In recognition of the Movement for Black Lives and a widespread acknowledgement that revisions have been sorely needed to the Doing History of Technology section of the SHOT website, a volunteer group of SHOT members convened to redress the issue by compiling this list of books, articles, and other sources in history of technology and related fields that are anti-racist, anti-colonial, and inclusive in sentiment. We did so by soliciting recommendations for a revised list of Classics to replace bibliographies listed on the SHOT website. In retaining the word “classic,” we aim to problematize the perceived neutrality of the term.
This effort is a work in progress and will be updated and re-organized periodically. To contribute additional sources, or contact the organizers of this page, use . this form
Articles and Chapters
- Daniel M. Albert, “Primitive Drivers: Racial Science and Citizenship in the Motor Age,” Science as Culture10:3 (2001): 327–351
- Geneviève Bédoucha, “The Watch and the Waterclock,” in Technological Choices: Transformation in material cultures since the Neolithic, ed. Pierre Lemonnier (London: Routledge, 1993), 77-107.
- Chandra D. Bhimull, Empire in the Air: Airline Travel and the African Diaspora (New York: NYU Press, 2017).
- Keith Breckenridge, “The Biometric State: The Promise and Peril of Digital Governance in the New South Africa,” Journal of Southern African Studies 31(2): 267-282
- Moses Chikowero, “Subalternating Currents: Electrification and Power Politics in Bulawayo, Colonial Zimbabwe, 1894-1939,” Journal of Southern African Studies 2007 vol. 33 (2): 287-306.
- Alexandra Cook, “Plant Science and Technology,” chapter 4, Cultural History of Plants, vol. 4, ed. Jennifer Milam (Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming 2021).
- Shadreck Chirikure, “The Metalworker, the Potter, and the Pre-European African ‘Laboratory,’” ch. 3 in Mavhunga, ed., What do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2017).
- Ivan da Costa Marques, ed., “History of Computing in Latin America,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Special Issue 37:4 (2015).
- Ron Eglash, “Broken Metaphor: The Master-Slave Analogy in Technical Literature,”Technology and Culture2 (2007): 360–369.
- Ron Eglash and Julian Bleecker, “The Race for Cyberspace: Information Technology in the Black Diaspora,” Science as Culture10 (no. 3, 2001): 353–
- Rayvon Fouché, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud: African Americans, American Artifactual Culture, and Black Vernacular Technological Creativity.” American Quarterly 58 (no. 3, 2006): 639–
- Rayvon Fouché, “The Wretched of the Gulf: Racism, Technological Dramas, and Black Politics of Technology,” The Black Scholar 36 (no. 4, 2006): 7–12.
- Libbie Freed, “Networks of (colonial) power: roads in French Central Africa after World War I,” History and Technology 26, no. 3 (2010): 203–223.
- Jeff Guy and Motlatsi Thabane, “Technology, Ethnicity, and Ideology: Basotho Miners and Shaft-Sinking on the South African Gold Mines,” Journal of Southern African Studies, vol. 14, no. 2 (Jan. 1988).
- Gabrielle Hecht, “Hopes for the Radiated Body: Uranium Miners and Transnational Technopolitics in Namibia,” Journal of African History 51:2 (June 2010): 213-234.
- Gabrielle Hecht and Paul N. Edwards, “History and the Technopolitics of Identity: The Case of Apartheid South Africa,” Journal of Southern African Studies 36:3 (September 2010): 619-639.
- Allen Isaacman, “Displaced People, Displaced Energy, and Displaced Memories: the Case of Cahora Bassa, 1970-2004,” International Journal of African Historical Studies 38, 2 (2005):201-238.
- Jenny Ungbha Korn, “Expecting penises in Chatroulette: Race, gender, and sexuality in anonymous online spaces,” Popular Communication, 15:2 (2017): 95-109.
