Spring 2004
IAH 206
Self, Society, and Technology

INSTRUCTOR: Larry Hauser
email:  hauserl@msu.edu
Office: 508 S. Kedzie  Phone: 353-9372
Office Hours: M
and by appointment
Angel: https://angel.msu.edu/frameIndex.htm



Required Texts and Materials: 

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Flesh and Machines by Rodney Brooks
  • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (available online)
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
  • Course materials online and on Angel


Course Description:  How does technology affect who we are as individuals and what we are as a society?  Does it enrich our lives, or does it encroach on our souls?  Conversely, how do our aspirations and identities as individuals and as a society express themselves through and shape the technologies we create and use?  Do new technologies allow us to discover who we are and what more we can attain?  Do new technologies allow others to inordinately influence who we are and what we pursue?  This complex web -- self, society, and technology -- is the subject of this course.  To explore this subject we will be paying special attention this semester to biotechnology, creative (e.g., music and film) technologies, and information technology.   We will draw on material from several disciplines, including philosophy, literature, history, art, music, and film.  Many of the issues and problems we will confront in this course have scientific besides social content.  We will be working at the interfaces of natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts.



Due Date




see course calendar below


1/4 of course


as assigned

atttendance + forum contributions on Angel and other "free writing"

1/4 of course

Term Paper

consultation: prior to 4/18
topic & thesis: 4/18
abstract: 4/20
paper: 4/27

2000 words (approx. 8 dbl-spaced pages)
Topic open:  This paper should defend a thesis.

1/4 of course

Final Exam

Wed. 5/4
3:00-5:00 p.m.

Mixed: "Objective" & Essay

1/4 of course

 MSU Academic Integrity Policies: http://www.vps.msu.edu/SpLife/rule32.htm


Important Note

Elements of this course will require the use of Angel, an online course management system.  You will need to access Angel for course informantion, links to relevant websites and other course resourses, for some required readings, and  to participate in the online forums as required.
 If you do not have easy Internet access you should not take this course.

IAH Goals: Integrative studies at MSU seeks to assist students to become more familiar with ways of knowing in the arts and humanities and to be more  knowledgeable and capable in a range of intellectual and expressive abilities.  IAH courses encourage students to engage critically with their own society, history, and culture(s) or to learn more about the history and cultures of other societies.  They focus on key ideas and issues in human experience; encourage appreciation of the roles of knowledge and values in shaping and understanding human behavior; emphasize the responsibilities and opportunities of democratic citizenship, highlight the importance of language and the value of the creative arts, and alert us to important issues that occur and re-occur among peoples in an increasingly interconnected, interdependent world. 


My classroom is rated R: lectures & discussion may include adult themes and language. 

Class Meets MW 3:00 - 4:50, 209 Berkey Hall
Approximate Course Calendar





Show & Tell

A Well Spent Life 44

Jan. 11

The Lonely 25

Readings Online

Jan. 13

MLK Jr. Day

No Class

Jan. 18

Frankenstein 71

Frankenstein 1/3

Jan. 20

Bride of Frankenstein 75

Frankenstein: 2/3

Jan. 25

Discussion: Quiz #1
Frankenstein 3/3

Jan. 27

Manufacturing Consent 84

Brave New World 1/4

Feb. 1

Manufacturing Consent 84

Brave New World 2/4

Feb. 3

The Corporation 73-83

Brave New World 3/4

Feb. 8

The Corporation 73-83

Brave New World 4/4

Feb. 10

Modern Times 87

Communist Manifesto 1/2

Feb. 15

Battleship Potemkin 66

Communist Manifesto 2/2

Feb. 17

Animal Farm 72
1984 1/4

Feb. 22

The Triumph of the Will 110

1984 2/4

Feb. 24

The Fog of War 107

1984 3/4

Mar. 1

Discussion: Quiz #2

1984 4/4

Mar. 3

Spring Break

No Class

Mar. 8

Spring Break

No Class

Mar. 10

Island of Lost Souls 71

Do Androids Dream ... 1/4

Mar. 15

Do Androids Dream ...

Mar. 17

Blade Runner (pt.1) 57-59

Blade Runner 3/4

Mar. 22

Blade Runner (pt. 2) 57-59

Blade Runner 4/4

Mar. 24

Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control 80

Flesh & Machines 1-2

Mar. 29

A Brief History of Time 80

Flesh & Machines 3-4

Mar. 31

Metropolis 57

Flesh & Machines 5-6

April 5

Metropolis 57

Flesh & Machines 7-8

April 7

2001: A Space Odyssey 70-74

Flesh & Machines 9-10

April 12

2001: A Space Odyssey 70-74

Readings Online

April 14

Quiz #3: Topics & Theses Due

Readings Online

April 19

TBA: Abstracts Due

Readings of Your Choice

April 21


Readings of Your Choice

April 26

Final Review

Term Papers Due

April 28

Finals Week

.May 3

Final Exam
3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

May 5