HTY 251: Technology & Society from Ancient Times to Present

Instructor: Professor Howard Segal

Days/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Course Number: 27966

Location: Stevens Hall 370

Course Description: A survey of the history of Western technology and, to a lesser extent, non-Western technology from ancient times till the present.  The course covers major developments both ‘internally” — as tools and machines” — and “externally” as related to the societies which have produced them and upon they in turn have had impact. Thus HTY 251 is not an old-fashioned and one-sided “nuts and bolts” course.  Instead HTY 251 examines the complex relationship between (1) technological change and (2) social, cultural, economic, and political change as each has affected the other over. Old-fashioned “nuts and bolts” history of technology courses invariably assume that virtually all technological developments constitute “progress” and often make technological “progress” the measure of all things.  By contrast, HTY 251 repeatedly asks if that traditional simplistic equation between technological advances and social, cultural, economic, and political advances is accurate or if it might be rethought in various instances over the course of history.

General Education Requirements: Social Contexts & Institutions and Western Cultural Tradition