HIS 380K • History of Science
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
This seminar is designed to introduce students from a variety of backgrounds to recent work in the history of science and technology. We will look at some episodes from the 17th and 18th centuries, but our main focus will be on the 19th and 20th centuries. We will start by reading Jan Golinski's Making Natural Knowledge to help orient us to the field; we will then go on to read various books and articles that raise important themes and issues in the history of both science and technology. Among the issues we will address will be: the shifting intellectual authority of science; the role social and cultural factors play in shaping scientific knowledge; the changing organization of scientific and technological activity; the relationship between scientific knowledge and technological practices; and the place of science and technology in global and imperial contexts.
The seminar may be taken for either reading or research credit. In the first part of the semester, we will all read and discuss a shared set of books and articles; each student will write a brief (1-2 page) response paper on each week's readings, due before class each week, and everyone will be expected to take an active part in class discussions. In the last part of the semester, students will have two options: 1) Those taking the course for reading credit will read additional secondary works from a list tailored to their particular interests (presumably with an eye toward their comprehensive qualifying examinations), and will write a 12-15 page historiographical essay, due at the end of the semester. 2) Those taking the course for research credit will undertake work in primary source materials, and will write a 12-15 page research paper, due at the end of the semester.
Grades will be based on the response papers (20%), the research paper or historiographical essay (40%), and class participation (40%).