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Special Interest Groups

Since SHOT’s inception in 1958, members have formed special interest groups (SIGs) for the purpose of bringing together scholars and professionals with interests in specific fields of the history of technology. Brief descriptions and contact information for active SIGs follows.

Aviator Cecil Peoli

Aviator Cecil Peoli

The Albatrosses

As the name suggests, The Albatrosses share a common interest in the technology of flight. They were formed by merger of informal interest groups in aeronautical history and space history, and accepted as a SHOT interest group in 1985. The Albatrosses sponsor meetings and sessions at the annual SHOT meeting. Membership is open to all SHOT members with similar interests. There are no dues. A newsletter is published quarterly. For information, email Angelina Callahan

Computers, Information & Society (SIGCIS)

The Special Interest Group on Computers, Information, and Society (SIGCIS) welcomes all with scholarly interests in the historical dimensions of information technology. Membership exceeds four hundred people worldwide and is open to all without charge, including those who are not members of SHOT. The group has an email list for announcements, discussion, and collaboration among those working in this field.

Its website hosts a partial directory of members and their research interests, as well as an extensive resource guide for the field.  You may join the group online, after which you will be able to create and update your own directory entry and send email directly to the list of members.  For more information on SIGCIS, please contact Andrew Russell (chair) or Jason Gallo (vice chair for operations).

Early Career Interest Group (ECIG)

Early Career Interest Group (ECIG) aims to build stronger networks among students and other early career scholars and to make SHOT more relevant to them through their representation and engagement. We seek to facilitate the career development of such scholars–those who work in academia and those who choose other career paths–through networking, collaboration, and mentorship. We hope to broaden and deepen the diversity and internationalism of individual, institutional, and topical representation in SHOT through the engagement of early career scholars. We welcome all students; those who’ve received their last degree in the past 5 years; and anyone else who’d like to help promote the interests of early career scholars.

For more information, please visit our website, visit our Facebook page, email Alice Clifton, or follow us on Twitter at (@SHOT_ECIG).

You can also join our discussions on our mailing list.

 

Exploring Diversity in Technology’s History (EDITH)

The SHOT Special Interest Group EDITH supports scholars and scholarship currently underrepresented in the history of technology and SHOT. The dual aims of the organization are to apply the insights of the expanding fields of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and disability – and growing attention to intersectionality of such categories — to the scholarship of the history of technology, and to provide an intellectual home within SHOT to a broad range of scholars. EDITH holds lunch meetings, conversations, and workshops at the SHOT annual meetings and sponsors SHOT panel sessions on a wide variety of topics related to history of technology and diversity, both broadly defined.  EDITH also runs an email listserv to foster the sharing of ideas and offers a Conference Award program to help defray travel costs for those who are giving a paper at the annual meeting. All members of SHOT and other interested people are welcome to become members of EDITH and join its activities. To find out more about EDITH, please email Ruth Schwartz Cowan and Amy Bix.  To join the EDITH listserv, please contact Deborah Douglas.

Envirotech

Envirotech focuses on the interrelationship of technology and nature. Since the early 1990s, “nature and technology” have received greater attention in conference presentations, journals, and monographs by historians of technology and environmental historians. After talking with various colleagues at SHOT, ICOHTEC, and ASEH (American Society for Environmental History) conferences, Jim Williams (De Anza College, emeritus) and Sara Pritchard (Montana State University) agreed to organize a SIG for scholars and students interested in research on “nature and technology.”

Envirotech focuses on the interrelationship of technology and nature. Since the early 1990s, “nature and technology” have received greater attention in conference presentations, journals, and monographs by historians of technology and environmental historians. After talking with various colleagues at SHOT, ICOHTEC, and ASEH (American Society for Environmental History) conferences, Jim Williams (De Anza College, emeritus) and Sara Pritchard (Montana State University) agreed to organize a SIG for scholars and students interested in research on “nature and technology.” Please see our Envirotech Web site for more information and back issues of the Envirotech newsletter.

The Jovians

Established in 1972, The Jovians share a common interest in the history of electrical technology. Membership is open to all SHOT members with similar interests. The Jovians sponsor a breakfast or luncheon meeting at the SHOT annual meeting, sponsor sessions at the annual meeting, and publish an occasional newsletter. There are no dues. For more information, email Jonathan Coopersmith, the current chair.

