This is Your Brain on Facebook: Knowing in the Digital Age

Instructor: 
Matthew Lavin
Meeting Days/Times: 
Tuesday and Thursday 12:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Also Counts: 
This course also fulfills the HU general education requirement

Is the Internet making us stupid? In this course, we will join some of the greatest minds of our time in considering this question. We will look closely at the impact of digital communication and consumption on our thoughts, our worldviews, and the ways we read and interpret texts. Examining a range of topics from the unique qualities of media that originate in a digital form, to what it means to be a digital native, to the ubiquity of mobile devices, we will think critically about how digital technology is affecting how we relate to the world and to what we think we know. Using familiar examples like Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube, we will discuss concepts that have been dominating the headlines, such as big data and data mining. Approximately halfway through the semester, students will begin to develop individual digital research projects. As a group, we will build digital literacy skills aimed at making us better students, scholars, and citizens. Only a general familiarity with computers is necessary to take this course, but students will have the opportunity to learn how more advanced information concepts relate to enduring humanities questions and perspectives.