Siegal Lifelong Learning to offer 4-week remote course

Titled “Aviators of the Information Age: Hackers in American History,” this 4-week series will address who computer “hackers” are and what they do. Taught by Jacob Bruggeman, a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University and fellow in the Center for Economy and Society, the course will begin July 8 and run through July 29.

In the late 1980s, the hacker joined the cast of characters at the center of American culture and politics. Nightly news anchors warned of the hacker as an identity thief. Companies complained of the hacker as a pirate plundering copyrighted software and music. Some programmers and engineers imagined themselves honorable hackers, advancing knowledge. Later, others would describe themselves as “hacktivists,” or declare some clever thing they recently learned as a “life hack.” This course traces how the idea of the hacker evolved in the lead up to and after the turn of the 21st century. Students will grapple with how technical expertise in the late 20th century was wielded, and how society responded. By examining the tensions and contradictions within hacker groups, students will learn to dissect the cultural archetypes that permeate discourse and popular culture.

Learn more and register.