MAVA 445

Course: MAVA445 – New Media and Society (Last offered, Fall 2014)
Instructor: Lemi Baruh
Office: SOS204, Phone: 1133
Email: lbaruh[at]
Course Materials: Available on Blackboard
Class Hours and Location: Monday & Wednesday 11:30-12:45, SOS103

Office Hours: Monday & Wednesday 10:00-11:00 or by appointment


This course examines the social, political, and technological dynamics of new media. The seminar will outline the history and theory of new media from cultural and political perspectives and investigate how new media frame our experience of the world and shape our political involvement (covering issues related to participatory politics, public sphere, censorship and governments) in it, and how new media intersect with individuals sense of identity and involvement in culture.


At the end of the semester, students should have acquired:

  • Knowledge of key issues and texts regarding new technologies and forms of mediation.
  • Understanding of the relationship between communication and information and social, political, cultural and economic dynamics in contemporary societies.
  • Ability to link canonic communication theories with issues in new media and new forms of mediation.
  • Skills to engage critically with perspectives regarding communication and information technologies.


A reader that contains all the readings that will be assigned for the MAVA.445 New Media and Society will be available from the copy center. Students are expected to have read the material before class.


The final grade for the course will be calculated based on following distribution:

  • 10% attendance and in-class participation
  • 10% assignments
  • 20% midterm exam
  • 30% final exam
  • 10% reading presentations
  • 20% group projects (15% online content + 5% peer evaluations)

Participation: You are required to attend classes and actively participate in class discussion.

Assignments: During the semester you will be given assignments regarding your readings and current issues about new media technologies and society. All assignments are due at the beginning of the class. The assignment with the lowest grade will not be counted.

Midterm and Final Exams: There will be one midterm and a final exam. The midterm will be in the seventh week of classes and the final exam is going to be during the finals week after classes are over. Both exams will be open-book, open-notes short essay exams. Make-up exams will be allowed only when a student presents a valid medical report.

Reading Presentations: Starting with Week 8, every week, two students will be responsible for preparing a presentation about the required readings. The presentations should summarize the readings, provide examples illustrating the points discussed in the readings and raise questions for discussion in class. Each pair of students should consult, at least one week before class, about an outline of the issues that they would like to focus on. Students are advised to prepare a draft presentation to show to the instructor during this consultation.

Group Projects: The purpose of the group projects will be to create an information source (in English) that investigates in detail issues related to topics discussed in the MAVA 445 course. This information source can be in any format that you see fit, including but not limited to blogs, wikis, film, infographics, animation. Students should try to be creative in finding a topic (and questions related to the topic) and a title for their online resource and for your online resource. Topics that can be investigated include but not limited to (please use your imagination):

  • Effects of interactive advertising
  • Privacy problems that are caused by extensive collection of data about individuals
  • The future of digital art
  • Utilization of internet in higher education
  • Influence of social media on adolescent socialization
  • Big data and marketing
  • Implications of copyright on cultural freedom
  • Public sphere and the internet
  • Free software and 

The information resource should fulfill two functions:

  1. Theoretical/research discussion of the topic. 
  2. Summary of recent issues/events/incidents relevant to the topic. 

Regardless of the format you choose for your information source, any outside source you utilize, should be properly acknowledged and referenced. 

Grading Scale:

97+        A+
90+        A
87+        A-
83+        B+
80+        B
77+        B-
73+        C+
70+        C
67+        C-
64+        D+
60+        D
0-59       F


Assignments and papers delivered after a specified deadline will be considered late. Late assignments and papers will be penalized 10% for each business day it is late. Any paper that is overdue for more than five business days will be automatically deducted 50% until the end of the semester and can be turned in at any time during the semester but before the final exam.


Students are expected to be on time for class. As a courtesy to your peers, once inside the class, please put your phone in vibrate mode and please refrain from chatting with your peers and please do not leave the room until the end of the class.


Cheating, plagiarism or collusion in assigments, exams or papers are serious offences that will result in a failing grade and more severe disciplinary action. There are no exceptions to this rule.

