I. What you need to know about this course
History 1220:
History, Technology, and Society
Fall 2020: Aug. 19 - Dec. 11, 2020

Welcome! This syllabus lays out what you need to know to succeed in this course. Please read it carefully--one of the differences between K12 and college is that I will not remind you of the assignments and instructions every time something is due. This course will be held entirely online but some daily assignments will be on campus if you are there.

Who We Are:
Class time MWF 11:15-12:05 on Zoom. After the first week we will probably have whole group meetings on Monday and you will attend a smaller group meeting during class time either Wednesday or Friday.

Instructor: Dr. Pamela E. Mack, Department of HistoryProf. Mack

Contact information: use the email system build into Canvas (if I am available that is usually the fastest way to reach me, if I don't reply within 24 hours please re-send)
direct email: pammack@clemson.edu (no g.)

I'm a morning person--I usually turn my computer off around 8:30 pm
preferred form of address: Prof. Mack or Dr. Mack, pronouns: she/her/hers
Cell phone if necessary: 864-710-3203 (during business hours, please; texts are good but identify yourself)

Drop in times for students: MWF 12:05-12:30 on Zoom, other times available for sign up in Canvas Calendar, other times by appointment (24 hours notice)

Teaching assistants:

Learning in a Pandemic:

None of us are really ok. If you tell me you're having trouble, I'm not going to judge you or think less of you. I hope you will extend me the same grace.
Ground rules:

  • You are always welcome to talk to me about things you are going through, if you want. If I can't help you, I usually know somebody who can.
  • You never owe me personal information about your health (mental or physical) or anything else, that you don't want to share.
  • If you need extra help, or you need to miss class, or you need more time with something, ask. I will work with you. Promise.
Learning Online:

Online learning can build community, if we are open to new ways of interacting and learning.
  • Commit time for this course and take it seriously, be an active participant
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes and change your mind; that is how learning works
  • Listen: be respectful of and curious about different ideas and try to understand the different experiences of other people
  • Continue the conversation! Make friends, create other channels for communication
Use the course structure:
  • Click on the individual course in Canvas and use the check boxes in each module to keep track of your progress
  • This is a course organized around reading three books (not around recorded lectures). Plan time to do the reading thoughtfully.

Organize yourself to be effective:

  • Organize a separate space for doing schoolwork if you can
  • Keep a calendar of work to do (not just due dates but schedule time to work on it)
  • When you run into a challenge, keep trying and ask for help

Course Goals:

This course uses examples from history to teach you to analyze the interaction of science and technology with society. The goal is to make you a better citizen, able to make good choices (both as a consumer and as a voter) about what technologies we want in the future.

Critical Thinking and CT2:

As a Clemson Thinks 2 course (CT2), this course emphasizes the formation, development, and application of critical thinking skills. Cultivating critical thinking as both skillset and worldview is one of the primary goals we will strive toward through analysis of STS concerns, simultaneously reflecting the goals of the STS program and CT2. Examples of Critical Thinking Questions. Critical thinking is a matrix of behaviors, skills, and attitudes that work in conjunction to produce better thinking. For our purposes, better thinking means, for any complex question:
Of course, this list is not complete. It sums up some critical thinking basics that we will practice as we work toward our goal of becoming better thinkers, and one hopes, better decision-makers. We will measure our progress toward that goal in relation to the following learning outcomes, or what students who successfully complete a class will know and be able to do.

CT2 Learning Outcomes Learning Outcomes for this Class Corresponding assignment
These are essential critical thinking skills... ...and this is how we “do” them in HIST 1220

  • Explore complex challenges
  • Define the purpose, characteristics, and historical development of science and technology
group projects
  • Effectively communicate complex ideas
  • Demonstrate how historians explain the causes and consequences of human actions
Hahn paper 
  • Analyze multi-dimensional problems
  • Assess the impact of technology on society and discuss to what extent technology can change history
  • Assess how social forces shape the development of technology
Lienhard paper
  • Synthesize alternative solutions to multi-dimensional challenges
  • Demonstrate critical thinking through analysis of global challenges and evaluate how varying perspectives influence global challenges
Nye paper
  • Extrapolate from one conceptual context to others
  • Analyze issues you will face as a citizen in a technological world
learning reflection (takehome final exam)

Course Overview:
This course is organized around reading three books.  What historians do, most fundamentally, is write books, so we need to examine the books not just as sources of information but also for the perspectives of the authors.  Each book takes a different approach to the interaction of technology and society. There will be a paper after each book; the paper for the third book will be longer and involve more research, applying the questions Nye asks to a global challenge.

