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Culture and Technology

Code: 106230 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504235 Science, Technology and Humanities OB 2 1


Francesc Xavier Roque Rodriguez

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.

External teachers

Fernando Broncano Rodríguez


There are none.

Objectives and Contextualisation

To know the differences and influences between technological change and cultural change.
To become familiar with the major technological transitions.
To become familiar with the concepts of material culture.


  • Identify the various philosophical, ethical and sociological conceptions of science and technology and recognise their evolution throughout history.
  • Make critical use of digital tools and interpret specific documentary sources.
  • Recognise the political, social and cultural dimension of science and technology development in the different historical periods.
  • Students must be capable of collecting and interpreting relevant data (usually within their area of study) in order to make statements that reflect social, scientific or ethical relevant issues.
  • Students must be capable of communicating information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialised and non-specialised audiences.
  • Work collaboratively in teams.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Assess the reliability of sources, select important data and cross-check information.
  2. Describe the concept of material culture and the relationship it has with technological development.
  3. Develop teamworking skills, blend in and actively collaborate in achieving common goals.
  4. Discern and discuss the theses of technological determinism and interaction between technology and culture.
  5. Present and interpret results from searches in bibliography and other important sources.
  6. Present your own scientific results to both professionals and the general public.
  7. Understand the most important relationships of dependency created between technology, science and culture.
  8. Understand the technological basis for the great cultural periods with regard to the possibilities for controlling matter, energy and information.


Week 1
Conceptions of culture: biological and anthropological
Conceptions of culture: critical

Week 2
Technique as material culture
Artefacts: design

Week 3
Artefacts: senses
Experience and affordances

Week 4
The shaping of experience
Practice and evaluation

Week 5
Landscapes: the technique of the gaze

Week 6
Aromas and flavours of modernity
Touch and technique

Week 7
Practice and evaluation
Metaphysical conception of technology

Week 8
Critical conception of technology
Dialectical conception of technology

Week 9
Technology and culture: historicity
Paradigms and revolutions in technology and culture

Week 10
Practice and evaluation
Matter and design

Week 11
Paradigms and revolutions in energy
Work and energy
Time and work

Week 12
Informational transitions
Writing cultures

Week 13
Immaterial representations
Digital revolution

Week 14
Practice and evaluation
Fourth industrial revolution


Cooperative learning.
Text discussion.
Classroom practices.
Essay writing.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Learning exercises 16 0.64 2, 3, 8, 5, 6, 1
Lectures 33 1.32 7, 2, 4, 8
Type: Supervised      
Essay supervision 4.25 0.17 3, 5, 6, 1
Type: Autonomous      
Essay writing and personal study 92.75 3.71 7, 2, 4, 8, 5, 6, 1


Entrega de ensayos y exposiciones en clase 25%.
Examen parcial 1 25%, 2 horas.
Examen parcial 2 25%, 2 horas.
Pruebas de duración breve en horario de clase 25%.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

Single assessment
Students who opt for the single assessment system will have to submit an essay (50%) and take an exam (50%), on the indicated date.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Essays and presentations 25% 0 0 7, 2, 3, 4, 8, 5, 6, 1
In-class tests 25% 0 0 7, 2, 4, 8, 6
Partial exam 1 25% 2 0.08 7, 2, 4, 8
Partial exam 2 25% 2 0.08 7, 2, 4, 8


Essential readings
Fernando Broncano. La escala de las cosas. Delirio, 2023.
George Basalla. La evolución de la tecnología. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 1988.
Hans Blumenberg. Historia del espíritu de la técnica. Valencia: Pre-Textos, 2013.
Jacques Le Goff. Por otra Edad Media: tiempo, trabajo y cultur. Madrid: Taurus, 2020.
Javier de Lorenzo. Un mundo de artefactos. Madrid: Trotta, 2020.
Lewis Mumford. Técnica y Civilización. Logroño: Pepitas de Calabaza, 1934.
Lewis Mumford. El pentágono del poder. Logroño: Pepitas de calabaza, 1964.
Lewis Mumford. Arte y técnica. Logroño: Pepitas de calabaza, 1952.

Additional readings
David Edgerton. The Shock of the Old. Profile Books, 2008. Hay trad. cast.: Innovación y tradición. Historia de la tecnología moderna (Barcelona: Crítica, 2007). 
George Basalla. The Evolution of Technology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Ian McNeill. An Encyclopedia of the History of Technology. London: Routledge, 1990.
Jared Diamond. Armas, gérmenes y acero. Barcelona: DeBolsillo, 2016.

Digital resources
Technology and culture: http://https://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/technology-and-culture


No specific software is required.