HTS 2084 - Georgia Tech Lorraine - Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Tech-Lorraine, European Campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology
Technology and Society (HTS 2084)
Spring 2011
Instructor: Liang Yao
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: TBD
This course introduces students to the study of technology as a dynamic element in
modern society. It is intended to serve as far more than a survey of the history of
technology. We will go far beyond simple description or studies of hardware, but
approach technology as a set of texts within social, cultural, political, and economic
contexts, and try to understand the critical relationship between them.
This course covers technology development from early nineteenth to late twentieth
century, when technology innovation and transfers were so pervasive all over the
world. Nonetheless, because the best and most profuse scholarship in this field is of
North American provenance, we shall largely concentrate on the US.
Required textbooks:
1. Thomas Hughes, American Genesis, A Century of Invention and Technological
Enthusiasm (Penguin Books 1990)
2. David A. Hounshell, From the American System to Mass Production 1880 –
1932. The Development of Manufacturing Technology in the United States (Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1984)
**Additional reading material will be made available at T-square as needed.
Course assessment will be done on the basis of the following formula:
Class participation
Georgia Tech-Lorraine is a serious academic program. Class attendance is mandatory.
The register will be taken every class. One absence without good reason is permitted.
After that, absence from class without good reason is punished by the loss of a grade.
Besides attendance, grading will be based on class discussion and two take-home
written papers that will test the students’ mastery of the prescribed material. All
written assignments must be typed. Students are encouraged to participate actively in
class discussions and to raise questions about the material or point of view presented
in the readings or lectures. Everyone, instructor and student alike, will benefit from an
energetic and informed exchange of ideas.
Lecture Topics:
1. A gigantic tidal wave of human ingenuity: individual inventors
2. American system
3. From American system to mass production: Taylorism, Fordism and mass
4. From individual inventors to system engineers: A neo-technic age, TVA and
Manhattan project
5. Limits of Fordism and coming of flexible mass production
6. Ethos of mass production and criticism
7. Counterculture and momentum
If you have or acquire any sort of condition that may require special arrangements
please let me know at the start of the session.
All students are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the policies of the
Georgia Tech Honor Code with respect to conduct and academic honesty. Anyone
engaging in acts that violate these policies, such as plagiarism or cheating, will be
The syllabus and schedule are subject to change as the course evolves in response
to resources and students needs.