The Mercurians

The Mercurians began meeting in 1986 for the purpose of generating networks between people who share work and interests in the history of communication technologies, defining the field broadly. We meet annually at SHOT’s conferences, organize paper sessions for SHOT meetings, and pursue contacts between meetings. All interested persons are welcome at Mercurians’ meetings. Antenna, the group’s semi-annual newsletter serves both as a clearing house for readers and an informal forum for their ideas. We welcome contributions, including notices and queries about Mercurians’ projects as well as short essays on their work. Antenna also includes book reviews and other materials about conferences, museums, publications, archives, funding, and other pertinent materials. Annual subscriptions to Antenna are $5.00 for delivery in the United States and $7.50 for delivery elsewhere. Individual issues are $3.00 each. Members pay an annual fee of $5.00 per year to support a prize, awarded for the best article by a junior scholar, and a research grant, to defray the costs of travel to archives by junior scholars. Please make your check out to SHOT, specifying Mercurians on the memo line. For additional information, or to join, email [email protected].” You may also visit the Mercurians’ website.

The Military Technology Interest Group

The SHOT Military Technology Interest Group, SMiTInG as we usually call it, has since its 1985 founding had only one group activity, an annual get-together at the SHOT meeting. Usually held at a pub near the conference site, it normally brings together twenty or so members to enjoy friendly eats and drinks, share current research, and discuss potential SMiTInG-sponsored sessions. Although our topical interests range widely, they all center on a broadly conceived notion military technology that includes organization and policy as well as hardware. SMiTInG has grown outside as well inside SHOT. Since 2005 SMiTInG members have actively participated in a popular symposium on the social history of military technology, held as part of the annual meetings of ICOHTEC (the International Committee on History of Technology). SMiTInG membership is freely available (no dues) to anyone who asks. You will receive periodic notices about research and publication opportunities. For further information or to join, email Bart Hacker at [email protected].

The Pelicans

The Pelicans were formed in 1979 as an interest group for chemical technology and took its name from a distinctively-shaped piece of laboratory glassware. Its major purpose is to disseminate information about current projects, resources, and sources. This is accomplished through informal meetings at the annual SHOT conference and an occasional newsletter. The Pelicans also sponsor sessions at the SHOT conference. For information, contact chairperson John K. Smith, Department of History, Lehigh University, Maginnes Hall, Bethlehem, PA 18015, tel. 215/758-3365.

The Prometheans

The first meeting of The Prometheans in 2005 was heralded by the announcement that “the engineering community and its cousin the engineering-education community remain important parts of SHOT’s environment and valued segments of its membership.” An engineering-education working group formed by members of this SIG is currently engaged in a number of different activities to help promote a better understanding of engineering education among SHOT members, develop new humanistic curricula for engineers (by, e.g., the exchange of course syllabi), and connect with organizations such as the Liberal Education Division of the American Society of Engineering Education, in pursuit of a coordinated approach to improvements in engineering education. For questions about the Prometheans, email Atsushi Akera. For further information, go to the Prometheans’ Website.

SHOT Asia Network

The Asia Network is an online/offline network of SHOT member scholars sharing either Asian nationality, ethnicity, or research interests. Anyone may join the Network by visiting their newsgroup. For additional information see the SHOT Asia Network Facebook page or email any of the group’s moderators: Tae-Ho KimAshok Maharaj, or Honghong Tinn.

Technology Museums Special Interest Group (TEMSIG)

TEMSIG, formed 1984 and re-launched in 2004, provides a forum for those interested in the material legacy and public presentation of the history of technology. There are no annual dues for TEMSIG, but a membership list is maintained for purposes of communication. For information, please email Eric Nystrom.

Women in Technological History (WITH)

(WITH) is a Special Interest Group within SHOT whose membership includes both men and women interested in gender issues. WITH has a two-fold purpose: to serve as a support group to encourage and energize women working within the profession and as an activist group that seeks to foster and promote gender analysis within the history of technology. As founding member and former SHOT President Daryl Hafter has written, WITH’s goal is to nurture “the subject and the people.” Membership in WITH is open to all members of SHOT. To find out more about WITH, please email Emily Gibson or Mary Mitchell.