Culture Beyond the Algorithmic Turn


Wed 12-1440 F110




By the end of the course students will be able to understand and critically apply the key concepts of digital media studies. Students will be familiar with the ways digital media form social behaviour. They will develop skills to investigate the complex and multi-faceted relationships between digital communication, web2.0 interactivity, content production, authority formation, the democratization of knowledge, and the socio-cultural dynamics of virtual communities. Finally, students will also be able to critically reflect upon the political, economic and ethical dimensions of digital media, and their consequences for the shaping and understanding of contemporary society and power.



Week 1     Introduction

Week 2     Understanding Digital Cultures

Week 3     The proliferation of ‘digital media’ and its political, economic, and cultural

               implications in the 21st century

Week 4     Political, economic, and cultural impact of technologies (devices, applications,

               schemes/protocols, and practices) related to digital media

Week 5     The socio-cultural dynamics of virtual communities

Week 6     Digital Archives, Digital Subjectivities

Week 7     Democratization of knowledge vs. advocacy of internet privacy


Week 9     Political, economic, and ethical issues related to digital surveillance (the PRISM

               progam, ECHEON, data mining, SIGINT, ELINT, etc)

Week 10   Internet-neutrality

Week 11   The Quantified Self (biotracking, big data, data mining, ‘precrime’)

Week 12   Digital Futures (uses of the digital, post-human singularities)



contents, user, prosumer, web 2.0, code, sharing, digital literacy, digital nativism and digital migration, participation, UGC, add-ons,  twitter, Instagram, selfie (selfie city), cloud, social media, digital media, digital culture, augmented reality (google, medicine, drone culture), quantified self (biotracking, digital medicine, dna and digital code, big data and personalized med.), archive, digital black hole (forgotten century), digital ecosystem, evolution, prosthesis, artificial intelligence, gamification, open world, sandbox, linear games, gaming and proprioception, gaming and learning, transmedia, media convergence (subjectivity, labour, storytelling), media archaeology, digital democracy, real-time, cyber warfare, surveillance, privacy…


Suggested readings:

-   Jean Baudrillard: Simulacra and Simulations. University of Minnesota Press, 1994;

-   Schwartz. Joan M. and TERRY Cook. ‘Archives, Records, and Power: The Making of Modern

    Memory’. Archival Science. 2. 2002, 1–19.

-   Angharad N. Valdivia (ed): A Companion to Media Studies. Blackwell, 2003;

-   Francisco J. Ricardo (ed.) Cyberculture and New Media. Rodopi, 2008;

-   Kathryn C. Montgomery: Generation Digital. MIT Press, 2007;

-   Andreas Jahn-Sudman and Ralf Stockmann (eds): Computer Games as a Sociocultural

    Phenomenon. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

-   Vincent Miller: Understanding Digital Culture. Sage. 2011.

-   Uricchio, William. ‘ The algorithmic turn: photosynth, augmented reality and the changing

    implications of the image’. Visual Studies, Vol. 26, No. 1, March 2011, 25-35.

-   Marshall McLuhan: Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man. MIT, 1994;

-   Kaun, Anne and Stiernstedt, Fredrik. ‘Facebook Time: Technological and Institutional    

    Affordances for Media’. New Media and Society. 2014: 16 (7), 1154-1168.

-   Travis, Alan. ‘European counter-terror plan involves blanket collection of passangers’ data’. The

    Guardian. 28 January, 2015. Accessed on 28 January at <


-   Identity Technologies: Constructing the Self Online. Eds: Anna Poletti and Julie Rak. University           of Wisconsin Press, 2014. [!!!!!]

-   Sarah Arnold:  Live from Facebook…and the BBC…and the users: video streaming and authorship


-   Martin Herbers: Would John Fiske Use a Second Screen: Re-reading Television in the New Media

    Environment. [




-   Active participation in class discussions 15%

-   Presentation 15%

-   2 short assignments 30%

-   Project / essay 40%