Technology & Society
SHIELDS, BRITTANY A
"We shape our technolgies; thereafter they shape us." This course surveys the ways in which technology has shaped our societies and our relations with the natural world. We will examine the origins and impact of technical developments throughout human history and across the globe -- from stone tools, agriculture and cave painting to ancient cities, metallurgy and aqueducts; from windmills, cathedrals, steam engines and electricity to atom bombs, the internet and genetic engineering. We will pay attention to the aesthetic, religious, and mythical dimensions of technological change and consider the circumstances in which innovations emerge as well as their effects on social order, on the environment, and on the ways humans understand themselves.