Can design help more people productively engage with scientific and technological controversies? Science, Technology, and Society (STS) is an interdisciplinary field that examines such controversies (i.e. smart cities, artificial intelligence, health informatics, and climate change) as well as their entanglements with everyday places and practices. The sensibilities and methodologies of STS, such as actor-network theory, situated knowledges, and sociotechnical imaginaries, will be our starting points for thinking differently about design and for designing different things.
This course will study the lived experiences of Black girls through the lens of Black women writers. Using African American literary texts as entry points, students will explore the ways in which Black girlhood is constructed and examine varied portrayals of how Black girls negotiate space both publicly and socially. Moreover, students will consider how Black women writers compose uniquely authentic and affirmative narratives that seek to oppose stereotypical depictions of Black girls and (re)center Black girls’ voices.
This course introduces students to narratives of complex relationships between human beings and the environment, including the impact of unchecked energy consumption on the global climate as well as vulnerable indigenous communities. Besides analyzing environmental literature and media that employ a range of rhetorical strategies, students in this course will compose digital projects to convey their own arguments regarding contemporary environmental debates.
In this course, we will consider how different forms of communication--from novels to film and poetry to comics--represent and reflect upon the history of black experience in America. We will be processing, discussing, and debating some of the key issues behind the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as responding creatively to topics such as police and prison reform, reparations, black representation in media, appropriation of black culture, and medical ethics related to race.
Climate change, the foremost crisis of the 21st century, presents manifold challenges to human cognition, organization, and action. Only recently, though, has modern media has started to grapple with climate change in books, television shows, and movies. Games, both analog and digital, though lag behind (as a quick Internet search for ‘climate change games’ reveals). This course will explore the question of whether games are a capable rhetorical medium for understanding or affecting climate change? Can they help articulate the scale and inequitable effects of climate change?
Everything is political, from science to art. In an era of climate change, protests for racial justice, and rising inequality, it is more important than ever to understand the relationship between science and art in effecting public opinion. This course will explore, briefly, the relationship between science and art in a few moments of modern human history—slavery, colonialization, industrialization, the development of fossil fuels, the development of nuclear power, and climate change.
Social media has changed the ways we communicate about science (#SciComm), and this is especially true of the citizen scientists, ornithologists, and plain old enthusiasts who log on to talk about birds. In this remote asynchronous course, we will consider not only contemporary #BirdComm but also how these conversations have changed over the past 150 years.
Recent IPCC predictions argue that the world has ten years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by half. Ten years to take a range of overlapping and dependent cultural, economic, and technological systems and reduce their carbon footprint by half. And only about thirty years to make these systems carbon neutral. The world Tech students will enter after ‘getting out’ will be dramatically warmer and more unstable that the one their parents and grandparents entered.
The Poetics of Sustainability: Race and the Environment
Utilizing our WOVEN curriculum, this Serve-Learn-Sustain affiliated course will explore the intersections of race, immigration, and the environment as urgent social, political, and ecological issues through the lens of poetry.
The cumulative consequences of the Anthropocene—warming, carbon emission, species loss, deforestation, melting, ocean acidification, and the global waste crisis—make the future of life on earth difficult to imagine. Throughout most of human history, we have relied on models such as generational inheritance or market growth to figure what lies ahead, but if the last few years are any indication, the rhetoric we use to project the future is increasingly insufficient.