Open Reader Positions

Course: ISF 100J

Course Title: The Social Life of Computing

Instructor: Shreeharsh Kelkar
Time: TuTh 930-11 am

Class will be synchronous/remote in Spring 2021

We live in a time which some characterize as the “second machine age” of automation, artificial intelligence, and big data.  This course introduces students to the technical, social, business, and political entanglements of computing from its late 19th century origins to the 21st century software industry.  The topics covered include the intersections of computing with: calculation, capitalism, intelligence, gender, work, automation, and expertise.  It satisfies the social and behavioral sciences breadth requirement as well as the Human Contexts and Ethics requirement of Berkeley’s Data Science major.

We require two readers for this course, preferably someone who is familiar with the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and the social studies of computing/information.  The reader will be expected to attend lectures and supervise the active learning activities with the instructor, grade three essay assignments (1000-2000 words each), and make sure that the biweekly forum posts are submitted and mark them.  The class is expected to have roughly 100 students.  Graduate students interested in STS, information studies, as well as history, anthropology, and sociology will find the topics to be useful in their own work as well.  The reader position is expected to require 10 hours a week and comes with a tuition waiver.  The syllabus for an earlier edition of the course can be found here

If this might be of interest, please send an email to with your CV.  In the CV, please be sure to describe your teaching experiences, especially here at Berkeley.

Course: ISF 100C

Course Title: ISF 100C Language and Identity


Instructor: Fang Xu 

Time: TuTH 12:30P-1:59P Remote


Course Description:

This course examines the role of language in the construction of social identities, and how language is tied to various forms of symbolic power at the national and international levels. As the saying goes, “A language is a dialect with an army and navy” – but how so? Questions about language have been central to national culture and identity, and the languages we speak often prove, upon close examination, not to be the tongues of ancestors but invented traditions of political significance. People have also encoded resistance into non-official and ambiguous languages even as the state has attempted to devalue them as inferior forms of expression. Drawing on case studies from Asia, Europe, Canada, and the U.S., we will pay special attention to topics such as the legitimization of a national language, the political use of language in nation-building processes, the endangerment of indigenous languages, and processes of linguistic subordination and domination.  This course will be interdisciplinary in its attempt to understand language in terms of history, politics, anthropology and sociology. We will not only study how language has been envisioned in planning documents and official language policy, but also analyze how speakers enact, project, and contest their culturally specific subject positions according to their embodied linguistic capital.

I am looking for a reader who will enjoy working across disciplines, which include but are not limited to sociology, anthropology, history, linguistics, psychology, legal studies, and cognitive science, in thinking through how language plays an important but often overlooked role in social inequalities and justice.

Please send the CV and a list of faculty references to