Today the Internet is the medium which holds the most multifaceted set of materials documenting contemporary social, cultural, and political life. It has become the fulcrum for the general development of media, including mass media and a growing variety of digital devices. If the communicative infrastructure of society in the late 20th century was centered on television, it is today centered on the Internet.
As a variety of digital media penetrates all spheres in society, they also play a still more dominant role for the social sciences, humanities and arts. They do so in three respects: as archives for contemporary life, as a toolbox for the study of all sorts of digital collections, including digitized collections of non-digital materials (often labeled cultural heritage), and as a means for enforced communication within all spheres of society.
This course will concentrate on the role of the Internet and particularly on online and archived web materials for scholars studying contemporary political, social, and cultural phenomena.