WRIT 116.002 | Hacktivism and Art in Society
Jack Bushnell | Spring 2014 | TTh 10:00-11:50 AM & F 10:00-10:50
Each section of the Blugold Seminar focuses on a different theme, topic, or question. The theme is not the content of the course; it is primarily a means of focusing our inquiries so that we can concentrate on learning how to be rhetorically effective. In our section, we will investigate two themes, both within the context of their role or impact in a democracy. In the first segment of the course, we’ll look at questions concerning information access on the internet and the relatively new phenomenon of “hacktivism”: hacking and leaking the contents of high-security websites/databases (corporations, governments) as an act of political, social, or environmental protest. Do we have the right to know everything the government and corporations are doing? Does the government have the right to collect information on us? Should all information be open to public access? Does the nature of the internet require us simply to accept that any conventional definitions of “privacy” or “security” are now outdated and irrelevant? The second segment of the course will explore the value of art in our society: Should it be given priority in schools? Should the government fund working artists? Does art have a “use” in our personal lives and in a democratic social system? As part of our foray into this theme, we’ll visit the Foster Gallery on campus to view an art exhibit. In both segments, keep in mind that these are open questions. You will come to your own conclusions, based in part on readings I’ll assign you.