A Cultural History of the Internet
Film and Media Studies Program
Johns Hopkins University
This course offers an introduction to internet studies through the many ways digital culture has touched our everyday lives: memes, blogs, gaming, social networking, instant messaging, and more. From its origins in connecting scientific researchers to its present form as a multi-device, multi-platform web connecting us to everything from each other to our smart homes, the internet has proven that nearly our entire social world can be processed as data and linked up. While this has meant greater connection, it has also raised questions about how we learn, communicate, behave, and organize. The internet has long promised new avenues of personal expression, but it has also brought with it the quandaries of echo chambers, information silos, and disinformation campaigns. In response to these complicating effects, the course offers an opportunity for students to develop the critical mapping tools necessary to orient oneself within this vast cultural network and its rapid historical unfolding.
Resources on the Web
Internet Hall of Fame timeline of internet history
Internet Society, "Brief History of the Internet"
Image credits: circuit photo by Absolute_one from FreeImages; teletext images by Dora Mitsonia from FreeImages; and enter icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com