HSS 312: Technology and Society in America

Schedule, Reading List, & Assignments:

The schedule and assignments are subject to change during the semester. If you rely on a printed version of this schedule, please check back here regularly to make sure you have the most current version.

Last revised: April 7, 2011

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Date Topic Reading Assignment Assignment
Week One
Jan. 19
Week Two
Jan. 26
Digital History I: The History Web - Cohen and Rosenzweig, Intro and Chapter 1

- Burton, "American Digital History"

- Explore a digital history project (start here)

Reading response 1 due
Week Three
Feb. 2
Digital History II: Engineering and Technology


- Cohen and Rosenzweig, Chapters 4, 6, and Concluding Thoughts

- Explore a second digital history project (start here)

Reading response 2 due

Week Four
Feb. 9
Oral History I: Overview

Guest Speaker: Prof. David Kirsch,
Associate Professor at the University of Maryland and Director, Business Plan Archive

- Forbes and Kirsch, "The Study of Emerging Industries" (eLearn)

- Portelli, Introduction

- Ritchie, Introduction, Chapter 1, and Appendix 1

Reading response 3 due (Portelli and Ritchie selections)
Week Five
Feb. 16
Oral History II: Memory and Meaning - Portelli, Chapters 1 and 3

- Ritchie, Chapter 7

- Skim Ritchie, Chapters 3, 4, and 8

- Explore oral history websites

Reading response 4 due (Portelli selections)

Preliminary group project proposals due

Week Six
Feb. 23
Preliminary Project Reports and Group Critique - Explore an oral history or digital history project Group project proposals due
Week Seven
March 2
Open Source History? - Rosenzweig, "Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past"

- Cohen and Rosenzweig, "Web of Lies? Historical Knowledge on the Internet"

- Explore the Internet Archive

Reading response 5 due

Week Eight
March 9
The State of the Art - Class review of digital and oral history projects - Links to websites and projects discussed in class Review Essay topic and bibliography due
March 16 No Class - Spring Break    
Week Nine
March 23
Taylor, Labor, and Technology

Guest Speaker: Adam Winger, Head of Special Collections and Digital Initiatives Librarian, SC Williams Library

**This week's meeting will be in Room 204 of the SC Williams Library**

- Explore the Frederick Winslow Taylor collection in the Stevens Library, including the Classified Guide to the collection.

- Smith and Clancey, eds., "Inventing Efficiency: Scientific Management, ca 1900-1939" (eLearn)

Reading response 6 due
Week Ten
March 30
Digital Communities Read:
- Russell, Interview with David Mills (eLearn)

- Dibbell, "A Rape in Cyberspace: How an Evil Clown, a Haitian Trickster Spirit, Two Wizards, and a Cast of Dozens Turned a Database into a Society"
(NB: I have posted on eLearn a version of this article that may be easier to print)

- Pelkey, Entrepreneurial Capitalism and Innovation: A History of Computer Communications, 1968-1988

Reading response 7 due

Revised Review Essay Topic and Bibliography due

Week Eleven
April 6
Harlan County, USA - Portelli, Chapters 10 and 11

- Watch Harlan County U.S.A.

- Watch The Widows of Harlan County

Group project updates due

Reading response 8 due

Week Twelve
April 13
Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine - Hill, Corbett, and St. Rose, "Why So Few?" - Executive Summary and Recommendations (eLearn)

Prepare a reading response based on the selections from "Why So Few?" and on your reading of at least two oral histories from the following collections:

- Chemical Heritage Foundation, Women in Science
- Society for Women Engineers, Profiles of SWE Pioneers
- One of the collections at Project ECHO

Reading response 9 due
Week Thirteen
April 20
Review Essay Presentations   Review Essays due
Week Fourteen
April 27
Group Project Presentations   Group project reports due


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