Identity Paper

Write a 6–7 page paper about some aspect of technology and identity that has interested you from the syllabus—perhaps to do with work, family, medicine, food, or wearables. Look through the last few years of issues of MIT's Technology Review and find an article about a relevant topic. Then, drawing on theories and examples from readings in class so far (e.g., Marx, Gusterson, Cowan, Davis-Floyd, Yates-Doerr, Petryna), write an essay that examines what you think the social dimensions are or might be of the technology you have chosen. Keep in mind that those social dimensions might have to do with the values built into the technology as well as with the implications of the use of technology in practice.

Student Example

"'Glyph' – A Step Towards Isolation" (PDF)

Infrastructure and Social Forms Paper

For this paper, imagine a future technological infrastructure and the social forms that might accompany it. You must use some of the theoretical tools offered in the readings for this section (e.g. Hughes, Edwards) to think through your ideas. In other words, write a theoretically informed science fiction essay / story. Be prepared to deliver a five-ish minute presentation to the class about your paper.

Student Example

"The Grid" (PDF)

Student examples appear courtesy of MIT students and are published with their permission.