Courses of Study 2023-2024 
    Jul 19, 2024  
Courses of Study 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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INFO 2921 - Inventing an Information Society

(crosslisted) AMST 2980 ENGRG 2980 HIST 2920 , STS 2921  
(HA-AG, HA-AS, HST-AS)      
Spring. 3 credits. Letter grades only.

G. Vidan.

Provides an introduction to the role computing and information technologies played in political public life, from tabulating machines used to calculate the census to Big Tech’s impact on democratic procedures, the future of labor, and the environment. Though organized around four thematic units (Recognizing and Representing, Knowing, Working, and Belonging), the course pays attention to the chronological trajectory of technologies and political practices and students will develop the skills necessary for historical analysis. While focusing on the US experience the course also highlights the international flow of labor, materials, and ideas. By studying the development of computing historically, we will grapple with the effects of computing and data sciences on society today, paying special attention to critiques of economic, racial, and gender injustice. The course will meet twice a week, and each meeting will include a lecture followed by a discussion.

Outcome 1: Knowledge of ethical issues regarding political representation, workplace compensation, and access to information technology.

Outcome 2: Ability to make sound arguments about major themes in the history of information technology. Ability to discuss these themes orally with the professor and other students.

Outcome 3: Understanding of the complex, mutual relationship between technological changes introduced by engineers and their embeddedness in larger political movements.

Outcome 4: An appreciation of how the ways we tell histories of technological innovation shape political outcomes and the ability to critically evaluate such historical narratives.

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