Spring 2015 - Graduate Course Descriptions
Description of Course:
THIS COURSE IS AVAILABLE TO DOCTORAL STUDENTS ONLY.
The relationship between the humanities, science, and technology has been a matter of consternation for some time. C. P. Snow's famous 1959 lecture, "The Two Cultures," epitomizes this anxiety. Snow gave primacy to science and technology, shaming British society and government for not supporting the sciences to the degree it had traditionally supported the humanities. What goes lost today is the broader context from which his thinking emerged: the Theoretical Biology Club in London, c. 1930s, a group of progressive and politically active embryologists, geneticists, and scientists of evolutionary development that included Julian Huxley, Conrad Waddington, Joseph Woodger, Dorothy Wrinch, and Joseph Needham.
This course returns to Snow's essay in order to look for the gray area of indetermination between the humanities, science, and technology. Our goal is to understand the relationship between art, science, and technology by way of questions of epigenetics, evolution, social Darwinism, panopticism, sustainability, population, and apocalyptic collapse.
Named for the 1973 dystopian science fiction film, HUAS 7305 Soylent Green: Readings in New Media Art and Theory focuses on the existential relationship between humans, art, science, and technology. Students engage the seminal texts in history and in our current moment that explain and describe the opportunities, fantasies, and failures of experiments in art, science, and technology. Readings and artifacts include: Thomas Malthus, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Joseph Needham, Conrad Waddington, C.P. Snow, Gregory Bateson, modern housing (Narkomfin, Unite d'Habitation, Cabrini Green, Pruitt Igoe), the Bauhaus, *Soylent Green,* Tarkovsky's *Solaris,* *Escape from New York,* and more.
Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria: