unit review essay outline


What is Unit Review?

Unit Review is one of the primary methods of evaluation in this class. The goal of Unit Review is for you to demonstrate mastery over the themes, concepts, and ideas we have covered during the unit.

About halfway through each unit, I will give you a question/prompt for Unit Review. You will produce a 4-6 page essay that answers the prompt by the Tuesday following the end of the unit.

How do I Prepare for Unit Review?

Anything that we read or discuss during the unit is fair game for Unit Review. Students should prepare by keeping up with the reading and maintaining good notes.

How will Unit Review be graded?

I will be looking for the following dimensions in your papers: 1) Organization; 2) Support and evidence; 3) Accuracy; and 4) Originality. I expect your papers to develop and support a clear argument.


Our second examines how technology “represents” us. From machine learning algorithms that are encoded with bias, to tech companies that employ narrow slices of the population, technology inherently involves decisions and choices that favor or exclude, even if it’s often presented as neutral, and even if that’s not the intent. How can we use the idea of representation to understand technological values?

For this review, your job is to:

1)Select a technology. It should be something we haven’t discussed in depth in class and thatwasn’t discussed at length in one of our readings. Specifically, please don’t select facialrecognition or photographic bias (though you may select a special application of one of these;please ask if you have questions).

2)Examine the biases, values, and ideas embedded in this technology (i.e. who it represents orwelcomes and who it excludes; how it communicates its values)

3)Explore how this technology is represented by finding at least one article, image, oradvertisement. This may help you to answer the question about biases, values, and ideas.

4)Use Benjamin twice and at least one other class reading to support your answer. Include relevantterms where applicable.

You may interpret “technology” widely—something as simple as a plastic water bottle or as complicated as an app. Your selection must be something not discussed in depth either in our class readings or discussion.

As you work on your Unit Review, you’ll want to consider the following questions

  • What problem is this technology trying to solve, and for whom?
  • What unintended consequences or implicit biases are embedded into the technology?
  • How is the technology represented by people who want you to use it? (Another way to think aboutthis question is: what do you think most other people believe to be true about this technology?)
  • How do our course materials support your argument about this technology?
  • Outside reading is suggested for this paper, but there is no requirement in terms of the amount. However, you should write this paper from a place of knowledge. Learn, don’t speculate.


    Reading Material list:

    1.Benjamin, Race After Technology, Chapter 1- 4(In attachment files)

    2. Excerpt – Banet Weiser (in Attachment files)

    3.Cecco, “Toronto van attack suspect says he was ‘radicalized’ online by ‘incels'” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/27/alek…

    4.Robertson, “Should We Treat Incels as Terrorists?” https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/5/20899388/incel-movement-blueprint-toronto-attack-confession-gender-terrorism

    5.Hsu, “These Influencers Aren’t Flesh and Blood, Yet Millions Follow Them”


    6.Romano, “A group of YouTubers is trying to prove the site systematically demonetizes queer content”


    7.Harwell, “Dating apps need women. Advertisers need diversity. AI companies offer a solution: Fake people”


    8. Koontz et al., “Realistic Love: Contemporary College Women’s Negotiations of Princess Culture and the “Reality” Of Romantic Relationships”(in attachment files)

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