Learning Objectives


  • We’ll think expansively, historically, and speculatively about what constitutes networks and technologies
  • We’ll consider how network infrastructures embody particular ideologies, and how they shape human (and non-human) identity, agency, interpersonal relationships, labor, thought, and creative expression
  • We’ll identify networks that can serve or surveill us in our own lives — in our work, our leisure, our social relationships, and so forth 
  • We’ll examine the social and community implications of network design and construction, and explore methods to improve the equity, health, and wellbeing of networked societies
  • We’ll learn how to assess the various affordances and limitations, strengths and weaknesses, of different network infrastructures, and the politics and values they embody
  • We’ll test the limits of our networks, create targeted network interventions, and “creatively misuse” networks to determine how they might serve purposes for which they weren’t intended 
  • We’ll explore the speculative potential of sociotechnical ecosystems, from building power with movement to futurism
  • We’ll develop skills of critical reading; critical, technical, and experimental writing; network ethnography; participant observation; policy analysis; program evaluation; and basic infrastructural thinking


Students will be able to…

  • use computation as a tool to enhance their liberal arts education — to better analyze, communicate, create and learn
  • engage in project-based and collaborative learning that utilizes computational/algorithmic thinking
  • gain a broader understanding of the historical and social factors leading to the increasing presence of computational systems in our lives
  • work through the social and political implications of/embedded within computational technologies and develop an accompanying ethical framework 
  • appreciate the challenges of equity and access posed by increased reliance on computational technologies as well as their potential to reinforce existing inequalities in society 
  • think critically about the ways they and others interact with computation including understanding its limits from philosophical, logical, mathematical and public policy perspectives
  • understand the intrinsic relationship between the physical world, analog environments and digital experiences
Via Zak Jensen