Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2021

  • Senior Seminar – Against Innovation

    190 001 | CCN: 25972

    Jacob R Gaboury

    Location: Dwinelle 226

    Date and Time: W 2:00pm - 4:59pm

    4 Units

    Nearly all technologies we use today are the product of critical innovations that disrupted traditional industries to transform the world we live in. This is the story we tell ourselves about the history of technology, and the justification for our culture of innovation that views science and technology as the solution to nearly all problems. And yet this ideology ignores the complex role that maintenance, labor, politics, and culture play in the development of technical systems, and the many harms caused by a culture that focuses exclusively on disruption. This research-driven senior capstone seminar explores the history of technology through the lens of innovation, pushing back against the assumption that technical problems require technical solutions. How do we study the history of technology outside of the frameworks of invention and innovation? How are politics embedded into the design and function of technology itself? When is innovation useful, and when does it harm rather than help? This capstone course offers undergraduates with senior standing (or consent of instructor) an opportunity to experience seminar learning. Creative work is encouraged but the emphasis will be on the completion of a substantial research project.