Special Feature: UK Universities offering courses on cyberspace

Compiled By: Robin Hamman

After getting a late start on the study of virtual communities and cyberspace, universities in the United Kingdom are coming on strong with at least 6 offering courses on cyberspace. This feature will be updated if further submissions come in so if you are looking for a place for next year, check this spot again. Further submissions conact: Robin@socio.demon.co.uk

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CRICT (Centre for Research into Innovation, Culture and Technology), Brunel University (http://www.brunel.ac.uk/depts/crict/): CRICT aims to research into the social and cultural dimensions of science and technology in all its aspects, with particular reference to information and communication technologies. CRICT is concerned to develop and apply a research framework with a threefold significance:

1. it offers a fresh perspective on the nexus of problems around innovation, management of technology, technology transfer and technology assessment

2. it provides new insights into the problem of the relevance and utility of social science research

3. it establishes a framework for rethinking long-standing problems in social theory

CRICT recognises the increasing need to demonstrate the relevance and importance of social science research for those involved in making and using the new technologies. Accordingly, our contributions are aimed at two levels. We intend our research results to inform public debate and enrich the discussions upon which major government and industry policy decisions are made. At the same time, we wish to promote closer relationships with practitioners so as to demonstrate the utility of social science for the practical business of design, production and use of new technologies.

CRICT, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, UK, Tel: +44 (0)1895 203111, Fax: +44 (0)1895 203155, Email: crict@brunel.ac.uk

Information Obtained From Website

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Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, University of Kent: CSAC is a research centre dedicated to the pioneering use of computers in anthropology. This has led to the creation of the first UK anthropology web site in 1993, and to the development of a range of tools to use in anthropological fieldwork. In the course of this the use of portable computers in field conditions has been extensively researched. An increasing focus is the anthropological study of peopel using computers - a recently concluded study of the use of bibliographic tools was funded by the British Library. This featured both ehtnographic research and the micro study of HCI records. More related research is planned.

For more information contact: Dr David Zeitlyn (D.Zeitlyn@ukc.ac.uk) , Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing, Department of Anthropology, Eliot College, The University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NS, UK. Tel. (44) 1227 764000 -Extn 3360 (or 823360 direct) Fax (44) 1227 827289 http://lucy.ukc.ac.uk/dz/

Information supplied by David Zeitlyn, PhD.

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Department of Sociology, University of Lancaster Rob Shields, editor of several books on cyberspace has moved on to Carleton in Canada, but his work on CMC is carried on by several members of staff and students at Lancaster. For more info: http://www.comp.lancs.ac.uk/sociology/ or email: d.shapiro@lancaster.ac.uk

Information Obtained From Website

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Department of Cultural Studies, Sheffield Hallam University: The BA in Communication Studies focuses on ideas, issues and problems in human communication - ranging from the interpersonal to mass communication. It draws upon the disciplines of psychology, linguistics, sociology and cultural studies. Set up in the mid 1970s, it was the first degree in communication studies in the country. It now enjoys a national reputation as an innovative, interdisciplinary degree. The course is wide-ranging and challenging, aiming to provide students with both a sound theoretical base in a range of relevant subject areas and practical communication skills. One of the classes offered is Martin Jordin's Virtual Communities class. I've seen the excellent lecture notes on this class and recommend it highly. The department is also doing work on several hypertext development projects. For more info: http://www.shu.ac.uk/schools/cs/commstud/index.html or email Martin Jordin at: m.d.jordin@shu.ac.uk

Information Obtained From Website

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Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Warwick Run by Cyborg-Feminist Sadie Plant, the CCRU has a number of post-graduate students studying cyberspace. They collectively publish a pamphlet of their work called Abstract Culture. For more info: http://members.aol.com/ccruweb/index.htm email: pypek@csv.warwick.ac.uk

Information Obtained From Website

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Hypermedia Research Centre, University of Westminster: The HRC was set up in 1995 to research into the social and technical possibilities being created by new digital technologies. Since 1996, the HRC has been running an MA in Hypermedia Studies which educates students in the theoretical and practical skills needed to become a digital artisans working within the hypermedia industry. Members of the HRC are also involved in teaching on the BA in Contemporary Media Practice and the M.Phil/Ph.D in Communications.

The research of the HRC is centred on work around virtual communities, digital economy, interactive music and digital imagery. Practical projects have included the Future Sound of London website, the WebWright database publishing program, the JungleMOO conference site and the ANTI-rom CD-rom. Theoretical publications include critiques of Californian cyber-libertarianism, the memes cult and Deleuzoguattarian philosophy as well as studies of the emergence of digital artisanship. Members of the HRC also work with commercial companies, in particular ANTI-rom and Tomato.

To see the theoretical and practical work of the staff and students of the HRC, please visit: http://www.hrc.wmin.ac.uk/

For more information on the work of the HRC, contact: Dr. Richard Barbrook (hrc@hrc.westminster.ac.uk) , Hypermedia Research Centre, School of Design & Media, University of Westminster, Watford Road, Northwick Park, HARROW HA1 3TP -- Telephone: +44 (0)171-911-5000 x4590

For an application form for the MA in Hypermedia Studies or any other course at the University of Westminster, please contact: Dave Haddock, Admissions Office, University of Westminster, Watford Road, Northwick Park, HARROW HA1 3TP -- Telephone: +44 (0)171-911-5000 x 5951

Information supplied by Richard Barbrook, PhD.

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For a listing of US universities offering courses on cyberspace, the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies (profiled in issue one) has an extensive listing available.