CompSci595N/PolSci594N/Engl593: The Technology and Society Seminar Series

Seminar Series Overview
Seminar Overview

Winter 2005

Fall 2005

Spring 2006

Fall 2006

Spring 2007

Seminar Introduction

Technology is increasingly playing a larger role in society. From clearly beneficial uses to more questionable uses, we are only beginning to understand how new technology impacts society. Furthermore, technology has the potential to greatly influence what "society" even means, and subsequently, how we participate in it. This seminar series focuses on new technologies and their impact on society.

Seminar Details

The Technology and Society Seminar Series is a continuing course bringing together faculty and students with research interests at the intersection of technology and its impact on society. The broad goals of the seminar are to:
    (1) identify the intersection of research areas within the seminar theme
    (2) study the body of relevant existing literature
    (3) identify new problems for inter-disciplinary study
    (4) foster the creation of research groups who target these research areas
The format of the seminar is weekly presentations and free-form discussion. Assignments for those students who do not present are to gather, synthesize, and write an overview of relevant work to the seminar topic and related to their own discipline(s).

Series Offerings

The seminar meets weekly during the quarter (except for Dead Week) for approximately an hour and a half. The dates and location details are available on the web page for the specific quarter:

Faculty Participants

Kevin Almeroth: Kevin Almeroth is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science with appointments in the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) Program, the Computer Engineering (CE) Program, and the Technology Management Program (TMP). Kevin is also the Associate Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society. Kevin's interests lie on both sides of the intersection of technology, its applications, and its impact on users. On the technology side, his research interests include computer networks and protocols, wireless networking, and large-scale multimedia systems. On the impact side, Kevin is interested in the effects of technology in the classroom, the roll out of new wireless-based services, and incentives for using new systems. (

Chuck Bazerman: Charles Bazerman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Education is interested in the social dynamics of writing, rhetorical theory, and the rhetoric of knowledge production and use. His interest in technologies focuses on how new forms of mediation change the socio-rhetorical landscape and how rhetorical practices may realize new forms of social cooperation and organization.  His most recent books are a collection of essays co-edited with David Russell on writing and activity theory, Writing Selves/Writing Societies, (available online at ) and a methods book on textual analysis co-edited with Paul Prior, What Writing Does and How It Does It.  His book, The Languages of Edison's of Edison's Light , won the American Association of Publisher's award for the best scholarly book of 1999 in the History of Science and Technology.  Previous books include Constructing Experience, Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article in Science, The Informed Writer: Using Sources in the Disciplines, and Involved: Writing For College, Writing for Your Self.  He is currently editing the Handbook of Writing Research and is editor of the Reference Guides of Rhetoric and Composition.

Bruce Bimber: Bruce Bimber is Director of the Center for Information Technology and Society and Professor in the departments of Political Science and Communication at UCSB. His research examines the relationship between evolving information technology and changes in human behavior, especially in the domains of political organization, collective action, social capital, and political deliberation. He is author of Information and American Democracy: Technology in the Evolution of Political Power (Cambridge University Press, 2003), Campaigning Online: The Internet in U.S. Elections (Oxford University Press, 2003, with Richard Davis), and The Politics of Expertise in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Office of Technology Assessment (SUNY Press, 1996). (

Jennifer Earl: Jennifer Earl is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research emphases include social movements and the sociology of law. Within the study of social movements, she is interested in the impact of the Internet on protest and social movements and innovative forms of online protest, among other topics. (

Alan Liu: Alan Liu is a Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the principal investigator of the NEH-funded Teaching with Technology project at UC Santa Barbara entitled Transcriptions: Literature and the Culture of Information, and co-director of the English Dept's undergraduate specialization on Literature and the Culture of Information. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Electronic Literature Organization and active in its PAD Initiative (Preservation / Archiving / Dissemination of Electronic Literature), for which he was lead author of the white paper, "Born-Again Bits: A Framework for Migrating Electronic Literature". In 2004, Liu published The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (Univ. of Chicago Press). Most recently, he has started the interdisciplinary research project titled Transliteracies: Research in the Technological, Social, and Cultural Practices of Online Reading, which in July 2005 received funding as a five-year UC Multi-Campus Research Group. (

Lisa Parks: Lisa Parks is an Associate Professor in the Department at Film and Media Studies at UC-Santa Barbara. Her research explores the social and cultural implications of satellite, television, and computer technologies in a global context. She is the author of Cultures in Orbit: Satellites and the Televisual (Duke University Press 2005) and co-editor of Planet TV: A Global Television Reader (NYU Press 2002). She has also published essays in the journals Screen, Television and New Media, Social Identities, and Ecumene and in books such as MediaSpace, The Visual Culture Reader, and Residual Media. She has conducted research in the US, Australia, and former Yugoslavia, and traveled to Mongolia last summer to study emerging media technologies there. Parks has taught as a visiting professor in the School of Cinema-TV at USC and at the Institute for Graduate Study in the Humanities in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She is also co-producer of several media projects including Experiments in Satellite Media Arts and LOOM , and is a co-investigator in an international research initiative called the Transcultural Geography Project with colleagues from Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and Turkey. Her new book project is called Mixed Signals: Media Technologies and Cultural Geography.(