Description: What can defunct C.I.A. Manuals, radical lesbian separatists, and an 18th century Romantic essayist teach you about engineering the world to be a better place? We often think about social engineering either on the small-scale – how can one operate in individual conversations to manipulate others for data, access, or specific, immediate purposes – or we think about engineering on a large scale, how politicians or other popular figures embrace and direct a culture. But what about the mid-range? This non-technical paper briefly addresses the techniques and histories of large and small-scale social engineering in order to address the middle ground. This presentation by someone with years of experience with staff and faculty at a state institution will discuss social-engineering on the job, on committees, and dealing with small, educated and uneducated collectives.
Texts referenced will include, among others, Edward Young’s “Conjectures on Original Composition,” the Valerie Solanas “S.C.U.M. Manifesto” and the recent Robert Galford book “Simple Sabotage.”
Dr. Steven J. Zani holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, an MA in Philosophy, and Bachelors degrees in English, Philosophy and French. He has taught at the university level for over twenty years and served multiple years as a department chair. Currently he works as the Faculty Development Director, overseeing over 500 faculty and staff at Lamar University, in the Texas State University System, in Beaumont, TX.