Winter 2021 Lecture Series

History Lecture Series 2021 Banner

Winter 2021 Lecture Series

Technology and Its Discontents

Speakers examined the role technologies have played in society since the medieval period and traced the connections around the world to contemporary issues of social, economic, and political justice. 

January 26 | From Caravans of Gold to Atomic Bombs: African Mining in World History

Lynn Thomas, Professor of History

This talk examines the role of technology in the mining industry in Africa, spanning from gold mining in medieval West Africa to uranium mining during the Cold War. Mining has generated enormous wealth in parts of Africa, but it has also generated enormous violence and inequalities.

January 27 | Photographic Power: Tales from the Philippines and the United States

Vicente Rafael, Professor of History

Professor Rafael discusses the intertwined history of photography and trauma from the Philippine-American War to Black Lives Matter. The camera has been a tool of colonial conquest as much as it has been a means of resistance.

February 3 | Arming the Police and the ‘Social Source of Our Distresses’

Bruce Hevly, Associate Professor of History

This talk investigates the use of handguns by American police officers beginning with Teddy Roosevelt’s tenure on the New York City Police Commission in the 1890s.

February 10 | Digital Discontents, from the Age of the Mainframe to the Era of Big Tech

Margaret O'Mara, Howard and Frances Keller Endowed Professor of History

Professor O'Mara tackles the unexpectedly long history of today’s worries about invasions of data privacy, untrammeled artificial intelligence, and the power of large tech platforms.