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Course Info

  • Course Number / Code:
  • 21A.350J (Fall 2004) 
  • Course Title:
  • The Anthropology of Computing 
  • Course Level:
  • Undergraduate 
  • Offered by :
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    Massachusetts, United States  
  • Department:
  • Anthropology 
  • Course Instructor(s):
  • Prof. Stefan Helmreich 
  • Course Introduction:
  •  


  • 21A.350J / SP.484J / STS.086J / WGS.484J The Anthropology of Computing



    Fall 2004




    Course Highlights


    This course features notes for many of the lectures, plus a full bibliography in the readings section.


    Course Description


    This course examines computers anthropologically, as meaningful tools revealing the social and cultural orders that produce them. We read classic texts in computer science along with works analyzing links between machines and culture. We explore early computation theory and capitalist manufacturing; cybernetics and WWII operations research; artificial intelligence and gendered subjectivity; the creation and commodification of the personal computer; the hacking aesthetic; non-Western histories of computing; the growth of the Internet as a military, academic, and commercial project; the politics of identity in cyberspace; and the emergence of "evolutionary" computation.
     

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
This course content is a redistribution of MIT Open Courses. Access to the course materials is free to all users.






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