STS.008 Technology and Experience

Fall 2016: Thursdays 1:00-4:00pm
Prereq: None
3-0-9 units
Instructor: Professor Hanna Rose Shell

What does clothing have to do with technology — our experience with it, and its experience with us? This semester the focus of STS.008 is on “wearables” — wearable technology, past and present. We will look at the “deep history” and philosophy of how the things we drape around our bodies — from medieval armor to corsets to scuba suits — both make us human and make us who we are. What can textiles — and clothing — in particular tell us about the relationship between technology, personal identity, and experience? And conversely, how (both in the past and in the present) have clothes served as technology? Assignments (written and communicative) focus on close analysis of everything from your favorite T-shirt to cutting-edge camouflage uniforms, to materials science. Historical research will combine with self-reflection; selected assignments will have options for creative speculation and non-traditional media forms.