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The Internet: Then, Now, and Right Now

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Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
COMM 290 900


Course Description: 

Through a series of case-studies, this course will seek to answer the questions “how do people behave online” and “when and how are online behaviors specific or universal”. The course will primarily focus on contemporary behaviors in spaces like YouTube, Facebook, (Black) Twitter, Grindr, Tinder, Myspace, and MMORPGs (World of Warcraft) along with a brief analysis of the early web spaces of the 1970s-1990s. It will also explore cultural production, such as memes, and other user-generated content. In the final weeks of the course, we will examine contemporary Internet happenings from Summer 2019 and investigate how current behaviors are similar and dissimilar from historical practices. While previous familiarity with various Internet spaces will be helpful, this course is meant as a primer, and as such, will make no assumptions about students’ prior knowledge of the myriad sites being analyzed.  That being said, students will be encouraged to discuss spaces they engage with online that may not appear in the assigned readings. 

Programs for every

type of student


Study online,

all summer long


Summer is the best season

to be a Penn student


Penn Summer

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326

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