Digital Diversity

AMST 475/ DTC 475


AMST / DTC 475: Digital Diversity


  1. Familiarize students with the literature pertaining to digital cultures, and technologies with specific emphasis on the social, political and ethical implications of and possibilities for the uses of digital technologies and social media.
  2. Provide a set of critical tools for analyzing and using digital technology and social media in everyday environments.
  3. Map the contours of the digital landscape with particular emphasis on the ethical, social and cultural dilemmas that emerge at the intersection of digital technologies and diverse communities of practice.
  4. Examine the diverse sets of users and creators who produce, engage with and define the products, practices and processes of the digital landscape with particular attention to the gaps and margins of these normative groupings.
  5. Understand the normative and dominant narratives and practices related to digital technologies, social media and digital culture and develop a critical vocabulary and skill set to understand and engage with these narratives and practices.



  • Students are expected to do all course readings prior to class and come prepared to discuss the readings. The class is designed around student activity as such we will have many in-class activities. Students must complete the in-class activities on the day they are assigned. Students may not make up missed in-class assignments.


  • Students will be responsible for creating and maintaining a blog throughout the semester. Students may use any blogging platform they choose. Blog assignments will be posted on the course blog and students are expected to follow the assigned blogging tasks unless otherwise noted as a “student-lead” blog assignment. Blog posts must be completed by the end of each week.


  • There will be weekly reading quizzes covering the assigned reading for the class session. Reading quizzes will always be the first 15 minutes of class. Quizzes cannot be made up and must be completed in the allotted time.


  • Students will work in pre-assigned groups to formulate and give an in-class presentation on one of the themes of the class. Presentations are limited to 25 minutes. Students are encouraged to be creative with their presentation styles and group project focus. All students in the group must participate.

Final Project

  • Each student will produce a final project concerning one of the main themes of the course. Students will be able to choose from pre-assigned questions relating to the main themes and topics of the course. Final projects will be posted to student blogs.


All texts can be purchased at the Bookie, Crimson and Grey or online. Supplementary materials will be made available via the course blog as PDFs or URLs.


  1. Digital Media Ethics, Charles Ess, Polity, 2009
  2. The Young and the Digital: What the Migration to Social Network Sites, Games, and Anytime, Anywhere Media Means for Our Future, S. Craig Watkins, Beacon Press, 2009
  3. Technicolor: Race, Technology, and Everyday Life, edited by Alondra Nelson and Thuy Linh N. Tu, New York University Press, 2001


Students will be evaluated based on their critical engagement with the reading assignments, the sophistication and rigor of their written assignments and the professional quality of their oral presentations.

  • Participation               200 points
  • Blogging                      250 points
  • Quizzes                        175 points
  • Presentations               100 points
  • Final Project                 175 points

**NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS are accepted except in the case of a documented emergency, a documented university sponsored event or a documented observance of a religious holiday.


Students who violate the University’s policies on plagiarism and academic dishonesty will be subject to disciplinary action including: failure of the specific assignment and/or failure of the class.  Plagiarism includes not providing proper citation for ANY work including information found on any website, book, pamphlet, etc, and/or copying in full or part the work of someone else (including fellow students). If you do not understand the seriousness of plagiarism and academic dishonesty, and the importance of avoiding those behaviors, I recommend that you read WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (WSU Student Handbook, WAC 504-26-202—Acts of Dishonesty and WAC 504-26-010–Definitions).

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