News: New Summer Course Offering - HTS 2084 Technology and Society: Global Rick Society

Posted April 28, 2020

HTS 2084 Technology and Society: Global Risk Society

Early Short Summer Session

Prof. Tim Stoneman


In addition to its mortality, COVID-19 has spread around the world with astonishing rapidity, dramatically altering the time-frame of human decision-making. The global pandemic raises deep-seated questions. What types of novel risks do modern technological societies pose? To what extent are such risks the result of globalization and the by-product of the acceleration of the modern world? And how can human societies regain a sense of control over their futures? 

To address such questions, HTS 2084 provides a basic foundation in contemporary social theory for the understanding of late global modernity, characterized by unprecedented levels of inter-connectedness, high degrees of risk, and social acceleration. Three historical case studies from the 20th and early 21st centuries – global pandemics, financial contagions, and wartime emergencies – examine in detail singular events whose unfolding illustrate the dynamics of a new, high-paced, and inter-connected world.

The final section of the class raises the question of response, evaluating the merits of global cooperation vs. national consolidation in response to periodic global crises and considering how governments in Asia, Europe, and the US have responded in differing manners to the COVID-19 pandemic. The class will rely on short lectures and class discussion, midterm, and projects (in lieu of a final exam).