My Digital Anthropology course this semester…

Three weeks have already passed. But there are many weeks to go and if any one is interested in joining reading discussions online (we are on Week 4), here is the code to join MED 521 course: km26m5 at

MED 521 – Syllabus for Fall 2017

Digital Anthropology for Media Studies

Mondays 19:00-22:00- santral E2-102



Digital Anthropology  is a sub-branch of sociocultural anthropology. It is an anthropological intervention to relations between humans and digital-era technology. It might deal with cybernetic systems, virtual communities, cultures of technology, the computer underground, techno-mysticism and similar concepts. It might also deal with impact of digitalization on existing fields of study. The course also takes an interest in discussing methodologies for digital ethnographies such as researching online relationships, designing internet behaviour research, online interviewing and research relationship, ethnographic presence in cyber settings.  Finally, the course has every semester new particular topics to investigate further:

Particular topics for Fall 2017:

  • Impact of Digitalization on Journalism. Case studies on media in Turkey
  • Internet History of Turkey



Topics/ Readings

All readings shared here are for educational purposes.

Week 1

Introduction and overview of syllabus

Week 2

Introduction to New Anthropology

Fischer, M. M. (2007). Culture and cultural analysis as experimental systems. Cultural anthropology, 22(1), 1-65.

Week 3

Introduction to New Anthropology

Marcus, G. E. (1995). Ethnography in/of the world system: The emergence of multi-sited ethnography. Annual review of anthropology, 24(1), 95-117.

Week 4

On terminology

Budka, P. (2011, September). From cyber to digital anthropology to an anthropology of the contemporary. In Seminario Interno Lista Media Anthropology. Recuperado de http://www. mediaanthropology. net/index. php/e-seminars.

Week 5

Early works

Beaulieu, A. (2004). Mediating ethnography: objectivity and the making of ethnographies of the internet. Social epistemology, 18(2-3), 139-163.

Week 6

A primer

Boellstorff, T. (2015). Coming of age in Second Life: An anthropologist explores the virtually human. Princeton University Press. P. 1-87

Week 7


Kelty, C. M. (2008). Two bits: The cultural significance of free software. Duke University Press. Introduction and Chapter 1

Week 8


Postill, J., & Pink, S. (2012). Social media ethnography: The digital researcher in a messy web. Media International Australia, 145(1), 123-134.


Murthy, D. (2008). Digital ethnography: An examination of the use of new technologies for social research. Sociology, 42(5), 837-855.


Burroughs, B. (2014). Facebook and FarmVille: A digital ritual analysis of social gaming. Games and Culture, 9(3), 151-166.

Week 9


Bengtsson, S. (2014). Faraway, so close! Proximity and distance in ethnography online. Media, Culture & Society, 36(6), 862-877.

Costa, E. Social Media as Practices: an Ethnographic Critique of ‘Affordances’ and ‘Context Collapse’.


Week 10


Madianou, M., & Miller, D. (2013). Polymedia: Towards a new theory of digital media in interpersonal communication. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 16(2), 169-187.

Postill, J. (2014). Freedom technologists and the new protest movements: a theory of protest formulas. Convergence, 20(4), 402-418.

Week 11


Bonilla, Y., & Rosa, J. (2015). # Ferguson: Digital protest, hashtag ethnography, and the racial politics of social media in the United States. American Ethnologist, 42(1), 4-17.

Gabriella E. Coleman: Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking. 1-122

Week 12

Costa, E. (2016). Social media in southeast Turkey (p. 206). UCL Press.

Week 13

A review

Marcus, G. E. (2012). The legacies of writing culture and the near future of the ethnographic form: A sketch. Cultural Anthropology, 27(3), 427-445.

Week 14

Case discussions/ Presentations





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