STS.001 Technology in American History

Spring 2006

Photograph of locomotive on a railroad bridge, from 1865.
Bridge on Orange & Alexandria [Virginia] Railroad, as repaired by army engineers under Colonel Herman Haupt, 1865. (Photo courtesy of Andrew J. Russell. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Civil War Photographs Collection, [reproduction number LC-USZC4-4589].)

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive list of readings, plus guidelines for several types of papers in the assignments section.

Course Description

This course will consider the ways in which technology, broadly defined, has contributed to the building of American society from colonial times to the present. This course has three primary goals: to train students to ask critical questions of both technology and the broader American culture of which it is a part; to provide an historical perspective with which to frame and address such questions; and to encourage students to be neither blind critics of new technologies, nor blind advocates for technologies in general, but thoughtful and educated participants in the democratic process.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

Donate Now


Prof. Merritt Roe Smith

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
Lec 1: 1 hour / session
Lec 2: 2 hours / session




Archived Courses

Previous version