A History of Technology, Consumption and Comfort - ARTS3302

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

School: School of Humanities and Languages

Course Outline: School of Humanities & Languages

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Enrolment Requirements:

Prerequisite: 24 uoc in the Environmental Humanities Stream

CSS Contribution Charge: 2 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

View course information for previous years.


Subject Area: Environmental Humanities

This course explores the complex nexus of influences encompassing not only technology but also political economy, philosophy, literature, and popular culture that fused to make mass consumption what it is today. It looks, in particular, at the emergence of contemporary notions of domestic comfort and examines the cultural contemporary pervasiveness of shopping. The course shows that rather than reflecting given human predispositions contemporary consumption was invented and is constituted today through technology, broader material infrastructure, everyday practices and deeply entrenched cultural and broader intellectual norms. The course concludes by exploring the implications emerging from this for the imperative to reduce the material throughput of industrial civilisation in order to ensure future sustainability.

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