This course introduces students to the theories and methods necessary for doing research in digital anthropology. Digital anthropology is the study of the impact of information technology on social relationships and human culture. Because of advancements in information and communication technology (as well as globalization), the everyday life of the people and communities that we study are increasingly being shaped by cyberspace, digital media and communication, and online social groups. Throughout the semester, students will conduct fieldwork, communicate, and write commentary on the internet, including social media, websites, and digital media production. Emphasis is placed on developing the critical and methodological skills needed for doing fieldwork virtually, but no previous computer programming is expected or required.
Because of the significant amount of time and skill necessary in cyber-research, projects will be done within groups. While individuals within a group may specialize in a particular aspect of the project, I will expect everyone to develop a strong working knowledge of all the various aspects of research, analysis and online production.