- Pauline Kusiak, “‘Tubab’ technologies and ‘African’ ways of knowing: nationalist techno‐politics in Senegal,” History and Technology 26:3: 225-249.
- Jung Lee, “Invention without Science: ‘Korean Edisons’ and the Changing Understanding of Technology in Colonial Korea.” Technology and Culture 54 (no. 4, 2013): 782–
- Nina E. Lerman, “‘Preparing for the Duties and Practical Business of Life’: Technological Knowledge and Social Structure in Mid-19th-Century Philadelphia,” Technology and Culture 38, no. 1 (1997): 31–59.
- Carlos E. Martín, “Mechanization and ‘Mexicanization’: Racializing California’s Agricultural Technology,” Science as Culture 10:3 (2001): 301–326.
- Karl Marx, “Machinery and Large-Scale Industry,” in Marx, Karl (ed.), Capital (1867; London: Penguin, 1971): 493–494.
- Stephan F. Miescher, “Building the City of the Future: Visions and Experiences of Modernity in Ghana’s Akosombo Township,” Journal of African History, 53 (2012): 367-90.
- Projit Bihari Mukharji et al., “Open Conversations: Diversifying the Discipline or Disciplining Diversity? A Roundtable Discussion on Collecting Demographics Data,” Isis 111 (June 2020): 310–353.
- Lisa Nakamura, “Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronics Manufacture,” American Quarterly 64 (Dec. 2013): 919–
- Ann Nelson, “Commentary: Diversity in Physics: Are You Part of the Problem?” Physics Today 70 (May 2017): 10–11.
- Emily Osborn, “Casting aluminum cooking pots: labour, migration, and artisan production in West Africa’s informal sector, 1945-2005,” African Identities, Vol. 7, no. 3 (August 2009): 373-386.
- Emily Osborn, “Containers, Energy, and the Anthropocene in West Africa,” in Gareth Austin, ed., Economic Development and Environmental History in the Anthropocene: Perspectives on Asia and Africa (Bloomsbury 2017), 69-93.
- Åsa Össbo and Patrik Lantto, “Colonial Tutelage and Industrial Colonialism: reindeer husbandry and early 20th-century hydroelectric development in Sweden”, Scandinavian Journal of History, 36:3, (2011): 324-348.
- Minh-ha T. Pham, “Visualizing the ‘MisFit’: Virtual Fitting Rooms and the Politics of Technology,” American Quarterly 67 (March 2015): 165–
- Kapil Raj, “Thinking without the Scientific Revolution: Global Interactions and the Construction of Knowledge,” Journal of Early-Modern Science21 (2017): 445–58.
- Margaret W. Rossiter, “Which Science? Which Women?” Osiris 12 (1997): 169–
- David Serlin, “Confronting African Histories of Technology: A Conversation with Keith Breckenridge and Gabrielle Hecht,” Radical History Review 127 (January 2017): 87-102.
- Paul A. Shakel and David L. Larsen. “Labor, Racism, and the Built Environment in Early Industrial Harpers Ferry” in Lines That Divide: Historical Archeologies of Race, Class, and Gender, James A. Delle, Stephen A. Mrozowski, and Robert Paynter eds. (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2000)
- David Skinner and Paul Rosen, “Opening the White Box: The Politics of Racialised Science and Technology,” Science as Culture3 (2001): 285–300
- William K. Storey, “Guns, Race, and Skill in Nineteenth-Century Southern Africa,” Technology and Culture4 (2004) 687–711.
- John Thornton, “Precolonial African Industry and the Atlantic Trade, 1500-1800,” and ensuing debate, especially Austen and Manning, African Economic History 19 (1990): 1-54.
- Julia Tischler, “Negotiating Modernization: The Kariba Dam Project in the Central African Federation, ca. 1954-1960,” in Peter J. Bloom, Takyiwaa Manuh, and Stephan F. Miescher, eds. Modernization as Spectacle in Africa (Indiana University Press, 2014).
