HISTORY 100S: Summer 2024 STS Minor Elective

April 26th, 2024  |  Published in Latest news

satellite view of silicon valley

Special Topics in the History of Science: The History of Silicon Valley

Jul 01 2024 – Aug 09 2024
 TU, W, TH
 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Lewis 9, UC Berkeley Campus
Class #:15650

Instruction Mode: In-Person Instruction

Class Description:

Silicon Valley: the place where our quotidian is manufactured. The Hollywood of the digital, it’s the literal ground upon which new forms of relating, learning, and consuming are invented, tested, codified, packaged, and disseminated until we’ve reconfigured our “natural” and given environment again and again. Silicon Valley is also paradoxically everywhere, dependent on supply chains, laborers, and consumers that are far away. At the same time it’s a milieu of and for a new class structure comprised of the super wealthy (and often very young) that has radically altered the landscape and mores of the Bay Area. While we associate Silicon Valley with the IPO Apocalypse and the gig economy, the region has a much longer history of technological, military, and entertainment industries. Starting in the late 1800s, we will trace the evolution of Silicon Valley and its global flows through to its enormous footprint in/on the present. Along the way, this will require considering the colonization of the American West, built environment and infrastructures, histories of business and technologies, militarization, the status of the university, gender, class and, of course, hacking.

Instructor biography: Valerie Black is a Lecturer in the Department of History and the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an anthropologist of human-AI relationships and ethnographer of Silicon Valley (PhD UC Berkeley) who examines technology through the intersection of critical race theory, gender & queer studies, and disability justice.

For more information regarding this course, please visit the UC Berkeley course catalogue

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