IS 311 History and Foundations of the Information Society

Today's information society bespeaks a long history, exhibiting marked continuities with the past as well as some sharply defined new features. Yet the historical foundations of the information society remain poorly understood. This course develops such a framework, by examining emergent information institutions and practices from early modern Europe to the later 20th century. It examines the historical development of the information society through a number of important conceptual lenses, including: modernity and postmodernity; Fordist and post-Fordist capitalism; social class and information poverty; social and technological determinism; utopianism and dystopianism; and empire and globalization. Prerequisite: IS 202 Highly recommended.