- Laura Ann Twagira, “Introduction: Africanizing the History of Technology,” Technology and Culture 61, no. 2S (2020): S1–S19.
- Laura Ann Twagira, “‘Robot Farmers’ and Cosmopolitan Workers: Technological Masculinity and Agricultural Development in the French Soudan (Mali), 1945–68,” Gender & History 26(3): 459-477.
- Tinde Van Andel, “The Reinvention of Household Medicine by Enslaved Africans in Suriname”, Social History of Medicine29 (no, 4, 2015): 676–94.
- Geoff D. Zylstra, “Whiteness, Freedom and Technology: The Racial Struggle over Philadelphia’s Streetcars, 1859-1867,” Technology and Culture 52 (no. 4, 2011): 678-702
- Michael Adas, Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America’s Civilizing Mission (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006)
- Jennifer Karns Alexander, The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008)
- David Arnold, Everyday Technology: Machines and the Making of India’s Modernity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013)
- Ruha Benjamin, Captivating Technology (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019)
- Ruha Benjamin, Race after Technology (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2019)
- James Boggs, The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook (1963; New York: Monthly Review Press, 2009)
- Lundy Braun, Breathing Race into the Machine: The Surprising Career of the Spirometer from Plantation to Genetics (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014)
- Francesca Bray, Technology and Gender Fabrics of Power in Late Imperial China (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997)
- Francesca Bray, Technology, Gender and History in Imperial China: Great Transformations Reconsidered (New York: Routledge, 2013)
- André Brock, Jr., Distributed Blackness: African American Cybercultures (New York: New York University Press, 2020)
- Meredith Broussard, Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2018)
- Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Durham: Duke University Press, 2019)
- Robert D. Bullard, Glenn S. Johnson, Angel O. Torres eds., Highway Robbery: Transportation Racism & New Routes to Equity (Cambridge: South End, 2004)
- Sarah E. Chinn, Technology and the Logic of American Racism: A Cultural History of the Body as Evidence (London: Continuum, 2000)
- Henrique Cukierman, Yes, Nós Temos Pasteur – Manguinhos, Oswaldo Cruz e a história da ciência no Brasil [Yes, we have Pasteur – Manguinhos, Oswaldo Cruz and the history of science in Brazil], (Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará – FAPERJ, 2007)
- Deborah G. Douglas, United States Women in Aviation 1940–1985 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1990)
- Ron Eglash, Jennifer L. Croissant, Giovanna Di Chiro, and Rayvon Fouché, eds. Appropriating Technology: Vernacular Science and Social Power (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2004)
- Rayvon Fouché, Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation: Granville T. Woods, Lewis H. Latimer, and Shelby J. Davidson (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005)
- Venus Green, Race on the Line: Gender, Labor, and Technology in the Bell System, 1880–1980 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001)
- Sandra Harding, The Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies Reader (Durham, Duke University Press, 2011)
- Jennifer Hart, Ghana on the Go: African Mobility in the Age of Motor Transportation (Indiana, 2016).
- Gabrielle Hecht, Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Uranium Trade (MIT Press & Wits University Press, 2012)
- Harold Adams Innis, Empire and Communications (1950; Rowman & Littlefield, 2007)
- Sarah J. Jackson, Moya Bailey, and Brooke Foucault Welles, #HashtagActivism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2020)
- James H. Jones, Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (New York: Free Press, 1981)
- Martha B. Katz-Hyman and Kym S. Rice, World of a Slave : Encyclopedia of the Material Life of Slaves in the United States (Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood, 2011)
- Blair M. Kelley, Right to Ride: Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy V. Ferguson (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2010)
- Robin D. G. Kelley, Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (New York: Free Press, 1994)
- Theodore Kornweibel, Jr., Railroads in the African American Experience (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 2010)
- Colleen Kriger, Pride of Men: Ironworking in 19th century West Central Africa (Heinemann, 1999).
