Jun 14, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
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STS150 HM - Water, Culture, and Technology

Credit(s): 3

Instructor(s): de Laet

Description: The human body is made of 60% water. But while this most essential of essentials – clean, clear water – is taken for granted by some, it is inaccessible to others; while it is life threatening by its scarcity in some places, it is dangerous by its abundance in others. While most of us give little thought to the availability, cleanliness, and flow of our drinking water, it is contested and its availability the product of politics and infrastructures. So, what’s in your water? Where does it come from? How does it get to where it is used? What happens to it after? How does it shape and depend on community? Such questions are on our agenda. Technologies and cultures form each other: dams, dykes, and “polders”; hand water pumps, canals and aqueducts, irrigation systems, and draught mitigation, all “live” in specific cultural practices. The hidden systems – material and political – that bring water, take it away, and regulate its access, are the object of this course.

HSA Course Area(s): Science, Technology, & Society
HSA Writing Intensive: No