Phil Agre is no longer a professor at UCLA. This page and others by him are being provided as a record of his writings and are no longer actively maintained.

Welcome to my home page.

  Philip E. Agre

Here are some of my recent publications:

The practical republic: Social skills and the progress of citizenship, in Andrew Feenberg and Darin Barney, eds, Community in the Digital Age, Rowman and Littlefield, 2004.

Internet research: For and against, in Mia Consalvo et al, eds, Internet Research Annual, Volume 1, Peter Lang, 2004.

Information and institutional change: The case of digital libraries, in Ann P. Bishop, Nancy A. Van House, and Barbara P. Buttenfield, eds, Digital Library Use: Social Practice in Design and Evaluation, MIT Press, 2003.

Hierarchy and history in Simon's "Architecture of Complexity", Journal of the Learning Sciences 12(3), 2003, pages 413-426.

Writing and representation, in Michael Mateas and Phoebe Sengers, eds, Narrative Intelligence, John Benjamins, 2003.

Peer-to-peer and the promise of Internet equality, Communications of the ACM 46(2), 2003, pages 39-42.

Real-time politics: The Internet and the political process, The Information Society 18(5), 2002, pages 311-331.

The practical logic of computer work, in Matthias Scheutz, ed, Computationalism: New Directions, MIT Press, 2002.

Cyberspace as American culture, Science as Culture 11(2), 2002, pages 171-189.

Changing places: Contexts of awareness in computing, Human-Computer Interaction 16(2-4), 2001, pages 177-192.

Supporting the intellectual life of a democratic society, Ethics and Information Technology 3(4), 2001, pages 289-298.

Your face is not a bar code: Arguments against automatic face recognition in public places, Whole Earth 106, 2001, pages 74-77.

The market logic of information, Knowledge, Technology, and Policy 13(3), 2000, pages 67-77.

Welcome to the always-on world, IEEE Spectrum 38(1), 2001, pages 10, 13.

Commodity and community: Institutional design for the networked university, Planning for Higher Education 29(2), 2000, pages 5-14.

Infrastructure and institutional change in the networked university, Information, Communication, and Society 3(4), 2000, pages 494-507.

The distances of education, Academe 85(5), 1999, pages 37-41.

Life after cyberspace, EASST Review 18(2), 1999, pages 3-5.

Information technology in higher education: The "global academic village" and intellectual standardization, On the Horizon 7(5), 1999, pages 8-11.

The architecture of identity: Embedding privacy in market institutions, Information, Communication and Society 2(1), 1999, pages 1-25.

Designing genres for new media, in Steve Jones, ed, CyberSociety 2.0: Revisiting CMC and Community, Sage, 1998.

Yesterday's tomorrow, Times Literary Supplement, 3 July 1998, pages 3-4.

Computation and Human Experience, Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape (edited with Marc Rotenberg), MIT Press, 1997. Chapter 1: Beyond the mirror world: Privacy and the representational practices of computing.

Toward a critical technical practice: Lessons learned in trying to reform AI, in Geoffrey C. Bowker, Susan Leigh Star, William Turner, and Les Gasser, eds, Social Science, Technical Systems and Cooperative Work: Beyond the Great Divide, Erlbaum, 1997.

Reinventing Technology, Rediscovering Community: Critical Explorations of Computing as a Social Practice (edited with Douglas Schuler), Ablex, 1997. Introduction: Computing as a social practice.

Lifeworld analysis (with Ian Horswill), Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research 6(1), 1997, pages 111-145.

Living math: Lave and Walkerdine on the meaning of everyday arithmetic, in David Kirshner and Tony Whitson, eds, Situated Cognition: Social, Semiotic, and Psychological Perspectives, Erlbaum, 1997.

Computational Theories of Interaction and Agency (edited with Stanley J. Rosenschein), MIT Press, 1996. Introduction: Computational research on interaction and agency.

Institutional circuitry: Thinking about the forms and uses of information, Information Technology and Libraries 14(4), 1995, pages 225-230.

The soul gained and lost: Artificial intelligence as a philosophical project, Stanford Humanities Review 4(2), 1995, pages 1-19.

I edit a mailing list called The Red Rock Eater News Service (RRE). The RRE home page includes links to numerous articles and other items that have gone out on the list. Here are some how-to's that I've sent to the list:
Advice for undergraduates considering graduate school A brief how-to, perhaps ten pages, for undergraduates who think they might want to get a PhD. I originally wrote it for students in my own department, but over time I have extended it in response to comments from people in other fields. It emphasizes the value of getting involved in research and is especially intended for sophomores and juniors.

Designing effective action alerts for the Internet This is a guide to designing political action alerts. It also suggests what kinds of badly designed action alerts you should refrain from forwarding to others.

Find your voice Writing for a webzine: how to build a public voice on the Internet that communicates your values in a way that people can understand.

Hosting a speaker A guide for graduate students concerning the practicalities of playing host to a visiting speaker, for example in a weekly seminar series.

How to be a leader in your field Detailed instructions for students on the process of becoming an intellectual leader in your profession. Identify an emerging issue, talk to people who have ideas about it, pull the ideas together, publicize the result, and repeat. This is also the best way to get a job.

How to help someone use a computer A short set of practical guidelines on helping people use computers without oppressing them. I learned most of these ideas from teachers of young children, but they apply equally well to anyone.

Here are some syllabi that I have sent to the list:
Information and institutional change This is an annotated syllabus for an upper-division undergraduate class on the role of information and information technology in the process of institutional change.

Institutional aspects of computing This is an annotated syllabus and reading list for a graduate seminar on the economic and legal aspects of compatibility standards.

Language and communicative practices. This is a syllabus for a graduate-level course on linguistic practices. Topics include semiotics, speech acts, indexical reference, and speech genres.

Systems analysis and design. This is a syllabus for an experimental introductory course on computer system design. In contrast to the mainframe-centered industrial automation courses of the past, this one starts with wireless information services and uses design methods derived from industrial design and architecture.

Information in society. An analytical introduction to the social systems that produce and use information.

Introduction to information technology. A nontechnical introduction to the architecture of networked computing and the ways that it is designed and used in organizational settings.

Here are some bibliographies that I have sent to the list:
Books about religious conservatism in the United States This is a bibliography of 500+ books relating to politically conservative religious movements in the United States, with particular attention to the history of Christian millennialism.

Books on the social aspects of computing, 1994-1997 A bibliography of books on the social, cultural, political, educational, economic, business, literary, legal, and religious aspects of networking and computing that were published in English from 1994 to 1997.

Understanding jargon Books about the distortion of language in political controversies.

What I'm interested in A lengthy (about 1MB) list of nearly all the books that I have found interesting enough to write down a citation for since I began keeping records in 1989.

Some other items of interest:
e-Service Journal.

Ethics and Information Technology.

The Information Society.

Mind, Culture, and Activity.

The Network Observer.

Information Studies 30: Internet and Society

Information Studies 209: Information Policy Seminar

Information Studies 277: Information Retrieval Systems

Information Studies 282: Systems Analysis and Design

Information Studies 289: Interpreting Documents

Information Studies 289: Knowledge