Writing in the Atlantic, my friend Biella Coleman, an assistant professor at NYU, describes the syllabus for her wonderful Anthropology of Hackers class. I met Biella when she was doing her fieldwork, part of which involved volunteering at and interviewing the staff and supporters of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Week Eight: The Aesthetics and Politics of Code
Free and Open Source Software is about software, specifically source code, the underlying directions written by programmers and powering software. But what is code? What are its politics? To acquaint ourselves with the material and aesthetic properties of software, we read a handful of chapters from Software Studies by Mathew Fuller. We then move more squarely to the politics of code with Lawrence Lessig's piece "Open Code and Open Societies" as well "Code is Speech: Legal Tinkering, Expertise, and Protest among Free and Open Source Software Developers" based on my fieldwork with Free Software developers.