Social and Cultural Impact of New Information

IS 246
4 units, UCLA  Winter 2001
Mon 18:00-21:00, 121 GSE&IS Bldg
taught by Howard Besser

This course explores current events and links them to theoretical perspectives from a number of different disciplines: public policy, LIS, critical theory, creative arts, political science, education, etc.  Each week we explore information issues that have made the news that week (from announcements of new products, to court cases, to take-overs and mergers, to public policy debates such as those around intellectual property and privacy).  Students learn about the latest topics and trends, as well as learning how to deconstruct the rhetoric and understand what is going on under the surface.  Each student participates in a focus group representing a particular discipline/perspective, and that focus group is responsible for summarizing background readings from that perspective for the rest of the class.  (Focus groups meet 90 minutes/week for about 3/4 of the quarter.  And because of the 2 Monday holidays, we will schedule one replacement class in January, and the last class will be during finals week, March 19.)  This course has been taught in a variety of venues since 1993 (see  A look at the Fall 1999 UCLA class will give a flavor of the ucpoming class.

General course information

  • Course description (above)
  • Weekly class topics and schedule
  • Requirements and assignments
  • a few theories and concepts
  • Working group sites
  • Papers and Projects
  • Weekly newspaper articles
  • Course readings in print form
  • permission form to post student work
  • Office Hours Monday 5-6 in 241 GSE&IS Bldg and by appointment
  • NOTE: If you want to get email about the class (which you will need to do if you are taking the class), at the beginning of the term you will need to send an email message to requests@lists.gseis.ucla.eduMake sure that the return address for this message is your own personal email account.  In this message you need to put the words "subscribe IS-246 yourname" in either the subject or the body of the message.  (Put your own name in place of yourname.)
  • From previous versions of this course

  • Course syllabus from Fall 1999 UCLA class (including course homepage, papers & projects and Working Group sites)
  • Other course resources from Spring 1997 class ,
  • Potential topics to be covered from Spring 1997 class ,
  • Course syllabi from Fall 1998 class, Spring 1999 class, Spring 1997 class
  • Student papers and projects from this course through Fall 1998
  • Working group topics from Spring 1997 class; Fall 1998 class
  • Sample final projects from Fall 1998 class, Spring 1999 class, Spring 1997 class

  • For other versions of this class click here.  To send email to the entire class, write to .

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