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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2011 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Daniel Black


Previously coded COM2035


From Greek hydraulics, Enlightenment clockwork and Victorian steam engines to digitisation, Artificial Intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology, successive technologies have deeply influenced our understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Today, informatics and computing have produced ways of thinking in which all material phenomena, including ourselves, can be understood as a product of information flows. This unit will explore the development of these frameworks of understanding, and the powerful ways in which they have transformed how we see the world today and its likely future.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of major themes in the understanding of technology and how they inform the development and reception of subsequent technological forms.
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the historical processes through which various technologies have provided metaphors influential in the understanding of phenomena outside themselves.
  3. employ cultural and historical comparisons in order to produce their own accounts of the development of discourses surrounding a given technology.
  4. at third year level, demonstrate a relatively greater ability for independent research and argumentation.


Essay (1800 words): 40%
Seminar debate (900 words): 20%
Examination (2 hrs) (1800 words): 40%

Contact hours

One 2-hour seminar per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



COM first year sequence or by approval