Redesigned DGST Syllabus

Course Description

This course introduces the Minor in Digital Studies and is also a requirement for the Major in Communication and Digital Studies. In this class, you will experience a broad approach to digital inquiry, digital creativity and critical practice as they may manifest in different disciplines. In other words, this class will help you develop the ideas, practices, and skills that continue to pursue in elective coursework, should you choose to proceed with the minor or major. If you’re not proceeding with this minor, what you take from this class will be useful in whatever major you pursue as well as, hopefully, the rest of your life.

From the Instructor: The theme of this class is going to be Absence, Invisibility, Erasure.

Readings & Resources


Reimagine the Syllabus

Your Domain/Digital Identity


Modules (x4)

Deep Tech Thoughts (x5)

Digital Polarization

Final Reflection

Each assignment will require a minimum 500-word blog post (or equivalent media format, shared on your blog), either reflecting on the work you did or engaging in the work itself. All of these posts will be shared on your class blog/subdomains, except the Final Reflection, where you may submit it through google docs.

Modules are flexible, open-ended inquiries into certain topics and skills related to digital studies and can be found on Three times during the semester, ad hoc working groups will spend two weeks working on a chosen project, concluding that with a presentation on their progress and outcomes. Find your cohort by declaring your intent to work on a particular module in the appropriate Slack channel, and then communicate with that cohort on Slack and in-person through the weeks.


Learning is interactive, iterative, and connected. Your grade will be based on two elements: your final reflection where you will show what you have learned and evaluate your own performance in the course and standards decided collectively by our learning community.


Deep Tech Thought 1: 2018 Predications

Traces #39: Some 2018 Predictions

One predication that Michael Caulfield has for 2018 is hacked voter registration. He states that some state voter registration systems will be hacked to create long lines and chaos at the polls. This would be very harmful to the poll results. The US has a low voting rate already; with voters having numerous barriers to make it out to the polls to vote. One barrier are the specific requirements of voting that cause people to not be eligible to vote. Another is the small time frame that voters have with many people being “too busy” to vote. Therefore, having more chaos and longer lines at the polls will severely harm the voter turnout.

Another prediction that Michael Caulfield has but admits to being the most “far out there” predication is the creation of pro-government social media army focused domestically. He believes that President Trump will announce the creation of a “Fake News Commission” to investigate social media and journalists. Although there is a lot of fake news out all the time and a lot of negative media and news out constantly about President Trump; I don’t think he will go to the extent as to do this.  There are probably thousands of social media outlets and journalists out there that could be the target of this but it is apparent if you follow Trump’s presidency that this problem is not a priority to him.

Caulfield, at the end of his newsletter talks about internet privacy. I think people have very little privacy on the internet and that the internet is a very open place. It is very easy to find personal information about yourself or family members that you wouldn’t even expect to be on the internet. As we saw in class, looking at; I found myself, my family, and even as far as my grandparents, phone numbers, addresses, and other information. It is crazy to think that the internet could have this information but records are very much public data.

Digital Studies subdomain & Digital Identity

When creating my digital studies subdomain I found it a little challenging because I had not worked with WordPress and my main domain since first semester freshman year. My very first semester I was in the history of genocides FSEM with Professor Al-Tikriti and was required to make a main domain and subdomain for that class. This course was heavily reading intensive therefore, we many of our posts were on those readings. Along with those blog posts, we also blogged about movies we watched in class. Being a political science major, I often tried to connect material we were learning to politics. At the end of the semester I felt as though I had a well-developed blog and reflected on the things I learned. It was the first blog I made so it was interesting to see the outcome at the end of it.

Now as a second semester sophomore, I have decided to add a digital studies minor to my security & conflict studies minor. I am currently in an Intro to Digital Studies class where I have made this new subdomain. I am excited to begin a new subdomain and have it expand like my history of genocides blog. I hope to reflect on readings and new things I learn through different media forms. I believe that expanding my main domain with subdomains will help expand my digital identity.