TPFH Part 2 | Technology in Society and Everyday Life - Historical and Contemporary Perspectives


Part 2 of Technology, Power & the Future of Humanity (online distance course) deals with historical and contemporary perspectives on technology in society and everyday life. This includes questions such as: How do historians understand technology? What drives technological development? How can we assess the importance or impact of technologies? Does technology lead to abundance or scarcity?


More at: Ecological footprint, take the quiz: and Slavery footprint:

Take the quiz here:

Course Goal from Syllabus for Part 2

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
- analyse different views on the role of technology in society, the relationship between technology and sustainable development, and how individual human beings influence and are influenced by different technologies.


The online seminar for part 2 takes place on February 13 (or a date the same week that you agree upon within your group). The seminar task for part 2 is available here:

  • Seminar task 1 (email your answers to Jakob on Feb 13th at the latest)

The agenda and specific questions to be discussed during the seminar will be posted on this page before the seminar on Feb 13th.


Edgerton, The shock of the old (course book): Introduction (ix - xviii)  |  Significance (1-27)  |  Time (28–51)  |  Production (52-53)  |  Maintenance (75-102)  |  Conclusion (206-212)

Nye, Technology Matters (course book): Does Technology Control Us?  |  Is Technology Predictable?  |  How Do Historians Understand Technology?  |  Sustainable Abundance, or Ecological Crisis?

Hornborg, A. (2006). Footprints in the cotton fields: The Industrial Revolution as time–space appropriation and environmental load displacement. Ecological Economics, vol 59 (1).

Cowan, R. S. (1976). The "Industrial Revolution" in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the 20th Century. Technology and Culture, vol 17(1).

Kunzru (1997). You Are Cyborg (Interview with Donna Haraway). Wired, Feb 1997.