Jul 17, 2024  
Catalogue 2023-2024 
Catalogue 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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STS 385 - Race and Technology in Ancient Rome

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)
(Same as GRST 385 )  From concrete to the aqueducts, the ancient Romans are famous for their technological innovations. And the way Romans thought about technology was closely connected with their views on race and ethnicity. This seminar explores this connection between technology and race in ancient Roman literature and its reception. As groundwork for our approach, we discuss different approaches to and challenges of utilizing concepts like race, ethnicity, whiteness, and diversity in the study of premodern societies, including the idea that race itself is a technology invented as a tool of oppression. Various topics are considered, including different mythological and historical accounts of human history; the high level of multiculturalism inherent in Roman supply chains and natural resource management; and the role of slaves both in and as technology. We read widely in Roman poetry, historiography, law, and technical literature, all of which is supplemented by scholarship and theory from Science and Technology Studies, Posthumanism, and Critical Race Theory. We also consider how the intertwined histories of science and race in ancient Rome are received in select works of contemporary science fiction and Afrofuturism.  Del Maticic.

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS

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