MED 521 - Syllabus for Fall 2013

Cyber Anthropology for Media Studies

Thursdays 19:00-22:00- santral E2-302

Please subcribe to Facebook Group:


Cyberanthropology is a subbranch of sociocultural anthropology. It deals with cybernetic systems, virtual communities, cultures of technology, the computer underground, techno-mysticism and similar concepts that involve culturally informed interrelationships between human beings and  digital technologies. This course provides an overview of these major concepts and discusses methodologies for digital ethnographies such as researching online relationships, designing internet behaviour research, online interviewing and research relationship, ethnographic presence in cyber settings, and web sphere analysis within anthropological boundaries.

Objectives and Learning Goals:

By succesfully completing the course students will be able to:

Required (and Supplementary) Texts and Readings:

There might be additional scholarly readings and students will continously be assigned web readings throughout the semester. Most of the readings are digitally available and some will be left at the copy center.


All readings here

Introduction to New Anthropology
* Fischer, Michael.
 “Culture and cultural analysis as experimental systems” Cultural Anthropology. Vol. 22. Number 1. Pps. 1-64 2007.

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong, and Thomas Keenan. New media, old media: A history and theory reader. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun & Thomas Keenan. Routledge, 2004.


Electricity Made Visible


Science as Open Source Process


Cold War Networks or Kaiserstr. 2, Neubabelsberg


Protocol vs. Institutionalization


Viruses Are Good for You


Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction

Cavelty, Myriam Dunn, Victor Mauer, and Sai Felicia Krishna-Hensel. Power and security in the information age: investigating the role of the state in cyberspace. Myriam Dunn Cavelty, Victor Mauer, & Sai Felicia Krishna-Hensel. Ashgate Publishing, 2007.

J.P. Singh

Meta-power, Networks, Security and Commerce

Geoffrey L. Herrera

'cyberspace and sovereignty: thoughts on physical space and digitalspace

Marichal, Jose. "Political Facebook groups: micro-activism and the digital front stage." Internet, Politics, Policy (2010).

Cronin, Anne, and Kevin Hetherington. Consuming the entrepreneurial city: image, memory, spectacle. Anne Cronin & Kevin Hetherington. Routledge, 2008.

MACKENZIE, ADRIAN. "Stars, Meshes, Grids: Urban Network-Images and the Embodiment of Wireless Infrastructures ." Consuming the Entrepreneurial City: Image, Memory, Spectacle (2008): 85.

 Jenkins, Henry. Convergence Culture: Where Old Media and New Media Collide. New York: NYU Press, 2006.

Introduction and Chapter 1.

 Kelty, Christopher M. Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free. Duke University Press Books. 2008

Introduction and Chapter 1.

Hansen, Mark B. New Philosophy for New Media. The MIT Press. 2006.

Media Ethnography
Beaulieu, Anne. "
Media Ethnography: Objectivity and the Making of Ethnographies of the Internet." Social Epistemology 18.2-3 (2004): Fall.

Hine, Christine.
Virtual Methods. Berg Publishers. 2005


Binark, Mutlu. Günseli Bayraktutan Sütcü, Fatma Buçakçı. "How Turkish Young People Utilize Internet Cafes: The Results Of Ethnographic Research In Ankara." Observatorio Journal 8 (2009): 286-310.

Ogan, Christine L. and Kursat Cagiltay. "Confession, revelation and storytelling: patterns of use on a popular Turkish website." New Media & Society 8 (Oct 2006): 801 - 823.

Anıl Sayan - Boz Baykuşlar


Introduction to New Anthropology
* Faubion, James D, and George E Marcus. 2009.
Fieldwork is Not what it Used to be: Learning Anthropology's Method in a Time of Transition. Cornell University Press, June 1.

Digital Culture
* Goldsmith, Jack and Tim Wu.
Who Controls the Internet? Illusions of a Borderless World. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

* Gere, Charlie. Digital Culture. Reaktion Books, 2002
* Ryan, Johnny.  
A History of the Internet and the Digital Future.  Reaktion Books, 2010.
* van Deursen, Alexander, and Jan van Dijk. 2011. Internet skills and the digital divide. new media & society 13, no. 6: 893-911.
* Tapscott, Don, and Anthony D Williams. 2008. Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything. Portfolio Trade.
* Gui, Marco, and Gianluca Argentin. 2011. Digital skills of internet natives: Different forms of digital literacy in a random sample of northern Italian high school students. New media & society 13, no. 6: 963-980.
* Hayles, N Katherine. 2005. My mother was a computer: digital subjects and literary texts. University of Chicago Press, October 1.
* Benkler, Yochai. 2006. The wealth of networks: How social production transforms markets and freedom. Yale University Press, May 16.

* Ito, Mizuko et al. Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. The MIT Press, 2009.

Media Ethnography
* Ginsberg, Faye D. and Lila Abu-Lughod.
Media Worlds: Anthropology on New Terrain. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002.
* Miller, Daniel and Don Slater.
The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach. London: Berg Publishers, 2001.
*  Murphy, Patrick and Marwan Kraidy, eds.
Global Media Studies: Ethnographic Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.
* Couldry, Nick and Anna McCarthy.
MediaSpace: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age. London and New York: Routledge, 2004. This has some chapters providing example cyber-studies, anthro approaches..

* Baym, Nancy and Annette Markham. eds.
Internet Inquiry: Conversations about Method. Thousand Oaks, London, New Dehli: Sage Publications, 2009.
* Kein, Grant.
Global Technography: Ethnography in the Age of Mobility. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2009.
* Lindlof, Thomas and Milton Schatzer. "
Media Ethnography in Virtual Space: Strategies Limits, and Possibilities." Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media. 42.2 (Spring 2008): 170-189.

Case Studies
*  Christensen, Christian, Miyase Christensen and Daya Thussu.
Understanding Media and Culture in Turkey: Structures, Spaces, Voices. New York, London: Routledge, 2010.
* Everett, Anna.
Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace. New York: SUNY Press, 2009.
* Venegas, Cristina.
Digital Dilemmas: The State, the Individual, and Digital Media in Cuba. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers University Press, 2010.
* Reagle Jr, Joseph Michael. 2010. Good faith collaboration: The culture of Wikipedia. MIT Press, September 30.

* Dreyfuss, Suelette. Underground: Tales of Hacking, Madness, and Obsession on the Electronic Frontier. Mandarin Australia.
* Boellstorff, Tom.
 Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human.  Princeton University Press.
* Hoşgör, Evren A. 2001. The Role of Information and Communication Technologies on Community Organisation: The Case of 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake.

* Katılımın" e-hali." Alemi, Gençlerin Sanal.
* Thorsen, Einar. 2008. Journalistic objectivity redefined? Wikinews and the neutral point of view. New Media & Society 10, no. 6: 935-954.
* Meier, Patrick Philippe. 2011. Do “liberatıon technologies” change the balance of power  between repressıve states and civil society?. Dissertation thesis.



Grading and Assessment:

Students must submit one term paper. It should be around 3000 words. All assignments will be written according to MLA style, Times New Roman, 12 font, double spaced, with a cover page indicating the course’s  name, title of the research method chosen,  the student’s name, student id number, and instructor’s name. This written assignment will constitute 50% of the final grade.  A proposal of the paper should be submitted before Spring break starts.  

In the assessment of the assignment, the instructor will look for Creative ideas (20%) , Argumentation (30%), Originality of research (20%), Writing mechanics (15%) and Self exploration (15%).

Class participation will constitute the other 50% of the final grade. In assessing the participation the instructor will look for Creative ideas (40%), Argumentation (30%), Self exploration (15%), Active listening the class conversation (15%).