American Science

History 280S.001

Fall 2005
108 Wheeler
Day & Time: 
W 10-12

American science is a Johnny-come-lately. Historically, it was long in a position of backwardness. Historiographically, it has remained relatively unself-conscious. And yet the American way of doing science has become a global model. Its historians may not have kept up. This seminar serves as both an introduction to the field and a consciousness-raising exercise. It looks for ways in which historians of U.S. science have contributed innovatively to the writing of history of science in general (e.g., ";Big Science,"; science and race), as well as approaches that have been revitalized by developments in related fields (colonial science, environmental history). It hopes to highlight prospects for future innovative study.

The seminar's compass includes studies that take their lead from ";regular"; U.S. history and from science studies. The instructor is a specialist in German science who regularly teaches on the U.S. The seminar is meant to be relevant to students interested in the present. Toward the end of the semester there will be space for students to suggest readings. Along with reading and class discussion, requirements include book reviews and a historiographic paper.


Also listed as History 280D.004