Related reading

Required readings appear in the schedule. Of course, we can’t read everything relevant in one semester. The selection represents an attempt to balance what you need to know in order to get up to speed in the three domains in question with what I will find it productive to read along with you. (Some other work I know too well already and don’t care to reread.) In general, exclusions from our selection (or from the supplementary lists below) are made practically, rather than as a judgment on relevance.

Supplementary reading, I

The following are titles from the “long list” for this year, which didn’t make the final cut. Feel free to use them as supplementary resources and/or starting points for further research.

Group 1: historiography and cultural studies scholarship

  • Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory
  • Alison Gazzard, Now the Chips Are Down: The BBC Micro
  • Geoff Cox and Alex McLean, Speaking Code: Coding as Aesthetic and Political Expression
  • Patrick Crogan, Gameplay Mode: War, Simulation, and Technoculture
  • Nick Dyer-Witheford and Greig de Peuter, Games of Empire: Global Capitalism and Video Games
  • Anna Everett, Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace
  • Aden Evens, The Logic of the Digital
  • Matthew Fuller, Behind the Blip: Essays on the Culture of Software
  • Matthew Fuller, ed., Software Studies: A Lexicon
  • Alexander Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture
  • David Golumbia, The Cultural Logic of Computation
  • Martin Kevorkian, Color Monitors: The Black Face of Technology in America
  • Adrian Mackenzie, Cutting Code: Software and Sociality
  • Zabet Patterson, Peripheral Vision: Bell Labs, the S-C 4020, and the Origins of Computer Art
  • Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies

Group 2: writing by software professionals

If you’re more interested in the technical side of things, these may be useful.

  • Robert N. Britcher, The Limits of Software: People, Projects, and Perspectives
  • Frederick P. Brooks Jr., The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering
  • Angus Croll, If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript
  • Donald E. Knuth, Literate Programming
  • Eric S. Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open Source by an Accidental Revolutionary
  • Gerald M. Weinberg, The Psychology of Computer Programming

Group 3: fiction

  • Douglas Coupland, JPod
  • Christos Papadimitriou, Turing: A Novel about Computation

Supplementary reading, II

“Digital labor” is a closely related topic, but one which we can’t responsibly fit into this course as a fourth domain. I hope to make this the topic of a separate seminar in the future.

  • Sergio Bellucci, E-work: Lavoro, rete, e innovazione (as yet untranslated)
  • Christian Fuchs, Digital Labour and Karl Marx
  • Christian Fuchs, Reading Marx in the Information Age: A Media and Communication Studies Perspective on Capital, Volume 1
  • Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco, eds., Marx in the Age of Digital Capitalism
  • Dan Schiller, Dan Schiller, Digital Capitalism: Networking the Global Market System
  • Dan Schiller, Digital Depression: Information Technology and Economic Crisis
  • Trebor Scholz, Uberworked and Underpaid: How Workers Are Disrupting the Digital Economy
  • Trebor Scholz, ed. Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory
  • Tiziana Terranova, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age

The following titles offer relevant scholarly business histories:

  • Janet Abbate, Recoding Gender: Women’s Changing Participation in Computing
  • Martin Campbell-Kelly, From Airline Reservations to Sonic the Hedgehog: A History of the Software Industry
  • Nathan Ensmenger, The Computer Boys Take Over: Computers, Programmers, and the Politics of Technical Expertise
  • Joan M. Greenbaum, In the Name of Efficiency: Management Theory and Shopfloor Practice in Data-Processing Work
  • David Alan Grier, When Computers Were Human
  • John Harwood. The Interface: IBM and the Transformation of Corporate Design, 1945–1976
  • Marie Hicks, Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing
  • Philip Kraft, Programmers and Managers: The Routinization of Computer Programming in the United States

More journalistic:

  • Tracy Kidder, The Soul of A New Machine
  • Steven Levy, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution
  • Scott Rosenberg, Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software

Other related work

For further related reading in the domains of media theory, digital studies, and computational philology, see the reading lists for the following two previous seminars, “Media Theory and Modernity” and “Historicizing ‘Digital Humanities’,” along with the reading list for my undergraduate course “Digital Studies.”

For additional resources, see the Digital Culture and Media Initiative.