ICT Revolutions: Continuity and Change
Full course description
The course challenges the idea that the world is experiencing a digital revolution. It systematically compares technological revolutions since the Late Middle Ages until the end of the 20th century (from the printing press to the internet) with today’s digital transformation. We focus on differences and similarities between the past and the present in order to understand continuity and change. You will find out who is empowered by digital transformations, who is excluded from promises of progress and development, and whether it is possible to steer changes in information and communication technologies (ICTs).
By the end of this course you will be able to:
- Identify and define technological revolutions;
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the origins and political, social, economic and cultural effects technological transformations since the Early Modern Period;
- Apply knowledge of the past to new and emerging situations in the digital present, taking into account assumptions, promises and fears surrounding technological innovation;
- Describe and analyze social and ethical consequences of technological developments, and what they meant for different societies in history;
- Articulate complex, interdisciplinary information and ideas about how technological transformations have made the modern world, and integrate these in a problem-oriented essay.
Briggs, A., & Burke, P. (2009). A social history of the media: From Gutenberg to the internet. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.