Course Code
Arts & Communication
Department/ Centre
Programme Type/ Requirements
Course Features/ Requirements
Full Time, Taught, Blended, Core Course, Open Elective, Four Credits, Continuous Evaluation

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will–

  • Have a basic understanding of the vocabulary and conceptual frameworks used to study digital culture
  • Be familiar with the major debates around the politics and culture of the Internet and social media
  • Be able to critically assess and review a variety of digital media artefacts
Course Outline

This course aims to provide students with the background to develop approaches to the study of new media, the role they play in transforming and being transformed by society, the policies that shape their development and use, and the place they occupy in reality and imagination. We will explore the history and assimilation of these digital technologies, primarily the internet and related tools, in various aspects of life. We will also look at how technology changes our material and social lives, and how content/purpose in turn influences or shapes the use of technology.

Tentative schedule


Week/Dates Topic/Theme
0/ Mar 1-4 Workshop: Coursera Introduction to Communication Science Compulsory Pre-Course for the Class
1/Mar 9, 10 First things: Developing a perspective

Understanding the landscape of digital media and culture

2/Mar 16, 17 How the world has changed

The digital divide and a fractured public

3/Mar 23, 24 What’s new? Or is it?

The language of new media

4/Mar 30, 31 Who shapes what?

Digital mediators and moderators

5/Apr 6, 7 Digital culture AS culture—what life looks like

The global and the local as digital spaces

6/Apr 13, 14 HIT PAUSE/Taking stock/Mid-term review
7/Apr 20, 21 Let’s talk digital politics
8/Apr 27, 28 Digital infrastructures—places and spaces

Digital artefacts—work and leisure (Guest lecture)

9/May 4, 5 Identity and community

Who are we online?

How do we build and sustain relationships?

10/May 11, 12 Surveillance and privacy (Guest lecture)
11/May 18, 19 Digital justice—blind spots and exclusions
12/May 25, 26 On the cutting edge—AI, Algorithmic culture, VR+AR+MR

(Online field trip)

13/Jun 1, 2 Overflow, open forum


Readings for each week will be uploaded to Google Classroom folders.



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Assessment Criteria


Below is a description of the work you are expected to do toward the grade for the course. Please feel free to discuss any of your questions/concerns with the instructors at any point during the semester. Remember, the point is to clarify your doubts before or during the process of working on an assignment, not after the deadline!

  1. Pre-course evaluation: The Coursera course has end-course quizzes that will contribute to the course grade. Please refer to the Instruction Sheet for Week Zero for more information. (10%)
  2. Responses to discussion questions:Through the semester you will be asked to write short responses to a question or an argument discussed in the class or from a paper we have read. These will be assigned in class and posted on the Classroom Stream and should be uploaded to the course blog before the next class. There will be 6-7 such questions posed through the semester and you will be required to answer at least four of these and respond to what others have written as well. (20%; total of top five responses)


  1. Lexicon:Each of you will write a short essay of 250-300 words on a new digital media term or concept, one that we may have or not touched upon in the readings and discussions. The aim of this is to empower ourselves with a basic understanding of the vocabulary and conceptual underpinnings of the ever-growing field of digital media studies. These will be uploaded to a separate sub-section (Lexicon) on the blog that could serve as a reference for the group. (10%)


  1. Project: Select a new media text or product (a website, a creative project, an app, etc) and make a presentation focusing on the following questions: (1) Why did you choose it (what did you find interesting about it?) (2) What makes it new media? (3) How does it use or present content? (4) How does it engage its audience/What is the user experience it generates? (5) Does it prompt any social/cultural/political questions for you?  You may come up with other questions as well. Plan a 10-minute presentation/demo for the class and submit a narrative critique that may include details that go beyond the presentation. (20%


  1. Paper critique/discussion: You (in a team) will be assigned one of the readings to critique and lead a discussion on during the course of the semester. You will also submit a two-page written response to the main arguments raised in the paper. (10%)


  1. Final exam: The final exam will be a combination of an MCQ (synchronous) and short-essay format (take-home, open book) that contributes to the grade. (30%)
Additional Info

Each semester, students contribute to the class blog. Entries from the most recent semester may be found at

Course Instructor/s
Usha Raman

Phone Number