Industrializing Organisms: Plants, Animals and Technology
A Conference sponsored by the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis project -- Industrial Environments: Creativity and Consequences, April 4-6, 2002
While the breeding and manipulation of plants and animals for human purposes has been occurring for millenia, efforts to produce standardized and more efficient organisms suitable for large-scale agricultural and industrial processes are more recent phenomena tied to the rise of modern industrial societies. When, where, and how have industrializing humans sought to "improve" plants and animals in order to better integrate them into technological processes and systems? To what extent was the modification of organisms an essential element of modern technology? What kind of design considerations were unique to living organisms and what kind of obstacles did these present to human efforts at redesign? What have been the consequences of such modifications? The Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis in connection with its Industrial Environments Project invites paper proposals for a conference on these and related themes at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, April 4-6, 2002.
We invite a broad range of papers concerning agricultural and industrial experiments, appropriations, and commercial developments, provided they are focused within the modern era beginning about 1750. (Spatial units may be local, regional, national, cross-national or global.) Proposals presenting theoretical studies with historical grounding or empirical research having conceptual/theoretical bases and implications are especially welcome. RCHA will provide some measure of support for travel and local expenses for those joining the conference program. Advanced graduate students and colleagues in social and biological sciences are warmly invited to join historians in this venture.
Kindly send a cover letter, a one-page paper abstract, and a brief vita by December 8, 2001 to the address below. Materials may also be emailed directly. Notifications will be sent to all applicants by December 20, 2001.
Philip Scranton and Susan Schrepfer
Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis
88 College Ave.
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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