HoT Syllabus

HoT Syllabus - History 285: Technology in Historical...

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History 285: Technology in Historical Perspective Fall, 2011 Vital information Instructor: Jonathan Seitz Office: 3021B MacAlister Hall Office hours: M 12:00 – 1:30, or by appointment Email: Office phone: 215 – 895 – 0996 Home phone (9am – 9pm, please): 484 – 572 – 2447 If you have concerns about the course or your performance in the course, please email, call, or come talk to me. Don’t delay: if you drop by at the first inkling of uncertainty, it will be much easier to get back on track! I welcome visitors during my posted office hours (no appointment necessary), and I am also happy to make appointments at other times. Goals, or, Where we’re going Welcome to History 285! This is an introductory history course, which means we are here not only to learn the topic at hand, but also to learn about the field of history itself. As for the topic, this course covers the development of western technology through today. Obviously, we have to pick and choose what we cover. Some of the main themes we will consider will be: How technology can be symbolic — how it can be more than just its parts and function How society and culture shape technology, and vice-versa How attitudes towards technology have varied over time: How and why some people eagerly adopt new technologies, while others resist. How expectations about our ability to control nature (and whether we should) have changed. How science and technology relate As for the field of history itself, we will look at such issues as: What kinds of questions do we, as historians, ask about the past? What kinds of materials are available to answer them and how do we use those materials? Once we think we have an answer to a historical question, how do we convince others that we are right? Assignments, or, How we’ll get there This course will consist primarily of reading, writing, and talking about technology in historical context. Lectures, discussions and readings will complement, not echo, each other. You will need to do the readings, attend the lectures, and participate in the discussions in order to get the full value of this course. Two books for this course are available for purchase at the bookstore and on reserve at Hagerty library:
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Thomas Hughes, Human-built World: How to Think about Technology and Culture . University of Chicago Press, 2004. ISBN 0226359344 Loren R. Graham, The Ghost of the Executed Engineer . Harvard University Press, 1993. ISBN 0674354370 Additional readings will be distributed via the course website (most reliably accessed at ) or in class. I strongly urge you to print out online readings or have an electronic copy at hand in class. At the very least you should take detailed notes so that you can discuss the readings during class. Readings should be completed before class on the day for which they are assigned. Occasional very short writing assignments (or quizzes if necessary) will encourage you to complete and contemplate the readings before coming to
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2011 for the course HIST 285 taught by Professor Munns during the Fall '06 term at Drexel.

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HoT Syllabus - History 285: Technology in Historical...

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