ENAM 484:

Technology and American Culture

Last updated: 02/08/98

Texts:

        James Burke, Connections.
        Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie.
        Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography.
        Dashiel Hammet, The Dain Curse.
        Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization.
        Henry David Thoreau, Walden.
        Thomas Pyncheon, The Crying of Lot 49.

Calendar of Meetings:

1/14: Organization and Introduction
 
        Reading: James Burke, Connections.

        Recommended:
           AS@UVA Yellow Pages: Science and Technology
            George Basalla, The Evolution of Technology.
            Ferdinand Braudel, Civilization and Capitalism.
            Stephen H. Cutliffe and Terry S. Reynolds, Technology and American History.
            Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies.
            Paul T. Durbin, ed., A Guide to the Culture of Science, Technology, and Medicine.
            Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
            Henry Petroski, The Evolution of Useful Things.
            Charles Singer, et al, A History of Technology.
            Technology Timeline
            Edward Tenner, Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences.
            Trevor Williams, The History of Invention.
            Hans Zinser, Rats, Lice and History.
 

        Suggested:
            Susan Smylan, Discovering Science and Technology Through American History.
            Hot Air: A Journal of Improbable Research.
            Popular Mechanics: Time Machine
            Bad Ideas

        NOTE: Select articles for scanning; articles due to be posted 2/20.

1/19: In the Beginning: Technology in Early America.

        Reading:
            James Deetz, In Small Things Forgotten : The Archeology of Early American Life.
            Mumford, pp. xi-150.
            Brooke Hindle, A Retrospective View of Science, Technology, and Material Culture in Early American Culture.

        Recommended:
            Daniel Boorstin, An American Frame of Mind, Educating the Community, New World Medicine, and The Limits of American Science from The Americans: The Colonial Experience. (R)
            William Boelhower, Inventing America: A Model of Cartographic Semiosis.
            David Freeman Hawke, Everyday Life in Early America.
            Joseph and Francis Gies, Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages.
            Brooke Hindle, ed., Material Culture of the Wooden Age.
                                  , Technology in Early America.
            Judith A. McGraw, ed., Early American Technology.
            Carroll W. Pursell, Jr., Technology in America: A History of Individuals and Ideas.

        Suggested:
            Bernard Cohen, 18th Century Origins of the Concept of Scientific Revolution.
            Peter Drucker, The First Technological Revolution and Its Lessons.
            John Goodfellow, Technology and the Production of Meaning.
            Francis and Joseph Gies, Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages.
            Julie L. Horan, The Porcelain God: A Social History of the Toilet.
            Steven Lubar, Questions to Ask About Technology.
            Elizabeth Semancik, Albion's Seed Grows in the Cumberland Gap.
            Eric Sloane, A Museum of Early American Tools.

1/26: The Lost World of Franklin and Jefferson
        Reading:
            Benjamin Franklin,  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
            Thomas Jefferson,  Notes on the State of Virginia.
                Focus: Queries I-VI, XIX-XX.
            Gary Wills, A Scientific Paper from Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. (R)

        Recommended:
            Douglas Anderson, The Radical Enlightenments of Benjamin Franklin.
            John James Audobon, Birds.
            Daniel Boorstin, The Lost World of Thomas Jefferson.
            Hector St. Jean de Crevecoeur, Letter X: Of Snakes and the Hummingbird and  Letter XI: A Visit to John Bartram from Letters from an American Farmer.
            Benjamin Franklin: Glimpses of the Man.
            Colonial Williamsburg
            The Franklin Institute
            Mystic Seaport
            The Winterthur Museum
            Alexander Wilson
            Gary Wills, Inventing America: Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.

        Suggested:
            Jaishree K. Odin, Technologies of Writing.
            The Philadelphia Waterworks

2/2: The Machine in the Garden

        Reading:
            Henry David Thoreau, Walden.
                Focus: Economy, Where I Lived and What I Lived For, Reading, Sounds, The Village, Spring, Conclusion.
            Leo Marx, The Machine from The Machine in the Garden, pp. 145-226. (R)
            Mumford, pp. 151-211.
            Pursell, The Machine in America, pp. 87-127. (R)
           Alan Trachtenberg, Mechanization Takes Command from The Incorporation of America.(R)
 
        Recommended:
            Klaus Benesch, Romantic Cyborgs: Technology, Authorship, and the Politics of Reproduction in Nineteenth-Century American Literature
            Daniel Boorstin, The Versatiles, The Businessman, The Booster Press, Palaces of the Public, The                Balloon-Frame House, The Booster College, A Half Known Country, and Packaging a Continent in The Americans: the National Experience. (R)
            Daniel Chandler, Technology in Fiction. (timeline)
            David Freeman Hawke, Nuts and Bolts of the Past: A History of American Technology, 1776-1860.
            The Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia 1876
            The Crystal Palace Exhibition, 1851
            Yvonne French, The Great Exhibition, 1851.
            David E. Nye, American Technological Sublime.

