STS.044/444 Technology and Self: Things and Thinking

Spring 2014: Tuesdays 1-3pm in E51-061
Undergraduate level: STS.044 (HASS-S)
Graduate level: STS.444

Prereq: None
2-0-7 units

Instructor: Professor Sherry Turkle
Enrollment limited to 15; no listeners**

Explores emotional and intellectual impact of objects. The growing literature on cognition and “things” cuts across anthropology, history, social theory, literature, sociology, and psychology and is of great relevance to science students. Examines the range of theories, from Mary Douglas in anthropology to D.W. Winnicott in psychoanalytic thinking, that underlies “thing” or “object” analysis. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.


The first day of classes is Tuesday, February 4. All students interested in taking the class MUST come to the first class, including preregistered students.
The first class will be spent doing a full review of the class assignments and class format. At the end of the first class, the instructor will distribute index cards. Students who are fully committed to taking the class should indicate this on their index card and return it to the instructor.

The first fifteen preregistered students will not be dropped from the class. But this is the time for preregistered students who plan to drop the class to do so in order to leave room for other students.

If there are less than fifteen preregistered students who wish to take the class, the instructor will bring the class size up to fifteen from the index cards submitted by students who are committed to taking the class. All accepted students will be informed by email by 9 pm on Tuesday.

No students should take a Technology and Self class whose academic schedule demands regular absences from class or an extended period of time during which they will be absent from class.