This is a CFP for a panel at the next annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT), which will take place in San Jose, CA, 4-7 October 2001. We plan to use an innovative format for this session. During the actual meeting in San Jose, the panel organizer will introduce the papers and summarize the main themes (approximately 15 minutes). Then the author (or authors) of each paper will have 5 minutes to summarize their thesis and findings. Finally, the presentations will conclude with one or two 10-minute comments. This format can readily accommodate 7 or 8 papers, still leaving half the session for questions and comments from the audience and discussion among the panelists.
My experience with this format as an audience member at a recent international meeting persuades me that reading the papers in advance is not required for a lively and informed discussion, but advance reading might well enhance the experience. To make this relatively easy, we plan to make the papers in our session available from the SHOT Home Page several weeks before the meeting (the precise time to be determined); a limited number of papers in hard copy will also be available at the meeting.
The panel is tentatively entitled "Military Technology: What Historians Can Learn from Museums." The basic idea is to assemble a group of papers to discuss the problem of using artifacts or material culture to as historical sources. Historians of technology face this problem regularly in their work but seldom address it explicitly. We're particularly interested in topics prior to World War II.
For information on the annual meeting, see the SHOT home page: http://shot.press.jhu.edu/associations/shot/
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