PROGRAM

 
SPRING 2014

Note: materials preceded by “C:\CACHE” will be provided (as .pdf documents) to students enrolled in the course.

All assigned reading and browsing should be completed in advance of the corresponding date.

 

01-15 Introduction to technology : culture : society

Reading:

C:\CACHE – Melvin Kranzberg, “Technology and History: Kranzberg’s Laws”

C:\CACHE – Robert L. Heilbroner, “Do Machines Make History?”

01-22 The Agrarian Roots of Technological Progress

Reading:

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 1 & 8 and pp. 308-313

C:\CACHE – William Boyd, “Making Meat: Science, Technology, and American Poultry Production”

Browsing:

“How Combine Harvesters Work”

Blake Hurst, “The Omnivore’s Delusion”

David Friedlander, “Omnivore’s Delusion and the Joy of Industrial Agriculture”

01-29 Revolutions in Industry

Reading:

T. S. Ashton, The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1830. Chapters 1-3

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 4-6

Browsing:

“How Steam Engines Work”

Recommended:

“A History of Beer (part 4)”

“The Industrial Revolution and The Railway System” (skim)

02-05 The Age of Synergy

Reading:

T.S. Ashton, The Industrial Revolution, 1760-1830. Chapters 4-6

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 7 & 10

Browsing:

Vaclav Smil, “The Limits of Energy Innovation”

“How Radio Works”

“How Telephones Work”

Recommended:

“A History of Beer (part 5)”

The Crystal Palace Museum [browse / skim]

02-12 No class this week — Lincoln’s Birthday
02-18 [Tue] Film #1: Modern Times (1936) @ 6:00 pm — Riverfront Campus Room 104 [optional]
02-19 American Technological Sublime

Reading:

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 9 & 14

C:\CACHE – Carl W. Condit, “Sullivan’s Skyscrapers as the Expression of Nineteenth-Century Technology”

C:\CACHE – Thomas Leslie, “Building Cladding and Plate Glass in the Chicago Skyscraper”

Browsing:

“How Skyscrapers Work”

02-26 EXAM #1
03-05 Mass Production : Mass Culture

Reading:

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 15-17

C:\CACHE – Christopher W. Wells, “The Road to the Model T”

C:\CACHE – Rudi Volti, “A Car for the Great Asian Multitude”

[NOTE: Class meets @ 9:45 am at the John Deere Harvester Works to take a factory tour of the production plant. For directions to the plant and other information go HERE.]

03-12 No Class: Spring Break
03-19 “Totalitarian” Technology

Reading:

Paul R. Josephson, Totalitarian Science and Technology. Chapters 1 & 4 (and either Chapter 2 or 3), plus Conclusion

C:\CACHE – Paul R. Josephson, “‘Projects of the Century’ in Soviet History”

Browsing:

“Magnitogorsk: Photos of a Steel City in Decline”nk

03-26 Technology at War

Reading:

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 12 & 18

C:\CACHE – Richard G. Hewlett, “Beginnings of Development in Nuclear Technology”

C:\CACHE – Peter Neushul, “Science, Government, and the Mass Production of Penicillin”

Browsing:

“How Nuclear Bombs Work”

04-02 Space Flight : Cold War

Reading:

C:\CACHE – Peter Dickens and James Ormrod, “Who Really Won the Space Race?”

C:\CACHE – Christopher Gainor, “The Atlas and the Air Force: Reassessing the Beginnings of America’s First Intercontinental Ballistic Missile”

Browsing:

Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Delusions of Space Enthusiasts”

04-09 EXAM #2k
04-16 Technology at Home

Reading:

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 3 & 13

C:\ CACHE – Paul R. Josephson, “The Ocean’s Hot Dog”

Browsing:

The History of Plastics [timeline]

04-23 The Digital Age

Reading:

Cross and Szostak, Chapters 19 & 20

C:\CACHE – Matthew B. Crawford, “Shop Class as Soulcraft”

Browsing:

Spengler [pseud. David P. Goldman], “How America Made Its Children Crazy”

04-30 IN-CLASS FILM: Blade Runner (1982)
05-07 FINAL EXAM