Call for Papers
SHOT 2011–Call For Papers and
On-line Submission Tools
Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2011
The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio from 3-6 November 2011. The Program Committeeinvites paper and panel proposals on any topic in the history of technology, broadly defined. The Committee welcomes proposals for individual papers or sessions, as well as works-in-progress from researchers at all levels (including graduate students, chaired professors, and independent scholars). It welcomes proposals from those new to SHOT, regardless of discipline. Multinational, international, and cross-institutional sessions are also desirable. We especially encourage proposals from non-Western scholars.
For the 2011 meeting the Program Committee continues to welcome unconventional sessions; that is, session formats that diverge in useful ways from the typical three/four papers with comment. These might include round-table sessions, workshop-style sessions with papers that are pre-circulated electronically, or “author meets critics” sessions. We also welcome poster proposals for presentation in poster sessions. Specific formatting rules for submitting proposals are described further below.
Proposals for papers or sessions must be submitted online. The deadline for proposals is 31 March 2011.
While paper and session proposals on all topics are welcome, the Program Committee is especially interested in proposals that engage the following themes:
I. Technology, Power, and Control. SHOT has a long history of analyzing how technologies figure in power relations and systems of control. The latter have been fundamental to public safety, equity, and accountability throughout much of history, yet they have also figured in the establishment and maintenance of power inequalities and hegemony. For 2011, the Program Committee particularly welcomes proposals that explore two related aspects of this theme pertaining, roughly, to control over space and control over information.
A. Technology and Geography. Technologies have been used to alter and restructure geography, and with it, social, economic, and power relations.� Since ancient times, ships and roads have helped turn barriers into thoroughfares, altering spatial networks and relationships. Today the internet partially collapses time and space, ICBMs make geography no hindrance to launching nuclear war, and aviation has shrunk the world in uneven ways, making, e.g., Cleveland potentially closer to London, England than to a town in Iowa, when measured in terms of accessibility or travel times. Meeting as we are in Cleveland, a port city that was an important node in networks linking the Atlantic, the Great Lakes, and regions further west, it seems an appropriate time to encourage new reflections on the relationship between technology and geography,
B. Technology and Surveillance. We increasingly live in a surveillance society where everyone and everything is monitored for myriad purposes, whether openly or covertly, benignly or malignly. Technology figures everywhere in the surveillance society:� sensors, monitors, feedback mechanisms, security systems, and search engines (to name but a few) are integrated into daily routines, networks, scientific and technical practices, bureaucracies and organizations. Forensic technologies aid engineers, accountants, doctors, criminologists, and others. It might be argued that achieving a sustainable society increasingly demands advanced surveillance and monitoring capabilities. (Think, most recently, of the ex post facto monitoring and surveillance that has been occurring in relation to the Gulf oil spill.) Throughout history, transparent, public forms of surveillance have served the common weal, but technology and secrecy also have a long and complicated relationship that overlaps with the issue of technology and surveillance. The theme of technology and surveillance stands at the crossroads of science, technology, history, and sociology, and in the context of the simultaneous meeting of SHOT, HSS, and 4S in Cleveland, we encourage proposals that bring together core interests of the three societies, and topics from diverse temporal, disciplinary, and geographical points of view.
II. Technology-in-(re)-Use and Cultural Contexts of Appropriation. Humans continually make new culture with tools at hand, transforming technologies to fit local situations or adapt local practices.� How do we account for the variations of adzes, axes, sickles (and countless other artifacts) that have proliferated across time and space, and how were these objects linked to specific production and cultural practices? The sway of progress ideology and linear development thinking long diverted attention from adequately acknowledging or explaining technological differentiation, the proliferation of variety. More recently, globalization theorists have emphasized processes of techno-cultural homogenization, yet we continue to find new varieties and adaptations of technologies linked with local situations, which then further multiply and diffuse. To give a couple of examples, Japanese karaoke melds electronic components with new cultural practices, and it has gone global in variant forms. Refrigerator variants exist within diverse cultural landscapes, from airline cabins to morgues, North American dorm rooms, fallout shelters, and rural households lacking electricity, to name but a few. Moreover, we often find that local varieties of technology-in-(re)-use become important identity markers for regions, nations, or subcultures. We welcome proposals that explore these matters across time and space, or within any region or time period. The Program Committee’s highest priority in evaluating paper and panel proposals is scholarly excellence.
General Ground Rules
SHOT rules exclude multiple submissions (i.e., submitting more than one individual paper proposal, or proposing both an individual paper and a paper as part of a session).�However, scholars may both propose a paper and serve as a commentator or session chair. Please note, scheduling considerations make sessions with more than three presenters somewhat impractical.
The Program Committee discourages scholars from presenting papers at two consecutive meetings held in North America.�Exceptions can be made for scholars traveling from overseas.�Individuals are always welcome to serve as chairs and commentators and are encouraged to let the Program Committee know if they are available.
Because SHOT, the History of Science Society, and the Society for Social Studies of Science are meeting at the same time in Cleveland, some participants may be planning to present at those meetings as well as SHOT.� You are welcome to do so, but if you present at SHOT, you will be required to either register for the SHOT meeting or pay an affordable participation fee. If you are presenting at HSS or 4S, please let the Program Committee Chair and SHOT Secretary know as soon as possible so they can minimize schedule conflicts. Furthermore, if you wish a session to be jointly sponsored by SHOT and HSS, please see additional instructions when you submit that proposal.
For more information please see the Society’s Annual Meeting Webpage. For general questions about the Society, please email SHOT Secretary Bernie Carlson.