Nuclear technology has shaped our world through its various applications (e.g., weapons, energy production, medicine), as well as through accidents and disasters (e.g., Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Fukushima). This course will examine the development of nuclear technology and its consequences to politics and culture at the global, national, regional and local levels from interdisciplinary perspectives. Some of the key questions addressed are: How did different countries and communities experience and respond to the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? How did such experiences affect the later development of the technology in different national contexts? How have nuclear tests and disasters change the ways in which risks are understood and managed globally and locally? What kinds of political activism, international arrangements, and cultural tropes and imageries emerged in response to nuclear technology? We explore these questions through key works and recent studies in history, anthropology, sociology, and science and technology studies, as well as through films and literature.
- This course is offered as part of the Summer Intensive in Technology & Innovation, and qualifies toward the Certificate of Completion in Technology & Innovation.