About the Course and Web Exceptionalism

About the Course
Each week during the fall 2010 semester, a member or members of the 2010-2011 fellows class at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University will lead a session for their fellow fellows on a topic of their choosing related to Web Exceptionalism. They will evaluate the Web Exceptionalist claim by looking at various disciplines and areas of social life, asking in each case: How much has, will, or might the availability of the Web change the norm?

They will be joined in these sessions by Berkman’s faculty directors, fellowship advisory board members, faculty associates, and community members from the Harvard’s Center for Research on Computation and Society.

Thoughts, notes, and writeups from the fellows hour sessions will be shared through this blog.

What is Web Exceptionalism?
Web Exceptionalism is the belief (or attitude) that the Web is a significant break in the course of history, fundamentally changing institutions, norms, behaviors… It is not always proposed as a rigorous hypothesis, but is often expressed in an optimism (and occasionally pessimism) that in the Age of the Web, we have opportunities for deep change. In the timeline of history, the Web Exceptionalist prints the advent of the Web in a font as large as the invention of the printing press.

Note that this course uses the term “Web Exceptionalism” broadly, and will not insist on coming up with or adhering to a precise definition. In fact, the course may will consider Net technologies other than the World Wide Web.

Who are the Berkman Center fellows?
A list of the 2010-2011 fellows community members can be found at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/newsroom/20…
You can learn more about the Berkman Center fellowship program at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/getinvolved…