According to the Student Code of Conduct at Koc University, academic dishonesty includes and is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, multiple submissions, and collusion:

  • Cheating includes, but is not limited to, copying from a classmate or providing answers or information, either written or oral to others, in an examination or in the preparation of material subject to academic evaluation.
  • Plagiarism is borrowing or using someone else?s writing or ideas without giving written acknowledgement to the author. This includes copying from a fellow student?s paper or from a text or internet site without properly citing the source.
  • Multiple submission includes resubmission of the same work previously used in another course or project, without the permission of the instructor for both courses.
  • Collusion is getting unauthorized help from another person such as having someone else write one?s assignment, or having someone else take an exam with false identification. Impersonating a student in an examination is also considered a grave act of dishonesty.
  • Fabrication includes, but is not limited to, falsification or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  • Facilitating academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, knowingly helping another student commit an act of academic misconduct (e.g., cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, multiple submissions)


Weekly readings and schedule of topics may change due to instructor or student needs. Students are required to follow updates through this page.


15/09/2014 – Course Introduction & Overview

17/09/2014 – In Class Exercise: The Past and Future of Media




22/09/2014 – The Chicken or the Egg? The Relationship between Technology and Society

  • Marshall McLuhan (1994). The Medium Is the Message. In The Anthropology of Media: A Reader, eds. Kelly Askew and Richard R. Wilk (pp. 18-26). Cambridge: The MIT Press.

24/09/2014 – The Chicken or the Egg? The Relationship between Technology and Society

  • Raymond Williams (1974). Technology and the Society. In The Anthropology of Media: A Reader, eds. Kelly Askew and Richard R. Wilk (pp. 27-40). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
  • Assignment 1 Due Next Week 


29/09/2014 – What is New Media?

  • Lev Manovich (2001). The Language of New Media. (Chapter 1). Cambridge: The MIT Press.

01/10/2014 – What is New Media?

  • Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin (2000). Remediation: Understanding New Media (Chapter 1). Cambridge: The MIT Press.
  • Assignment 1 Due


08/10/2014 – We Need a Name for It: Information Technologies and Contemporary Society

  • Robert Hassan (2008). The Information Society. (pp. 1-31). Polity Press.


13/10/2014 – We Need a Name for It: Information Technologies and Contemporary Society

  • Manuel Castells (1997). Introduction to the Information Age. City: Analysis of Urban Trends, Culture, Theory and Social Action, 2(7): 6-16.

15/10/2014 – We Need a Name for It: Information Technologies and Contemporary Society

  • Robert Hassan (2008). The Information Society. (pp. 32-74). Polity Press
  • Assignment 2 Due Next Week


20/10/2014 – Convergence Culture and Media Industries

  • Henry Jenkins (2006). Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. (Introduction: Worship at the Altar of Convergence: A New Paradigm for Understanding Media Change). New York: NYU Press

22/10/2014 – Convergence Culture and Media Industries

  • Yochai Benkler (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom. (Chapter 4). New Haven: Yale University Press
  • Mirko Tobias Schafer (2011). Bastard Culture: How User Participation Transforms Cultural Production. (pp. 125-165).  Amsterdam University Press
  • Andrejevic, M. (2011). Social network exploitation. In Z. Papacharissi (Ed.), A Networked Self: Identity, Community, and Culture on Social Network Sites (pp. 82–101). New York: Routledge
  • Assignment 2 Due 


27/10/2014 – Group Projects Initial Discussion

  • Students should come to class with their group members and blog topics determined.
  • We will go over some basic technical details of Blogging platforms

Midterm (Date to be determined by Registrars Office)




03/11/2014 – Information Sources and Online Journalism

  • Papacharissi, Z., & de Fatima Oliveira, M. (2012). Affective News and Networked Publics: The Rhythms of News Storytelling on #Egypt. Journal of Communication, 62(2), 266–282.
  • Revers, M. (2014). The Twitterization of News Making: Transparency and Journalistic Professionalism. Journal of Communication.

05/11/2014 – Information Sources and Online Journalism

  • Barbara Thomaß (2011). Wikileaks and the Question of Responsibility within a Global Democracy. European View, 10: 17-23.  


