|Course Type||Course Code||No. Of Credits|
It is commonly assumed that the complexities of contemporary globalization are driven by scientific progress and technological innovations. Indeed technology plays a significant role in shaping our world today to the extent that scholars perceive the arrival of ‘transhumanism’, indicating the transformation that has taken place in human existence. This elective attempts to address the present surge of ‘globalism’ by disentangling the multiple and multi-layered relationships between science and technology and the way it interacts with human perception and existence. The intention is to understand how human beings perceive, relate, receive and experience the world around them through scientific knowledge and technological artifacts. Instead of treating science and technology as a matter of impact and implementation, this course intends to foreground the proposition that scientific knowledge and technological artifacts are socially shaped/ constructed, not just in their usage, but also in their design destination and technical contents. Science and technology is contested and constructed by societies, collectivities and institutions.
The students will be encouraged to step back and reflect on commonsense assumptions on science and technology and apply their knowledge to debunk some of these commonly assumed realities
The students will be introduced to the world of artefact and to the phenomenology and Anthropology of artefacts
The students will get an opportunity to understand the political and social dimensions of what has been understood as ‘the black box’ (the laboratory) in STS studies.
This course is organized around seven modules.
|1||Technology-Human interface||2 weeks|
|2||Technology and the contours of contemporary change||2 weeks|
|3||Media in digital age||2 weeks|
|4||Phenomenology of Technology-Human Interface||2 weeks|
|5||Science fictions and myth making||2 weeks|
|6||Almost Human: (Re)editing of Body and Cyborg||2 weeks|
|7||Patenting knowledge||2 weeks|
M-I: Technology-Human interface: Major Theoretical Contours
This module intends to introduce the students to the various theoretical contours related to the debates on emergence of scientific inquiry and critical reflections on the altering nature of relationships. We begin with discussion on history and politics of Scientific inquiry and attempt to disentangle multiple layers of the relationships and look at major theoretical traditions.
Bijkar, W.E. et al. ed. 1992. Shaping Technology/Building Societies, London, MIT, Page: 225-258
Habermas, J. 1971.‘Technology and Science as “Ideology” ’, in Toward a Rational Society. London: Heinemann.
Latour, B. 2005, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to the Actor Network Theory, New York: OUP, Page Number: 141-159.
Oudshoorn, N. and Pinch, T. 2003. How Users Matter: the Co-construction of Technology, Massachusetts: MIT Press. Page:1-29 and 67-80.
M-II: Technology and the Contours of Contemporary Change
This module initiates a dialogue among the students on the issues of science technology and social change in the context of contemporary changes taking place due to technology and scientific knowledge. What is the nature of the knowledge produced and how they are perceived by the people who inhabit these spaces? What are the complex ways science and technology shaping our world and how do we shape the design and destination of technology?
M-III: Media in Digital Age: Culture and Politics
This modules attempts to capture the way (new) media technologies are shaping our economy, politics and needless to say our everyday life.
M-IV: The Phenomenology of Technology-Human Interface
This module emphasizes on the experiential and existential dimension of technology-human interface. It attempts to address versatile issues arising out of the human existence in the world of artifacts. How do human beings interact and experience the technology? How do their social position impact/ influence their interaction with the techno world? More importantly, how does human world is experienced in an ever technocratic, hallucinated world of spectacles produced by technology?
M-V: Science Fictions and Myth Making
Demystifying the myth of science and technology and its inherent capabilities of modernizing the society, this module attempts understand the way science and scientific aspirations are riddled with fiction and myth making.
M-VI: Almost Human: (Re)editing of Body and Cyborg
This module sensitizes the students on how and in which direction science and technologies are ‘editing’ our own physical existence, such as the body thus our being. In this module we attempt to understand various issues surrounding assisted technologies and the science of body editing.
M-VII: Patenting Knowledge: Copyrights and Biotechnology
In this module we discuss issues related to ownership of knowledge, such as innovations in technology and its ownerships. This module will dwell on the issues of copy rights, genetic rights, rights over body and authorship and death of authorship.
Assessment structure (modes and frequency of assessments)
|S.No||Date of assignment||Value||Due Date of Submission|
|1||Assignment||30||20th of September|
|2||Project and Presentation||40||19thOctober and 26th October|
|3||Field Visit/ Secondary Literature review||30||First Week of November|