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Course Detail

Surveillance Culture


This course examines the history of technologies used in surveillance and the implications for human culture and individual expectations of privacy. We will explore themes in quantitative and qualitative tracking methods beginning with Bentham's Panopticon and the invention of photography, and tracing developments and uses of counting machines, cryptology, and computing, paying particular attention to how these methods preempt contemporary networked and so-called "Big Data" methods such as deep packet searching, social media data science, or the NSA's Prism program. We will analyze these methods and their intended outcomes and assess their impact in their search to gain knowledge on or control individuals or populations, thwart enemies, or understand demographics in the pursuit of capital. This course will be of interest to students studying media and communications culture, information science, among others.

Satisfies a requirement in the Digital Studies minor.
Satisfies the Justice, Equality, and Community requirement.