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15425 : Censorship, Info Control, & Revolutions in Info Technology from the Printing Press to the Internet

Description: The digital revolution is triggering a wave of new information control efforts and censorship attempts, ranging from monopolistic copyright laws to the "Great Firewall" of China. The print revolution after 1450 was a moment like our own, when the explosive dissemination of a new information technology triggered a wave of information control efforts. Many of today's attempts at information control closely parallel early responses to the printing press, so the premodern case gives us centuries of data showing how diverse attempts to control or censors information variously incentivized, discouraged, curated, silenced, commodified, or nurtured art, thought, and science. This unique course is part of a collaborative research project funded by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and is co-organized with digital information expert Cory Doctorow. The course will bring pairs of experts working on the print and digital revolutions to campus to discuss parallels between their research with the class. Classes will be open to the public, filmed, and shared on the Internet to create an international public conversation. This is also a Department of History "Making History" course: rather than writing traditional papers, students will create web resources and publications (print and digital) to contribute to the ongoing collaborative research project.

Instructor(s): Adrian D. S. Johns, Ada Palmer

Offered: Autumn 2018

Category: History

Cluster(s): Digital Moving Image