The UW Course Calendar describes ENGL 408C as follows: “Students apply a variety of analytic perspectives - design discourse, multimodal discourse, rhetorical theory, social semiotics - to the design and production of a major digital project (or compilation of projects) using professional software and hardware tools.” This term, the course will focus specifically on what has been called “Maker Culture.” This so-called “culture” is a contemporary phenomenon inspired by a spirit of DIY (Do It Yourself) and a hacker aesthetic that can be traced in the history of computer hardware and software design.To begin, we will explore the history of this “culture” by studying the Victorian Arts & Crafts movment and the 18th-century Luddites. Then we will move through modern DIY movements before ending up in digital maker/hacker spaces, perhaps literally. We will pay specific attention to the role of “design” in maker culture, and students will complete a design project that involves making a digital object-to-think-with.
Readings (mostly in excerpt form) will be posted on the LEARN site or via the links below.
Additional readings may be assigned in class. View online syllabus for updates.
Anderson, Chris. Makers: The New Industrial Revolution. New York: Crown Publishing, 2012.
Balsamo, Anne. Designing Culture: The Technological Imagination at Work. Durham: Duke UP,
Chun, Wendy. Programmed Visions: Software and Memory. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2011.
Doctorow, Cory. Makers. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2009.
Dunne, Anthony and Fiona Raby. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming.
Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2013.
Hatch, Mark, The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of
Crafters, Tinkerers and Hackers. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2014.
Hertz Garnett. “Interview with Alex Galloway.” Critical Making. Self Published, 2012.
Ingold, Timothy. Making: Anthropology, Archaeology, Art and Architecture. New York:
Jones, Steven E. Against Technology: From the Luddites to Neo-Luddism. New York:
Marx, Karl. Manifesto of the Communist Party. First published 1847. Marx/Engels Internet
Archive, 2000. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto
Morozov, Evgeny “Making it”, New Yorker. January 13, 2014.
Morris, William. “Useful Work Vs. Useless Toil.” First published 1884. William Morris Internet
Oroza, Ernesto, “Technological Disobedience,” Makeshift Magazine, Issue 3. 2012.
Ruskin, John. The Stones of Venice. Vol 2, Chapter VI, “The Nature of Gothic” (i-xxix). First
published 1851-1853. Project Gutenberg, 2009.
Smith, Alan G. Introduction to Arduino. 2011.
Somerson, Rosanne and Mara L. Hermano. Eds. The Art of Critical Making. Hoboken, NJ: