We are again organizing a symposium on “The Social History of Military Technology” for ICOHTEC 2007, the annual meeting of the International Congress of the History of Technology in Copenhagen (Denmark), 14–18 August 2007. This new effort follows the highly successful military technology symposium at ICOHTEC 2006 in Leicester. For more information on ICOHTEC, see the organization’s homepage: <http://www.icohtec.org/> For more on the Copenhagen meeting, see below.
The history of military technology has usually been conceived in terms of weaponry, warships, fortifications, or other physical manifestations of warfare, with emphasis usually on their construction and workings. It has also assumed a strictly utilitarian basis for military technological invention and innovation. However indispensable such approaches may be, they largely ignore some very important questions. What is the context of social values, attitudes, and interests that shape and support (or oppose) these technologies? What is the structure of gender, race, and class, to say nothing of other aspects of the social order, in which military technology exists and changes? Or, more generally: How do social and cultural environments, within the military itself or in the larger society, influence military technological change? and, How does military technological change affect society?
For this symposium, we propose to cast a wide net, taking a very broad view of technology that encompasses toys as well as weapons, ideas as well as hardware, organization as well as materiel. We seek papers that range widely in time and space to explore how social class, race, gender, culture, economics, and/or other extra-military factors have influenced the invention, r&d, diffusion, or use of weapons or other military technologies, and/or how such technologies have reshaped society and culture.
Your proposal should include: (1) your name and email address, (2) a short descriptive title, (3) a concise statement of your thesis, (4) a brief discussion of your sources, and (5) a summary of your major conclusions. In preparing your paper, remember that presentations are not full-length articles. You will have no more than 20 minutes to speak, which is roughly equivalent to 8 double-spaced typed pages. Contributors are encouraged to submit full-length versions of their papers after the conference for consideration by ICOHTEC’s journal ICON.
Proposals, preferably electronic, must reach the organizers no later than 31 December 2006. Please send all proposals to: Bart Hacker: <firstname.lastname@example.org> We will submit all material in a single proposal, so you need not register your abstract separately. For further details on the Copenhagen meeting, see the ICOHTEC 2007 homepage: http://www.icohtec2007.dk/
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