AMST 372
Technologies of Race Fall 2023
Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed AFR 374 / STS 373

Class Details

This course is an introduction to theories, methods, sources, and approaches for interdisciplinary research and creativity in and through the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. We will focus on the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and disability with modern media technologies, from early photography in the mid-19th century to contemporary trends in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Through a process of shared inquiry, course participants will investigate the ways that historical legacies of oppression and futuristic speculation combine to shape human lives in the present under racial capitalism. Whether analyses of the automation of militarized border control in Texas, or of the ways that obsolete, racist concepts are embedded in machine vision and surveillance systems, the readings in the course will chart out the key moments in the co-evolution of race and technology in the Americas. Students will gain a working competence in all four tracks of the American Studies major (Space and Place; Comparative Studies in Race, Ethnicity, and Diaspora; Arts in Context; and Critical and Cultural Theory). Finally, we will also explore alternative paths toward a future where technology might help to effect the abolition of oppressive structures and systems, rather than continue to perpetuate them.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 1565
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Four papers, in-class writing/reflective work, and a final exam.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: AMST majors or prospective majors.
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
AFR 374 Division II STS 373 Division II AMST 372 Division II
WS Notes: Students in this course develop a capacity to write generative arguments in an interdisciplinary scholarly context. Students will receive feedback not only on structure, substance, and style, but also on how to best build a line of inquiry, how to gather high-quality evidence, and how to make one's thinking productively intersect with more than one scholarly or creative field.
DPE Notes: This course requires students to contextualize technologies historically and in relation to one another, with attention to their entanglements with racial discourses and racism. Students gain critical skills that equip them to imagine possible futures where technologies serve increasingly as abolitionist tools.
Attributes: AFR Theories, Methods, and Poetics
AMST Arts in Context Electives
AMST Comp Studies in Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora
AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives
AMST Space and Place Electives

Class Grid

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