Course Description

MIT 4100F-001 (Fall 2019)   Special Topics in MIT: Rebel Knowledge: Know What You Need

Course Description

This course considers factors crucial to successful functioning of human communities. It reviews problems identified during earlier study in order to propose solutions, whether ideals, dreams, or probabilities supported by information, ecological, technological, and media theories, applying landmark texts to the worlds of present and future.

This course is designed to pair a range of problems with ideas from key thinkers and provide illustrations of successes to the group. Whether it’s ideas of “sustainability” (as fraught as these are and that term is), urban development (Jane Jacobs), thinking about and treating the world differently (Haraway on the Anthropocene), understanding and altering our relationship with technology (starting with Winner and Virilo but moving to Papanek, Schumacher, Vanderburg), or moving from the saturnine texts (Foucault’s Discipline & Punish to his ideas of biopower), the course looks for the best practices we can offer without being either Pollyannas or determined to leave nothing to chance until the cars are burning in the streets.

This course is no longer active. Please contact FIMS Undergraduate Student Services,, for more information.