Identity and the Internet
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Professor Sherry Turkle
Program in Science, Technology and Society
MIT Room E51-201C
Books to buy (or get from library) --
Neal Stephenson, Snowcrash (New York: Bantam Books,
or William Gibson, Neuromancer
Howard Reingold, The Virtual Community (Reading, MA:
Addison-Wesley Publications, 1993).
Sherry Turkle Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the
All other reading are in a readings packet available for purchase at
February 6. Introduction and Overview February 13.
- Sherry Turkle, Life on the Screen, Introduction and
February 20. No Class (Monday Schedule)
- Sherry Turkle, Life on the Screen, Chapters 1-4
February 27. "Classical" Identities in a Brave New
- Erik Erikson, "Eight Ages of Man", from Childhood and
Society (New York, Norton, 1950).
"Will the Real Body Please Stand Up: Boundary Stories About
Virtual Cultures", from Cyberspace: First Steps,
Michael Benedikt (ed.) (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991).
"A Rape in Cyberspace,"Village Voice (December 21,
1993). and "Assault by Paragraph," Time, January 17,
March 5. Revising the Notion of Self -1
- Kenneth J. Gergen, The Saturated Self (New York:
Basic Books, 1991), "Social Saturation and the Populated Self" and
"From Self to Relationship".
March 12. Revising the Notion of Self -2
- James M. Glass, Shattered Selves., Chapter 1
Rosanne Allequere Stone, "Violation and Virtuality",
Lindsy Van Gelder, "The Strange Case of the Electronic
Donna Haraway, "A Cyborg Manifesto" from Simians,
Cyborgs and Women (New York: Routledge, 1991).
March 19. Multi-User-Domains
Elizabeth Reid, "Virtual Worlds: Culture and Imagination"
from Cybersociety: Computer-Mediated Communication and
Community , Steven Jones (ed.) (Thousand Oaks: Sage
Chip Morningstar and F. Randall Farmer, "The Lessons of
Lucasfilm's Habitat" from Cyberspace: First Steps, Michael
Benedikt (ed.) (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1991).
March 26. Spring Break April 2. No Class Meeting (makeup
class held on May 7)
Reingold, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the
Electronic Fronteir (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publications,
(read it now; not on May 7)
April 9. Interlude: What is a Person?
- Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, from The Identities of Persons,
"Introduction" and "A Literary Postscript"
Sydney Shoemaker, "Embodiment and Behavior"
Daniel Dennett, "Conditions of Personhood"
April 16. Patriots Day Vacation
- Ray Oldenburg, The Great Good Place (New York:
Paragon House, 1989), Chapters 1-3
April 23. Internet Relay Chat
April 30. Postmodern Identity
May 7. The Culture of Simulation
- Frederic Jameson, "Postmodernism or The Cultural Logic of
Jean Baudrillard, from Simulations , "The Procession of
Mark Poster, from The Mode of Information, "Derrida and
Scott Bukatman, from Terminal Identity, "Terminal
May 7. The Internet and the Imaginary
(special 7:30 pm makeup class)
Screening of The Net
- William Gibson, Neuromancer or Neal Stephenson, Snowcrash
Michael Heim, "The Erotic Ontology of Cyberspace"
David Porush, "Hacking the Brainstem: Postmodern
Metaphysics and Stephensons Snowcrash "
May 14. Contested Terrain
Nicholas Negroponte, from Being Digital, "Introduction,"
Chapters 17, 18
Clifford Stoll, from Silicon Snake Oil, "Introduction,"
Chapters 1- 2
Susan Sontag, from On Photography, "In Plato's Cave"
Michelle Kendrick, "Cyberspace and the Technological
Terri Palmer, "Under, Over, and Around the Net:
Interrupting the Utopian Subject of the Internet"