- Angela Lakwete, Inventing the Cotton Gin: Machine and Myth in Antebellum America (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005)
- Sean Hsiang-Lin Lei, Neither Donkey nor Horse: Medicine in the Struggle over China’s Modernity (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2014)
- Roy Macleod and Deepak Kumar (eds.), Technology and the Raj: Western Technology and Technical Transfers to India 1700–1947 (New Delhi: Sage, 1995)
- Giacomo Macola, The Gun in Central Africa: A History of Technology and Politics (Ohio University Press, 2016).
- Bimal Krishna Matilal, Jonardon Ganeri, and Heeraman Tiwari,The Character of Logic in India (SUNY Press, 1999)
- Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, The Mobile Workshop: The Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production, MIT Press 2018.
- Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, Transient Workspaces: Technologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015)
- Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga, ed. What Do Science, Technology, and Innovation Mean from Africa? (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017)
- Charlton D. McIlwain, Black Software: The Internet and Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter (Oxford University Press, 2020)
- Eden Medina, Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011)
- Eden Medina, Christina Holmes, and Ivan da Costa Marques, eds. Beyond Imported Magic: Essays on Science, Technology, and Society in Latin America (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2014)
- Hiromi Mizuno, Aaron S. Moore, John DiMoia, eds., Engineering Asia: Technology, Colonial Development, and the Cold War Order (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2018)
- Thomas S. Mullaney, The Chinese Typewriter: A History (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2017)
- Lisa Nakamura, Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet (University of Minnesota Press, 2007)
- Alondra Nelson, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party & the Fight Against Medical Apartheid (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013)
- Scott Reynolds Nelson, Steel Drivin’ Man: John Henry, The Untold Story of an American Legend (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006)
- Safiya Umoja Noble, Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (New York: New York University Press, 2018)
- Deirdre Cooper Owens, Medical Bondage (Athens: University of Georgia, 2018)
- Richard Paul and Steven Moss, We Could Not Fail: The First African Americans in the Space Program (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015)
- Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship before the Civil War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2016)
- Carroll Pursell, ed. A Hammer in Their Hands: A Documentary History of Technology and the African-American Experience (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005)
- Daniel Rood, The Reinvention of Atlantic Slavery : Technology, Labor, Race, and Capitalism in the Greater Caribbean (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2017)
- Benoy Kumar Sarkar, Education for Industrialization: An Analysis of the Forty Years’ Work of Jadavpur College of Engineering and Technology 1905–45 (1946; Kolkata: The National Council of Education, Bengal, 2017)
- Smritikumar Sarkar, Technology and Rural Change in Eastern India 1830–1980 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014)
- Suvobrata Sarkar, Let There Be Light: Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Electricity in Colonial Bengal, 1880-1945 (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2020)
- Antina von Schnitzler, Democracy’s Infrastructure: Techno-Politics and Protest After Apartheid (Princeton University Press, 2016).
- Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African-American Women Who Won the Space Race (London: Harper Collins, 2017)
- Bruce Sinclair, ed. Technology and the African-American Experience: Needs and Opportunities for Study (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004)
- Jagdish N. Sinha, Science, War and Imperialism: India in the Second World War (Leiden: Brill, 2008)
- Amy Slaton, Race, Rigor, and Selectivity in U.S. Engineering: The History of an Occupational Color Line (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010)
- Patricia Carter Sluby, The Inventive Spirit of African Americans: Patented Ingenuity (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004)
- Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Driving While Black : African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights. (New York, NY: Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company, 2020).
- Dorceta E. Taylor, Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility (New York: New York University Press, 2014)
- John Michael Vlach, Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993)
- Nira Wickramasinghe, Metallic Modern: Everyday Machines in Colonial Sri Lanka(New York, NY: Berghahn Books, 2014)
Donna J. Drucker
Charnell Chasten Long
Jenny Ungbha Horn
Fabian Prieto Ñañez
Additional contributors chose to remain anonymous.