10/11/2014 – Democracy and New Media: A Fragmented Space

  • Yochai Benkler (2006). The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom(Chapter 6). New Haven: Yale University Press
  • Cass Sunstein (2007). 2.0: Revenge of the Blogs (Chapter 2). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Zuckerman, E. (2014). New Media, New Civics? Policy & Internet, 6(2), 151-168.

12/11/2014 – Democracy and New Media: A Fragmented Space

  • Cass Sunstein (2007). 2.0: Revenge of the Blogs (Chapter 3). Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Assignment 3 Due Next Week

WEEK 10 

17/11/2014 – Control and Governance: Legal Limits and Beyond (The Architecture of Control)

  • Lessig, L. (2006). Code 2.0 (Chapter 7). New York: Basic Books.

19/11/2014 – Control and Governance: Legal Limits and Beyond (Censorship)

  • Bitso, C., Fourie, I., & Bothma, T. J. D. (2013). Trends in transition from classical censorship to Internet censorship: selected country overviews. Innovation: Journal of Appropriate Librarianship and Information Work in Southern Africa, 46, 166–191.
  • Youmans, W. L., & York, J. C. (2012). Social Media and the Activist Toolkit: User Agreements, Corporate Interests, and the Information Infrastructure of Modern Social Movements. Journal of Communication, 62
  • Assignment 3 Due

WEEK 11 

24/11/2014 – Control and Governance: Legal Limits and Beyond (Net Neutrality)

  • Barbara van Schewick (2009). Network Neutrality Nuances. Communications of the ACM 52(2): 31-37.

26/11/2014 – Intellectual Freedom and Intellectual Property in a Digital Age

  • Tarleton Gillespie (2007). Wired Shut: Copyright and the Shape of Digital Culture (Chapters 1 and 2). Boston: The MIT Press.

WEEK 12 

o1/12/2014 – Intellectual Freedom and Intellectual Property in a Digital Age

  • Karim R. Lakhani and Robert G Wolf (2003). Why Hackers Do What They Do: Understanding Motivation and Effort in Free/Open Source Software Projects. MIT Sloan Working Paper No. 4425-03
  • Assignment 4 Due Next Week

03/12/2014 – Intellectual Freedom and Intellectual Property in a Digital Age


08/12/2014 – Privacy, Dataveillance and Technology

  • Marx, G. T. (2002). What’s New About the “New Surveillance”? Classifying for Change and Continuity. Surveillance & Society, 1(1), 9–29
  • Lyon, D. (2014). Surveillance, Snowden, and big data: Capacities, consequences, critique. Big Data & Society, 1(2).
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan (2011). The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Shoul Worry) (Chapter 3). Los Angeles: University of California Press
  • Assignment 4 Due

10/12/2014 – Privacy, Dataveillance and Technology


15/12/2014 – Privacy, Dataveillance and Technology

  • Lauren B. Movius and Nathalie Krup (2009). U.S. and EU Privacy Policy: Comparison of Regulatory Approaches.International Journal of Communication 3, 169-187.
  • Taddicken, M. (2014). The “privacy paradox” in the social web: The impact of privacy concerns, individual characteristics, and the perceived social relevance on different forms of self-disclosure. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(2), 248–273.

17/12/2014 – The Virtual Self: Representations, Socialities, and Connections

  • Nancy C. Baym (2010). Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Chapters 3 and 4). Cambridge: Polity Press.


22/12/2014 – The Virtual Self: Representations, Socialities, and Connections

  • Ku, Y.-C., Chu, T.-H., & Tseng, C.-H. (2013). Gratifications for using CMC technologies: A comparison among SNS, IM, and e-mail. Computers in Human Behavior, 29(1), 226–234.
  • Seidman, G. (2013). Self-presentation and belonging on Facebook: How personality influences social media use and motivations. Personality and Individual Differences, 54(3), 402–407.
  • Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Demiralp, E., Park, J., Lee, D. S., Lin, N., … Ybarra, O. (2013). Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e69841.

24/12/2014 – The Virtual Self: Representations, Socialities, and Connections