History of Technology

History 100.004

Spring 2010
Day & Time: 
TuTh 12:30-2

How do technology and society interact? What drives technological change? How does technology transfer across different cultures? These and other related questions are examined using historical case studies of productive, military, domestic, information, and biomedical technologies from 1700 to the present. We shall discuss the evolution of artifacts and technological systems such as industrial machinery, weaponry, home appliances, computers, and contraceptives. The aim of the course is for you to learn about how technology affects social change and, especially, how technological change is invariably shaped by historical and social circumstances. At the end of the course you will be able to think historically about technology, and thus engage effectively with questions of technological change -- or lack thereof.


Students interested in teaching elementary or secondary school science and math and who plan to take this course as part of the Cal Teach program will be attending a supplemental section (Section times will be assigned in lecture in the first week of the semester). This section will focus on the techniques, skills, and perspectives necessary to apply the history of science in the juvenile and adolescent science classroom. For more information about Cal Teach, go to http://calteach.berkeley.edu/.