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Technology & Society Theme

A Curricular Theme at Ohio University

(Previously titled 'Fire to iPhone')

About This Theme

Society has always interacted with technology to improve work, quality of life and relationships with other. Our society speaks of "technology" as though it describes the most cutting-edge digital inventions. And it does. But technology itself is nothing new. Humans have been developing new technologies throughout our history.

The Technology and Society theme, through a variety of disciplines, traces progressions of key technologies across human history and critically investigates how those technologies have shaped society in the past and how new technologies might shape our future. From written language to the book to the telephone to GIS, students in the Technology and Society theme will explore questions such as:

  • Why and in what contexts do we choose certain technologies?
  • How have technologies (e.g. Twitter, texting) changed the ways we read, write, and communicate?
  • What ethical dilemmas arise with the emergence of WikiLeaks and other hacker whistle-blowing?
  • How is technology blurring the boundaries between human and machine being? Is our immersion in technology transforming us into cyborgs?
  • How are technologies shaping your identity?
  • Who "owns" a text, song, or game? Does ownership change when it's remixed, say, in fan fiction? Or when the "property" is open source? In what ways does intellectual property law constrain creativity?
  • What is technical literacy?

Steering Committee Members

Sherrie Gradin, English
Lynne Lancaster, Classics
Rosemary Rossiter, Economics
Gaurav Sinha, Geography
Eric Stinaff, Physics
Judith Grant, Political Science

Other Committee Members

Jeff Giesey, Engineering
Joseph Lee, Linguistics
Ghirmai Negash, English
Luke Pittaway, Management
David Rosenthal, Plant Biology
David Sharpe, English

Contact Us

For more information, contact the Technology and Society theme at