Fall Conference 2017

The Double-Edged Sword of Technology

November 17-18, University of Vermont

Friday Afternoon Breakout Sessions

Fri 17

Is the Economic Past Prologue: Will the Industrial Revolution’s Economic Growth Continue?

November 17, 2017
4:00 pm
For 97% of recorded history, the world economy remained in a largely stationary state—until the Industrial Revolution, which brought significant economic growth. Is that growth sustainable? Professor Mokyr will answer that question. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 17

Dystopian Fiction and the Future

November 17, 2017
4:00 pm
Dystopian novels like 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Circle never predict the future perfectly. However, these stories reveal possible futures that might unfold from the present. This session will examine dystopian fiction to explore how technology changes what it means to be human, including, perhaps changing the way we love. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 17

Vermont Gun Makers and the Precision Technology that Changed America

November 17, 2017
4:00 pm
In the early 1850s, gun makers of the Connecticut River Valley were the “high-tech” workers of their day, developing methods and tools that would help the Union win the Civil War, and also make that war so deadly. Those same tools and techniques led to mass-production and the consumer culture we know today. (Registration required.) Read More »
Fri 17

Arts + Crafts Movement: The Arts Challenge the Machine

November 17, 2017
4:00 pm
In the 1850s, England was the globe’s technological leader, and many people celebrated its new manufactured goods. However, a small but influential group of architects and artisans led by William Morris was appalled by the goods’ poor designs and inferior materials, and advocated for a return to well-designed objects, crafted by hand, and made of the finest materials. (Registration required.) Read More »