Stone Tools, Windmills, Machines and Cyborgs: An Introduction to the Archaeology, Anthropology and History of Technology

Course content

We live in an age where our day-to-day lives are increasingly dominated by our reliance on highly complex technological systems. Few people fully comprehend how many of the every-day devices we use – laptops, smartphones, vehicles – actually work. Some reports estimate that by 2030 800 million jobs will be lost due to automation posing huge societal challenges for our future. At the same time, scientists have raised concerns about the use of killer-robots in the conflicts of the future.

These issues highlight that technology is not an apolitical, asocial and ahistorical concept, as some like to suggest. In this course we will examine the social and cultural impact of technologies from the very earliest use of stone tools to the appearance of cyborgs. We will discuss how new technologies are adopted or why they are avoided, and explore the social, moral and ethical implications of new technological systems. Students will become familiar with a range of literature on the social anthropology, archaeology and history of technology and will learn how place technology in context.

Active course participation is a requirement for the exam. The exam will be a free written home assignment.

Education

BA-tilvalg i Nærorientalsk arkæologi, 2007

Master’s Programme in Ancient and Medieval Near Eastern Studies, 2008

Learning outcome

BA tilvalg 2007-studieordning:
Kronologiske, regionale og temaorienterede studier  (fagelementkode HNAB10151E)

KA 2008 studieordning
Special Topics in Archaeology (Fagelement HNAK03221E)

 

Seminar based discussion

Will follow in absalon

Being able to read English

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Other
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 338,5
  • Excursions
  • 18
  • Lectures
  • 56
  • English
  • 412,5