Academics
Summer 2020

Summer 2020

This summer, learn how to critically analyze and help shape developments in new media. Digital media profoundly shape our lives: social media, apps, software and networked devices have transformed almost every area of work and play. The Berkeley Center for New Media Summer Certificate provides students with skills and knowledge that are essential for a career in tech, media, and related fields. This summer, think critically about how digital media impact our culture, from how media relate to the representation of race, gender, and identity, to how new technologies impact democracy worldwide.

NWMEDIA R1B-001, 4 units

Technology, Privacy, Secrecy

Juliana Friend

Summer Session C | MTWR 2-4pm | 340 Moffitt Undergraduate Library

In an age of "big data," is privacy a thing of the past? Cambridge Analytica and other scandals have raised awareness about how companies and institutions not only know intimate information about us, but conceal the extent of this knowledge. As its point of departure, this course examines concerns about the ways in which our minds, bodies, and relationships are converted into "data" that can be studied and monetized. However, we also interrogate narratives that portray the end of privacy as a foregone conclusion. To do so, we place "privacy" in dialogue with another potent concept: secrecy. Course materials span the globe, exploring how people and institutions use digital media to both reveal and conceal, to both build and contest monopololies over secret knowledge. Youth in Mozambique use smartphones to conceal illicit trysts from boyfriends and spouses, but in the process, leave discoverable traces of those liaisons. In Brazil, junior members of the Candomble religious sect use telenovela-style home videos to unravel priests' monopoly over ritual knowledge. And as some scholars have argued, contemporary whistle blowers reveal "public secrets:" that is, information we may already know but rarely speak aloud. Privacy is not simply something we have or lack. Secrecy is more than the withholding of information. Both are dynamic sociopolitical processes caught up in intersecting relations of power. Placing these processes in global perspective may call into question our very definitions of "public" and "private."