Friday, December 14, 2007

Hum II Sp 08

AS2000 A&C Humanities II
Sp 2008

Our topic will be: Dehumanizing Humanity – Technophobia and Technophilia in Modern Culture. We’ll look at this topic in the light of several themes: The foundation of concepts of the human in concepts of nature, work, and technology; Modern media’s power to represent and reshape humanity and social life; Technology’s enabling of the dehumanization of others; Androids, robots, and other artificial human creatures in the modern popular imagination.

Bill McKibben - The End of Nature (2006 ed.) (Random House, 2006)
Stanley Perkowitz - Digital People: From Bionic Humans to Androids (Joseph Henry Press, 2004)
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein (Signet, 2000 – the 1818 edition. Do not get the 1831 edition.)
Susan Sontag - Regarding the Pain of Others (Picador, 2004)

Most of these are available used from Amazon or But be sure to get the right edition.

The following required readings are available free online:
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels – The Communist Manifesto
Henry David Thoreau – Walking
Franz Kafka – In the Penal Colony
Michel Foucault - Panopticism
Guy Debord - The Society of the Spectacle

The following films will be studied in class:
Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926)
La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
RoboCop (Paul Verhoeven, 1987)

Further suggested reading:
George Orwell – 1984
Walter Benjamin – The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Bill Joy – Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us
Kevin Kelley – Out of Control
Nick Bostrom - Existential Risks: Analyzing Human Extinction Scenarios
The Unabomber’s Manifesto
Francis Fukuyama, - Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. Picador, 2002

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what about 'upgrades' to humanity? post-human is OK I guess, but I'd settle for better hearing and vision.

You should get Gareth Branwyn to come talk to your class:

- J