Tablet to iPad: A History of Information (HSTY2602)


How has information technology shaped our past? This unit investigates the history of the Western world's technologies of literacy and organisation of knowledge. We start with ancient materials - clay, wax, skin, paper - and the organisation and circulation of information from antiquity to the Renaissance. How did pre-modern networks function? Who was the public? The author? We compare Western systems with those of China, the Islamic World, and the Americas, and conclude with the new challenges of the digital age.

Further unit of study information


2x1hr lectures/week, 1x1hr tutorial/week


1x1500wd journal (30%), 1x500wd bibliography (10%), 1x500wd Essay outline (10%), 1x2000wd Essay (40%) and Tutorial participation (10%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

(12 Junior credit points of History or Ancient History) or (12 Senior credit points of Digital Cultures)

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.