HUMA 526 (01) - Humanities and Science

Humanities and Science

Durham   Liberal Arts :: Humanities
Credits: 4.0
Term: Fall 2021 - Full Term (08/30/2021 - 12/13/2021)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   25  
CRN: 14078
In this interdisciplinary course, students examine the ways in which scientific and technological understanding affects the development of cultural expression. Scientific, technological and environmental factors are sometimes discussed as if they are separate from human beings, but in this course we will consider the myriad direct, complex, and surprising ways that they drive cultural shifts and are then understood in evolving ways by cultures. Topics vary with instructor. May be repeated once if topics is different.
You must sign up in the Dept Office before registering through WEBCAT.
Repeat Rule: May be repeated for a maximum of 8 credits.
Equivalent(s): HUMA 651
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course, Humanities(Disc)
Instructors: Jan Golinski

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
8/30/2021 12/13/2021 TR 3:40pm - 5:00pm MURK G01
Additional Course Details: 

Are human beings naturally good or bad?  Aggressive or sociable?  Competitive or cooperative?  Do men and women have essentially the same natures?  Do humans share the same nature as animals?  Will machines ever replace us?

In this course, we explore how these questions have been answered during the last three centuries.  We will look at how ideas of human nature have been affected by the theory of evolution, by new technologies, and by discoveries in genetics.  We will study literary works, including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and stories by H. G. Wells, and we will situate them in relation to scientific and philosophical theories about the nature of human beings.  We will also discuss scientific theories of gender, race, and sexuality.  In the twenty-first century, with computers apparently displaying artificial intelligence, and genes found for many human characteristics, some people claim we have become “posthuman.”  This course provides a historical perspective on these exciting but troubling developments.