        Suggested:
            Baltimore & Ohio Museum
            Covered Bridges
            Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations.
            Steam Trains

2/9: The Machine Age

        Reading:
            Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie.
            I Have Seen the Future
            A Theatre of Machines
            The World's Columbian Exposition
 
        Recommended:
            Henry Adams, Chicago, and The Dynamo and the Virgin
            McCrea Adams, Advertising Characters: The Pantheon of American Consumerism.
            Daniel Boorstin, The Versatiles, The Businessman, The Booster Press, Palaces of the Public, The Balloon-Frame House, The Booster College, a Half Known Country, and Packaging a Continent in The Americans: The National Experience. (R)
            Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
            Tine Bruland, Industrial Conflict as a Source of Technical Innovation: Three Cases.
            Chicago Architecture
            Chicago Trams and Trolleys 
            A.H. Clark, The Clipper Ship Era.
            Victor S. Clark, A History of Manufactures in the United States.
            John Coolidge, Mill and Mansion: A Study of Architecture and Society in Lowell, Mass., 1820-1865.
            Michael Gorman, Alexander Graham Bell's Path to the Telephone.
            Siegfried Giedion, Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History.
            Joseph and Francis Gies, The Ingenious Yankees.
            H.J. Habakkuk, American and British Technology in the Nineteenth Century.
            The Hagley Museum
            Thomas P. Hughes, American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasms.
            Louis C. Hunter, Steamboats in the Western Areas.
            Industrial and Fine Arts of the World as Shown at the Philadelphia...Exhibition.  (R)
            The Iron Road: The Intercontinental Railroad.
            Edwin Layton, Mirror Image Twins: The Communities of Science and Technology in 19th-century America.
            Magee's Illustrated Guide of Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition 1876.
            New York Transit Museum
            Miles Orvell, The Real Thing.
            Politics in the Gilded Age
            George Pullman (Discovery)
            Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives.
            John E. Sawyer, The Social Basis of the American System of Manufactures.
            Herwin Schaefer, Nineteenth Century Modern.
            Mark Seltzer, Bodies and Machines.
            Frederick W. Taylor, from Principles of Scientific Management.
            Trolleys
            Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
            Thorstien Veblen, Conspicuous Consumption from The Theory of the Leisure Class.
            The Yellow Kid

        Suggested:
            Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward from 2000 to 1887.
            Dee Brown, Year of the Century: 1876.
            Carson, Pirie, Scott (Chicago Department Store)
            Coney Island
            The Elevator
            Explore Chicago
            Ralph Waldo Emerson, Napoleon from Representative Men.
            Lewis Mumford, Sticks and Stones: A Study of American Architecture and Civlization.
            David Noble, America by Design.
 
2/16: Thoroughly Modern

        Reading:
         Dashiel Hammet, The Dain Curse.
         Mumford, 212-435.
         Richard Guy Wright, The Machine Age in America.  (R)

        Recommended:
            American Art in the Age of Technology
            Daniel Boorstin, Consumption Communities, Statistical Communities, Leveling Times and Places, Mass-Producing the Moment, The Thinner Life of Things, The Search for Novelty in The Americans: The Democratic Experience. (R)
            David Glertner, 1939: The Lost World of the Fair.
            Helen A. Harrison, ed., The Dawn of a New Day: The New York World's Fair 1939/40.
            John Kouwenhoven, America by Design.
            James Weber Lynn, A Century of Progress Exposition: Chicago 1933. (R)
            Media History Project
            Miles Orvell,  The Artist Looks at the Machine: Whitman, Sheeler and American Modernism.
            Model T Fan Club
            New York's World Fair (1939-49) 
           Official Guide Book of the Fair, 1933
            Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
            Kohn Kouwenhoven, America by Design.
            Alan Trachtenberg, Brooklyn Bridge as Symbol and Myth. (R)

        Suggested:
            Norman BelGeddes, Magic Motorways.
            Charlie Chaplin, Modern Times
            John Kouwenhoven, Stone, Steel, and Jazz and What is Vernacular? from Made in America.
            James J. Flink, The Automobile Age.
            Martin Greif, Depression Modern: The Thirties Style in America.
            Henry Green, The Uncertainty of Everyday Life, 1915-1945,
            Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.
            Pamela Walker Laird, "The Car Without a Single Weakness": Early Automobile Advertising.
            N.Y. Subway
            The Telephone
            Warren Sussman, ed.,  Culture and Commitment
            Rudi Volti, A Century of Automobility.
            H.G. Wells, 1984
            The Wright Stuff 

       NOTE: Scanned articles posted to homepages and to /~UG99 by 2/20

2/23: The Way We Are

        Reading:
            Thomas Pyncheon, The Crying of Lot 49.
            Stephen J. Fjellman, Vinyl Leaves, pp. 85-107, 187-219, 319-391. (R)
            Frederick Jameson, The Cultural Logic of Late Industrial Capitalism.