 Grade Distribution:
In this course numerical grades out of 100 will be converted to final letter grades by the system 90-100=A, 80-89=B, 70-79=C, 60-69=D, below 60=F.  I round up by up to .5 if it makes a difference in the grade.

You get 6 free passes for daily assignments that you can skip entirely or drop your lowest grade. Daily assignments and group projects may be penalized 50% for lateness. Late papers
may be penalized two points for each calendar day late. Extensions without penalty are available for illness, hurricanes and other special circumstances by arrangement with the professor. Documentation is not required. Note that assignments are due at 11 am (or during class), not midnight.

The attendance policy:
According to the Undergraduate Announcements, 2019-20: "Class attendance is critical to the educational process; therefore, students should attend scheduled courses regularly if they are to attain their academic goals." For an online course that means keeping up with assignments and attending Zoom classes. Please use the notification of absences form when you miss class. If circumstances make attendance difficult on a regular or repeated basis please
email or make an appointment with the professor to make an alternative plan.

University policy this year is that there can be no penalty for missing class. However, there will be activities in Zoom classes that earn points (under daily assignments). There will be a way to make these up; if it isn't obvious how to do so you may need to ask the professor.

If the professor or a substitute does not arrive on Zoom within 10 minutes of the scheduled starting time of the meeting students may leave. If an assignment is not posted when it should be, it is your responsibility to email the professor and ask about it.
Any assignments due on Canvas will still be due as scheduled even if the university is closed due to weather unless different information is posted as a Canvas announcement. If your internet goes out for more than a few hours you can get an extension.

Daily Assignments: Purpose--preparation and engagement. These be listed in the Canvas module and will include:
Team projects: Purpose--build community and learn from each other. You will be divided up into teams of about 4 or 5 students both for some discussions in Zoom and for team projects. For the first book, the team project assignment will be to find on the internet images to provide illustrations for one chapter of the Hahn book. Each team will be assigned a chapter and will prepare a collection of images that would have helped you understand that chapter when you read it.

Papers: Purpose--synthesize what you have learned.
The first two papers
will be about 3-4 double spaced pages of text on an assigned topic.
The third (Nye) paper will be about 4-6 double space pages of text with a choice of topics which you will research and then analyze using concepts from the Nye book.
Higher grades will go to papers that exhibit critical thinking, an analytical framework, specific evidence, the ability to inform and communicate, sound organization, and a concise and coherent argument
that answers the specific question assigned. Papers will be handed in via Canvas and screened by the Turnitin plagiarism detection system.  (This system does keep a copy of your paper--if you have a problem with that please speak to the professor.)  Late papers will be penalized two points for each calendar day late.  Very late papers will be penalized no lower than a 65 if the paper merits at least a 75.

You may want to use the writing center for help. Make an appointment here

Takehome Final exam: Purpose--reflect on learning.

Academic Integrity: 
This course takes the university's academic integrity policy very seriously (see university policy below) because this is a course about developing your own ideas and writing, not repeating other people.  In particular, in this course the definition of plagiarism includes both representing someone else's work as your own and handing in the same paper to two different courses without permission of both instructors. You may re-use your exact words (according to the plagiarism standard below) from work done for this course but not from any other course. Be careful to avoid plagiarism--text you take from a web site, from a book, or from online class notes must be either quoted with the source given or restated almost entirely in your own words, with the source given.  The catalog defines as one form of academic dishonesty: "Plagiarism, which includes the intentional or unintentional copying of language, structure, or ideas of another and attributing the work to one’s own efforts."  Note the word unintentional--if you forget to put quote marks or a reference you can be found guilty of academic dishonesty even if it was not your intention to cheat.

