21A.504[J] Cultures of Computing


Class Info

Examines computers anthropologically, as artifacts revealing the social orders and cultural practices that create them. Students read classic texts in computer science along with cultural analyses of computing history and contemporary configurations. Explores the history of automata, automation and capitalist manufacturing; cybernetics and WWII operations research; artificial intelligence and gendered subjectivity; robots, cyborgs, and artificial life; creation and commoditization of the personal computer; the growth of the Internet as a military, academic, and commercial project; hackers and gamers; technobodies and virtual sociality. Emphasis is placed on how ideas about gender and other social differences shape labor practices, models of cognition, hacking culture, and social media.

This class has no prerequisites.

21A.504[J] will not be offered this semester. It will be instructed by S. Helmreich.

This class counts for a total of 12 credits. This class counts as a HASS S.

In the Spring 2014 Subject Evaluations, 21A.504[J] was rated 5.9 out of 7.0. You can find more information at the MIT Anthropology: Undergraduate Subjects site.

MIT 21A.504[J] Cultures of Computing Related Textbooks
MIT 21A.504[J] Cultures of Computing On The Web
MIT Anthropology: Undergraduate Subjects
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