AFR 270 Fall 2014 Digital Diaspora: Interrogating Race, New Media, and Black Cultural Production Online

Diaspora as a concept can be examined as a distinct community, a geographic positioning, and as a set of social movements and rhetorical practices. How does globalization via information technology (mobile devices, Internet, smart-objects), trouble this form of identity-making? This course explores digital experiences in the Africa Diaspora and discusses the intersection of race and new media. We will examine black aesthetics in technology use (voice, mobile devices, Twitter), development of black virtual communities (Instagram, Black blogosphere), and digital crises and racial panics (Trayvon Martin, Jenna 6). We will also discuss and critique Africa's 'leap-frogging' into modernity via IT; and older traditions of science and technology emerging out the black experience. Students will be active in leading the discussion, which will take place via physical and digital mediums. Evaluation will be based on contribution in the physical classroom and online. A midterm paper and final project will attempt to foster data literacy and skills-building, using open source tools to engage with contemporary social problems. There will also be weekly readings and assignments. No prior knowledge of coding required. Students must have regular access to a computer and Web camera.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly reading assignments and short writing assignments, one midterm paper (7-10 pages) and a final project (for example, building a Web site or designing a mobile app).
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
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Prerequisites: none; no need for background in computer science
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
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Enrollment Limit: 12
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 1111
AFR 270 - 01 (F) SEM Digital Diaspora Division 2: Social Studies Cancelled 1111
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