FDM 136c:
History of New Media

Instructor: Margaretha Haughwout
Syllabus: Spring 2014

Meeting Time and Place:
Class: Tuesday & Thursday 6:30-8:45, Studio C

Course Website with Course Schedule:

Office: Communications 107
Office Hours: Thurs 5:00p-6:00p (or by appt.)
Online Office Hours: TBA
Skype: mllebuffalo
Delicious: http://www.delicious.com/margaretha/fdm136c
Email: margaretha dot anne dot haughwout at gmail dot com

Teaching Assistants:
Finley Coy, fcoyl at ucsc dot edu
Sections A & B
office: DARC Grad Lab
office hours: Tuesdays 5-6p

Marc Francis, mnewman2 at ucsc dot edu
Sections B & C
office: McHenry Cafe
office hours: Thursdays 3-4p

Course Description
This course looks at the History of New Media in two ways. We consider 1) the ideologies, economics, politics and technologies that brought our current new media into being. Here, we consider early conceptions of code and software, the influence of the telegraph and the railroad and how these developments influenced early cybernetics. We ask how the computer went from being a woman to a machine, developed by military, then embraced by hippies, then finally marketed to mass culture. As we unpack conditions and ideologies, we apply our critical skills to unveil how these ideologies persevere in the everyday objects, interfaces and interactions of our new media.
Secondly, we consider 2) the particular kinds of histories that new media create. Here we wonder at how memory and storage are conflated, the reproducability of the image and the power of code as well as the influence of enlightenment, the marketing of memories and the rise of dataveillance.
Some questions we might ask include whether information can ever be free? Did information lose its body? Has freedom lost its social body? Is our control society democratic? Do new media reify dominant classed, gendered and racialized bodies, or do they provide opportunities for new identities, freedoms and connections? These questions will guide us as we work to interpret how technological history gets written in the face of certain ideas of information and definitions of freedom: in what context, by whom, and in the service of what commercial interests or intellectual traditions (and at the expense of what bodies).
The materials supporting our inquiry are films, science fiction, theoretical texts, and historical essays. Our work will materialize as image analyses, reflective memoirs, discussion, and other writings.

This Syllabus Is Subject To Change At Instructor's Discretion

All readings for this course will be offered as PDFs and links through the courses schedule page. It is highly recommended that you use some of the budget you allocate for books on printing out your assigned readings. Most of us do better reading print rather than digitally. This also allows you to make notes in the margins and highlight important quotes. Finally, it reflects well on you to bring the printed texts to your section and will likely result in a higher participation grade.

Participation and Attendance, 20pts:
During class we will be viewing and discussing an array of visual and textual material. It is absolutely essential that you attend all lectures and sections. Attendance will be taken during class. Also, be sure to inform your TA in advance if you know you will be unable to attend lectures or sections for medical reasons, due to religious holiday observance, etc. Students who anticipate being absent from class due to religious observance should inform their TA by email previous to their absence. If you are absent from class, you are responsible for contacting a classmate for the information you missed. Please note that, in accordance with UCSC policy, three unexcused absences from lecture or section can result in failure of the course.

Exams (40 points) :
There will be two exams, a mid-term and a final. The mid-term examination will cover everything up until the date of that examination. The exam may include short essay responses, comparisons, definitions. Makeup exams will not be offered.

Assignments (40 points of final grade):
Students are required to complete the following assignments.
A1: Techno memoir, guiding questions for the semester. 5 points
A2: Shot analysis, 10 points
A3: Operating System analysis, 10 points
A4: Response papers 15 points

Grading Rubric:
A -- Excellent. Student exhibits exemplary conceptual and critical ability with assignments, exams and in class. Student demonstrates a close reading of the any required materials, and ability to successfully communicate ideas to others. All work is lucid and engaging.
B -- Good. Student completes assignments, and demonstrates a grasp of most of the main aspects of each lesson, but not all. Is able to communicate information and ideas well. In exams, critical analysis is present.
C -- Satisfactory. Student completes the assignment but may lack enthusiasm or drive to push the work into a detailed conceptual space. Student does not demonstrate knowledge of readings, lectures or other visual material. In exams, problems exist in student's work, or the work is underdeveloped.
D -- Unsatisfactory. Student does not complete the work as assigned. Substantial problems exist in student's work.
F --Fail. Student does not submit work, or work is below unsatisfactory level.

Late Work Policy
Work is considered late if handed in or emailed after due date/time. 11:59pm Friday is the default deadline time unless specified otherwise in the schedule. Late Assignments: Late work will NOT be accepted and missed exams will NOT be rescheduled. Your TA may, at her or his discretion, accept late work deducting a full letter grade for each day the assignment is late, including weekend days.

Save your work constantly! Assignments not completed because of lost work will not be excused.

Final Grades:
Your final grade will be based upon the quality of your written assignments and presentation/s, your midterm and final exam scores, as well as your participation and attendance. See Course Requirements above for a point breakdown.

Laptop Policy:
Laptops are to be used in lecture only for the purpose of taking notes or participating in websites and demos presented in class. Laptops used for other purposes will lead to the banning of laptops in class for specific students.

Use of cell phones and laptops for other purposes besides note taking in class significantly detracts your attention from class. For this reason, your TA may mark you absent should you be using your cell phone in class.

Academic Honor Code
Cheating, plagiarism or fabrication will be dealt with in accordance to the University's policy as outlined in the Student Handbook. You are expected to be familiar with the University policy on dishonesty and disruption of the academic process. If you use outside sources in your work, you must attribute them.

Academic Misconduct:
Submitting someone else's work as if it were your own will be dealt with severely. It will result in automatic failure for the course and possible expulsion from school.

Standard Formatting for text based work
We do not accept handwritten work for any assignment.
Use only 10 or 12 point type in Georgia, Times, Verdana.
Use 1.25-inch or smaller margins on the left and right, 1-inch margins on the top and bottom.
Your name should appear on each page of your text.
All writings should have your typed name, date of submission and "FDM 136c S16" on them.
If you do not know how to make format adjustments on your computer, then please seek assistance at one of the computer labs, or from your TA.
Check with your TA for accepted text filetypes.

Emailing and Naming Assignment Files
Students will be required to submit assignments electronically to your TA. Assignment file names should begin with the assignment number, an underscore and the student's last name, another underscore, and then their first name:


Email Netiquette
Netiquette, Noun: 1. The social code of network communication. 2. The social and moral code of the internet based on the human condition and Golden Rule of Netiquette. 3. A philosophy of effective internet communication that utilizes common conventions and norms as a guide for rules and standards.
Please visit: http://voices.yahoo.com/10-best-rules-netiquette-1952570.html for some tips on appropriate email practices. In your subject header, indicate your course, and a couple of words about your question/comment -- ie:

subject: FDM 136c assignment question

Allow for a 48 hour response time from the professor (if it is urgent, please put URGENT in the subject header for quicker response time)