        Recommended:
            Daniel Boorstin, The Image.
            Discontinued Disney
            John Fiske, Televison Culture.
            Ted Friedman, The World of Coca Cola
            Julika Griem, Screening America:  Representations of Television in Contemporary American Literature.
            Kenneth Jackson, The Transportation Revolution and the Erosion of the City from Crabgrass Frontier.
            Tracy Kidder, The Soul of a New Machine.
            Gaile McGregor, The Technomyth in Transition: Reading American Popular Culture.
            Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death.
            Mike Wallace, Progress Talk: Museums of Science, Thechnology and Industry and Industrial Museums and the History of Deindustrialization in Mickey Mouse History. (R)
            Alexander Wilson, Utopian Dreams.

        Suggested:
            Diane Barthel, A Gentleman and a Consumer.
            Klaus Benesch, Technology and American Culture: An Introduction.
            Big Dreams, Small Screens
            Jeffry Cass, The Iconography of a Theme Park.
            Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality.
            Critical Arts Ensemble, The Technology of Uselessness.
            William Fisher, Of Living Machines and Living-Machines.
            Peter Gibian, The Art of Being Off Center: Shopping Center Spaces and Spectacles.
            Roland Marchand, The Parable of the Democracy of Goods.
            Remembering the Future: The New York World's Fair from 1939-1964.
            Smithsonian Institute History of Computing
            Edward Tenner, Information Age at the National Museum of American History.
            Alvin Toffler, Future Shock.
                               , The Third Wave.
            Andrew Wernick, Vehicles for Myth: The Shifting Image of the Modern Car.
            Alexander Wilson, Utopian Dreams.

3/2: Welcome to the Future

        Reading:
            The Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies
            Daniel Chandler, Media and Communications Studies Site
                History of Communication Media
                Media Institutions and Politics
               Technology and Communications.
             David Gelertner, Digital Culture.
             Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community.

        Recommended:
            Ashley Dunn, Cybertimes
            Internet 1996 World Exposition
            Jane Murray, Hamlet on the Holodeck.
            Nicholas Negroponte, Being Digital.
            Jaishree K. Odin, Computers and Cultural Transformation.
                                     , Technological Capitalism.
            Wayne Rasch, Jr., Politics on the Internet:Wiring the Political Process.
            Don Tapscott, The Digital Economy: Promise and Peril on the Internet.
            TechnoCulture

         Suggested:
            The Alien Hive.
            Woody Allen, Sleepers
            Blade Runner
            Noam Chomsky HomePage
            Critical Art Ensemble, The Technology of Uselessness.
            Ctheory: Theory, Technology, and Culture.
            University of Iowa Digital Media
            Todd Blayone and Matthew Kirschenbaum, Voices from the Interface.
            Colin Brooke, The Fate of Rhetoric in an Electronic Age.
            Culturation
            Mark Dery, Escape Velocity.
            Electronic Frontier Foundation
            Jonathan Epstein and Patrick Lichty, Cybertheory of the Image.
            Joshua Fruhlinger, Escape to Cyberia: Subcultures as Agents of Change.
            Kenneth Gergen, Technology and the Self: From the Essential to the Sublime.
            William Gibson, Neuromancer.
            Andrew Gillespie and Kevin Roberts, Geographical Inequalities: The Spatial Bias of the New ... Technologies.
            Dan Hill, The Privatization of Public (Cyber)Space.
            Neil Howe, et al, 13th Gen: Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?
            David Lyon, From Big Brother to Electronic Panopticon.
            Mad Max
            Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy.
                                         , The Medium is the Message.
                                         , Understanding Media.
            William Mitchell, City of Bits.
            Kevin Roberts and Frank Webster, Cybernetic Capitalism: Information, Technology, and Everyday Life.
            Howard Rheingold, Tools for Thought.
            Alan Shapiro, Captain Kirk Was Never the Original.
            Speed (E-Zine)
            Don Tapscott, Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation.
            Star Trek: The Next Generation.
            Terminator and Terminator II

       NOTE: Project prospectus due 3/7: one page summary, descriptive bibliography and target for book review.

3/9: Spring Vacation

3/16: Workshop I: Site Design and Objectives
      NOTE: Book review due 3/20.
3/23: No Class

3/30: Workshop II: Project Design I

4/6: Workshop III: Project Design II

4/13: Workshop IV: Project Drafts I

4/20: Workshop V: Project Drafts II

4/27: Workshop VI: Trouble Shooting

5/1-5/8: Final Examinations

        NOTE: Projects due 5/9/98