (pp. 53-104) in Martin Campbell-Kelly & William Aspray, Computer: A History of the Information Machine. New York: Basic Books.
21 Apr: Politics and Propaganda
- Marlin, Randall, 2002. "History of Propaganda," pp. 62-94 in Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion, Toronto: Broadview Press.
- Watch the first 10-minute segment of "Divide and Conquer," one of the "Why We Fight" films that Frank Capra made for the Office of War Information in WWII. (If you want more, there are the other segments on this page.) Watch this brief video on the background of these films.
Watch the first 7-10 minutes of Leni Riefenstahl's "Triumph of the Will," and browse the rest to get the flavor of the rallies -- it's pretty repetitive.
23 Apr: Advent of the Internet
- Berners-Lee, Tim. 2000. Chapters 1-3, pp. 1-34 in Weaving the Web. New York City: HarperCollins.
28 Apr: Information and disasters (Megan Finn to guest lecture)
- Klinenberg, Eric. 1997. Introduction and Chapter 1. pp 1-36 in Fighting for Air. Metropolitan Books: New York.
- Fradkin, Philip L. 2005. "The Culture of Disasters" pp 263-288 in The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906. University of California Press: Berkeley.
30 Apr: Storage, Search, Web 2.0
- Bush, Vannevar. 1945. As We May Think , Atlantic Monthly; 176 (1): 101-108
- Battelle, John. 2005. Epilogue, pp 281-4 in John Battelle, Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed our Culture. New York: Portfolio/Penguin.
Week 16Paul's slides (Search)
5 May: Social Implications of the Internet (I)
Paul's slides (Social Implications)
- Marshall, Alfred. 1920. "Industrial Organization, Continued. The Concentration of Industries in Particular Localities," book IV chapter X (section iv.x.1-15), in Principles of Economics. London, Macmillan & Co.
- Cairncross, Frances . 2001. Preface and "Trendspotter's Guide to New Communications" pp ix - xvii in The Death of Distance: How the Communications Revolution is Changing our Lives. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Available from Google Books
7 May: Social Implications of the Internet (II)
- DiMaggio, Paul, Eszter Hargittai, W. Russell Neuman,and John P. Robinson. 2001. "Social Implications of the Internet," Annual Review of Sociology. 27:307.
- Nunberg, Geoffrey. 2002. "Will the Internet Always Speak English?" American Prospect, Nov. 30.
May 18: FINAL EXAM
Reading assignments (20% of course grade):
There will be 10 readings assignments, each involving submission of a one- or two-paragraph answer to one of a list of several questions about the reading. Responses should be concise and no more than 200 words. Assignments are to be turned in via bSpace by the time and date specified. No late assignments will be accepted. No assignments will be accepted over email. Assignments will not be letter-graded. 2.5 point will be given for turning in an assignment with a coherent argument. Each student will get 2 free rides for missed assignments (thus only 8 assignments will count).
Midterm (30% of course grade)
Three essay questions, two from a list of questions provided in advance. One 10-point short-answer section asking for names, dates, etc.
Final (50% of course grade)
Five essay questions, most chosen from a list of questions provided in advance. One 10-point short-answer section asking for names, dates, etc.
From time to time we will give brief homework assignments to be discussed in class. No grade will be assigned for class participation as such, but we tend to look kindly on students who manifest a lively interest in the proceedings.
Exam questions will be based on material covered in readings, slides, and class discussion. Class slides will be posted shortly after each class.