The subtitle for this course is “How stuff works, and how it made America modern.” I first developed and offered this course in Fall 2009, having been inspired by the way Princeton’s David Billington tells the history of engineering in America as if it is the history of America. My interdisciplinary course is designed for non-engineering students, and introduces them to several technologies, from the underlying science to the engineering design, and to the way these technologies were perceived in American art, literature, music, and popular culture. This course is cross-listed as American Studies and Engineering Science 252, and it is a writing-intensive [W] course. Representative texts — a partial sampling — for the course appear below.
You can see the poster about this course I presented at the 2010 Union College Symposium on Engineering and Liberal Education here. In January, 2016, I used a similar approach in a webcast course for Lafayette alumni.
Next offering: Spring 2016