It is cheating to cut and paste or otherwise copy portions of a argument paper, exam, or discussion board posting from a book, web site, or from the online class notes, unless you quote and give the source. Changing a few words is not sufficient to make the material your own. It is poor writing for more than about 20% of your paper to consist of quotes.  In most cases when you use specific material from any source you should paraphrase: cite the source and put the ideas into you own words (generally no more than 5 consecutive words should match the source but if the words are mostly the same it could still be plagiarism even if there aren't 5 consecutive words).

General Education: This course meets the Social Science and STS general education requirements, and the first and second paper assignments will allow you to demonstrate that.  The competencies are:

Required Books: Reading should be done by the class day for which an assignment is listed in the class schedule.  Three books are required.  The first book you will buy inside the Perusall software (if you have a scholarship that includes your books the bookstore can sell you a code). The other two books are required reading but you can either buy them or use the unlimited ebooks available from the library.

Barbara Hahn, Technology in the Industrial Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2020)

You will be required to buy and read this book using Perusall software.

John H. Lienhard, Inventing Modern: Growing Up with X-rays, Skyscrapers, and Tailfins
available at:

David E. Nye, Technology Matters : Questions to Live With
available at:


cover of Technology
                in the Industrial Revolution

This syllabus is a contract between the professor and the students.  Please study it carefully, as you are expected to follow the rules and do the assignments contained in the syllabus even if the professor doesn't remind you.  The professor reserves the right to make changes in special circumstances, but will discuss any changes with the students.

II. Class Schedule for Hist 1220: still being updated

in class
work due by 11 am
Aug. 19
Course Philosophy
: http://pammack.sites.clemson.edu/syl1220synch.html

Aug. 21
learning online

Aug. 24

Definitions and Critical Thinking
Aug. 26
Hahn introduction Technology before the Industrial Revolution, Hahn Introduction notes
Aug. 28

Aug. 31
Hahn 1
Hahn ch. 1

Sept. 2
Hahn 2
Hahn ch. 2
Sept. 4

Sept. 7
Hahn 3 Guest Speaker: Prof. Barbara Hahn

Sept. 9
Hahn 4
Hahn 4

Sept. 11

Sept. 14
Hahn 5 and conclusion
Hahn 5

Sept. 16

review and reflections
Sept. 18

Hahn paper due
Sept. 21
Lienhard  preface & ch. 3
Forces Totally New
Sept. 23
Lienhard 4
Sept. 25

Sept. 28
Lienhard 5 Core and Fringe

Sept. 30
Lienhard 6 & 7
High Rises, The City
Oct. 2

Oct. 5
Lienhard 8

Oct. 7
Lienhard 9
On the Road

Oct. 9

Oct. 12
Lienhard 10-11 Aviation
Oct. 14
Lienhard 13 Invention
Oct. 16

Oct. 19
Lienhard 14-15 War, Fifties
Oct. 21
 Lienhard 16 After Modern
Oct. 23

Oct. 26
Nye ch. 1 Guest Speaker: Prof. David Nye
Lienhard paper due
Oct. 28
Nye ch. 2-3
The argument against determinism, Can Technology be predicted?

Oct. 30

Nov. 2
Fall Break

Nov. 4
Nye ch. 5-6 FreedomTechnology and the environment
Nov. 6

Nov. 9
Nye ch. 7 Work
Nov. 11
Nye ch. 8 Who selects technologies?
Nov. 13

Nov.  16
Nye ch. 9 Risk
Nov. 18
Nye ch. 10-11 Knowledge, Choosing our future
Nov. 20

Nov. 23
Online reading  The Development of the Computer Nye paper due
Nov. 25-27

Nov. 30

Technology and the future
Dec. 2

Dec. 4

Dec. 8

Takehome Final Exam due

III. University Policies for HIST 1220 are available in Canvas and below

Note particularly: Student Support Services


Clemson has developed an Academic Continuity Plan for academic operations. Should university administration officially determine that the physical classroom facility is not available to conduct classes, class will be conducted in a virtual (online) form. The university issues official disruption notifications through email, website, and Social Media. When notified, use one of the following links to navigate to Clemson Canvas where you will find important information about class:


As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning." Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form.

