Spring 2009

Wireless Communities: Technology and Political Modernity

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-52


Doreen Lee (Section 01)


(PT) In this course we will consider the role technology has played in 20th-century state politics and mass movements. In particular we will look at the development of the radio, the camera, and the internet to compare and contrast the ways in which our world view has shifted because of these technologies. What kinds of political practices do these technologies enable, or seem to encourage? The technologies in question have aided the colonial enterprise, the rise of fascism, the propaganda machinery of authoritarian regimes, and several resistance movements associated with the new social movements of the last two decades. The rational and scientific triumphs of technological innovation thus cannot be separated from their communicative and political uses. Technology is never a neutral object but must be seen and understood from the social, economic, and political frameworks in which it is embedded. Readings will draw heavily from cases in Southeast Asia, with some comparative possibilities from studies of East and South Asia as well. Instructor consent required. Limited to 20 students. Not open to first-year students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Lee.