Syllabus
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Syllabus

Political Economy of Digital Media

Instructor:

Office: N/A

Office hours: By Appointment

Email: davidc.rheams@utdallas.edu

Class Website Link

Lecture: Tuesday & Thursday 7:00p to 8:15p

Location: ATC 2.602

Department: ATEC

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Course Policies

πŸ“œ Course Description

This course investigates interrelations among digital media technologies, economic practices, governmental institutions, and sociopolitical processes. This semester, we’ll examine global industries and supply-chains for digital technologies, labor, and leisure in digital culture, environmental and economic impacts of digital technologies, as well as emerging economies and artificial intelligence.

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Remember that you’re an active participant in putting this class together. This isn't a class where I present information, and your job is to memorize it for future use. Instead, the goal of the class is to uncover ideas and present them in a new light so that we can recognize how economic forces shape people and communities. Students will be asked to help facilitate lectures and contribute to case studies throughout the semester. In addition, we will be working in groups during almost every class.

Technologies & Platforms

🧰 What You'll Get Out of This Class

After taking this course, you should be able to recognize the forces behind digital economies. You will also gain a foundation in systems thinking that allows you to view complex systems in their entirety.

  • Understand a range of topics at the intersection of political economy and digital media
  • Situate political and economic analysis of digital media phenomena in their respective historical and geographic contexts
  • Advance proficiencies in critical thinking, research, and writing
  • Incorporate insights from existing scholarship into their research and creative practice

πŸ’‘Helpful Writing Tools

I will mention these writing and organization tools during the semester. They all have a free option. I’ll add to this list as we go through the semester.

Writing Resources

πŸ“š Readings

All readings are provided for you - no need to buy textbooks. I've provided links to all readings on the class website.

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Selected Texts

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List View 2

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List View 2

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Card View

The Internet Trap
Princeton University Press
2018
Yes
Mathew Hindman
From Counterculture to Cyberculture
U of Chicago
2006
Yes
Fred Turner
Privacy is hard & 7 other myths
No
Algorithms and the Attention Economy
No
How Social Media became a Pink-Collar Job
Wired
2018
No
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The Fight Against platform Capitalism
No
The Commodification of Virtual Community Content in Increasing Media Traffic
Media and Communication
2021
No
Tuti Widiastuti
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Net Neutrality: A Guide to (and History of) a Contested Idea
The Atlantic
2014
Net Neutrality: A guide to (and history of) A Contested Idea
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Communicatative Capitalism: Circulation and the Foreclosure of Politics
Cultural Politics
2005
Jodi Dean
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Cyberspace’s Architectural Constitution
1999
Lawrence Lessig
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The Racial and Gendered Job Performances of Fashion Blogger Poses
Duke University Press
2015
Yes
Minh-Ha T. Pham
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The socio-technical architecture of digital labor: Converting play into YouTube money
new media & society
2014
Hector Postigo
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INTERROGATING β€œFREE” FAN LABOR
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Capital: A Critique of Political Economy
1867 (1995)
Yes
Karl Marx
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Algorithms, the Attention Economy, and the Breast Cancer Narrative
U of Michigan Press
Olivia Banner
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Money Code Space
Oxford University Press
2020
Jack Parkin

πŸ—“ Schedule

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Course Schedule

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Monthly Calendar

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Monthly Calendar

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Table View

February 2024
Today
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
28
29
30
31
Feb 1
2
3
Early Internet Economies (Web 1.0)
3️⃣
Early Internet Economies (Web 1.0)
Interviewing: Topic Guide
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Interviewing: Topic Guide
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
No Class Meeting
❗
No Class Meeting
No Class Meeting
❗
No Class Meeting
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Early Internet Economies & Monopolies (Web 1.0)
4️⃣
Early Internet Economies & Monopolies (Web 1.0)
Interviewing on Sensitive Subjects
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Interviewing on Sensitive Subjects
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Web 2.0 Technologies & Interview Bias
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Web 2.0 Technologies & Interview Bias
Mid Term Prep
5️⃣
Mid Term Prep
25
26
27
28
29
Mar 1
2
Mid Term Due
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Mid Term Due
Midterm Peer Review
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Midterm Peer Review
Web 2.0's economic models
6️⃣
Web 2.0's economic models

πŸ† Grading

Scale

A 90%-100% B 80%-89% C 70%-79% D 60%-69% F < 60%

😒 Plagiarism

Presenting someone else’s ideas as your own, either verbatim or recast in your own words – is a serious academic offense with severe consequences. In short, don't do it.