 All infractions of academic dishonesty will be reported to Undergraduate Studies for resolution through that office.  See the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy website (Links to an external site.) (https://www.clemson.edu/academics/integrity/) for additional information about academic integrity at Clemson.

For graduate students, see the current  (Links to an external site.)graduate student handbook (Links to an external site.) for all policies ( (Links to an external site.)https://www.clemson.edu/graduate/students/policies-procedures/index.html)


Undergraduate students are advised to visit the Ombuds' Office prior to filing a grievance. After discussion with the undergraduate academic ombudsman, students should contact Undergraduate Studies (656-3022) for assistance filing official paperwork.

Graduate students follow graduate student handbook (Links to an external site.) (https://www.clemson.edu/graduate/students/policies-procedures/index.html) and “grievances must be filed with the Graduate School within 60 days of the alleged act.”


Materials in some of the courses are copyrighted. They are intended for use only by students registered and enrolled in a particular course, for instructional activities associated with and for the duration of the course. They may not be retained in another medium or disseminated further. They are provided in compliance with the provisions of the Teach Act. Students should be reminded to refer to the Use of Copyrighted Materials and “Fair Use” Guide (Links to an external site.) at Clemson Libraries, for additional information (http://clemson.libguides.com/c.php?g=230419&p=1530623).


The College of Education is committed to providing all candidates with purposeful, challenging, and diverse experiences. It is through a range of diverse, carefully constructed, and challenging classroom-based instruction and field-based experiences that candidates will recognize the inherent dignity and value of all individuals, promote equity in education, and advocate on behalf of children, families, and communities.  See the policy here  (Links to an external site.)(http://www.clemson.edu/education/about/diversity-plan/index.html)

The Clemson University Title IX statement regarding non-discrimination:

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran’s status, genetic information or protected activity in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
This policy is located 
 (Links to an external site.)
here (Links to an external site.) ( (Links to an external site.)http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/campus-services/access/title-ix/).

Ms. Alesia Smith is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator, and the Executive Director of Equity Compliance. Her office is located at 110 Holtzendorff Hall, 864.656.3181 (voice) or 864.656.0899 (TDD). Remember, email is not a fully secured method of communication and should not be used to discuss Title IX issues.


Emergency procedures have been posted in all buildings and on all elevators. Students should be reminded to review these procedures for their own safety. All students and employees should be familiar with guidelines from the Clemson Police Department. Visit here for information about safety (Links to an external site.) (http://www.clemson.edu/cusafety/preparedness/).


Clemson University is committed to providing a safe campus environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. As members of the community, we encourage you to take the following actions to be better prepared in case of an emergency:

    1. Ensure you are signed up for emergency alerts (Links to an external site.) (https://www.getrave.com/login/clemson),
    2. Download the Rave Guardian app (Links to an external site.) to your phone (https://www.clemson.edu/cusafety/cupd/rave-guardian/)
    3. Learn what you can do to prepare yourself (Links to an external site.) in the event of an active threat (http://www.clemson.edu/cusafety/EmergencyManagement/)


Appropriate online academic conduct means maintaining a safe learning environment based on mutual respect and civility. All participants in Clemson courses are expected to behave professionally by adhering to these standards of conduct:


Online communication that fails to meet these standards of conduct will be removed from the course. Repeated misconduct may result in being blocked from online discussions, receiving a grade penalty, or being dismissed from the course. Such misconduct in the online environment may also be reported to officials for appropriate action in accordance with University policy. If you ever encounter inappropriate content in our course, please contact me, the instructor, with your concerns.

This course is designed with student privacy in mind. If, however, you feel that an assignment or technology tool undermines your right to privacy, please contact the instructor immediately. We will work together to determine an alternative assignment that will help you achieve the course learning outcomes.



A.) Make-up Work Due to Missed Attendance

B.) Notification of Absence

Send me e-mail at: Pammack@clemson.edu
For other resources see PEM Index Page
For Pam Mack's Home Page see: Pamela E. Mack

This page last updated 8/17/2020