Proposals are sought for papers to be presented in the 4th annual ICOHTEC symposium on “The Social History of Military Technology,” which will take place in Budapest, 28 July–2 August 2009. The 2009 meeting of ICOHTEC (International Congress of the History of Technology) will be held as part of the XXIIId International Congress of the History of Science and Technology (ICHST). The First Circular was issued last fall. The Second is due to be posted 30 September 2008. To read the circulars and for further details about the conference, see the ICHST homepage: http://www.conferences.hu/ichs09/.
As part of the program, Bart Hacker is once again organizing the symposium that has proved so popular at the last three meetings of ICOHTEC. The following description of the symposium will appear in the ICHST Second Circular and on the conference website:
The history of military technology usually centers on weaponry, warships, fortifications, or other physical manifestations of warfare, emphasizing how they were made or how they worked. Historians have also tended to assume a strictly utilitarian and rational basis for military technological invention and innovation. However necessary, such approaches largely ignore some very important questions. What are the contexts of social values, attitudes, and interests, non-military as well as military, that shape and support (or oppose) these technologies? What are the consequences of gender, race, class, and other aspects of the social order for the nature and use of military technology? Or, more generally: How do social and cultural environments within the military itself or in the larger society affect military technological change? And the indispensable corollary: How does changing military technology affect other aspects of society and culture? In brief, this symposium will address military technology as both agent and object of social change, taking a very broad view that encompasses not only the production, distribution, use, and replacement of weapons and weapon systems, but also communications, logistic, medical, and other technologies of military relevance. It seeks papers about: (1) representations of weapons as well as weapons themselves, about ideas as well as hardware, about organization as well as materiel; (2) ways in which social class, race, gender, culture, economics, or other extra-military factors have influenced and been influenced by the invention, R&D, diffusion, or use of weapons or other military technologies; (3) the roles that military technologies play in shaping and reshaping the relationships of soldiers to other soldiers; soldiers to military, political, and social institutions; and military institutions to other social institutions, most notably political and economic; and/or (5) historiographical or museological topics that discuss how military technology has been analyzed, interpreted, and understood in other fields, other cultures, and other times.
Each proposal should include: (1) a short descriptive title; (2) an abstract of no more than 250 words; (3) a 1-page CV (200 words) with your educational history, professional employment history, list of significant publications and/or presentations, and current contact information (including email address). You may include other relevant information in the CV, as long as you do not exceed the 1-page limit. Proposals must reach the organizer no later than 1 December 2008. Send your proposals to symposium organizer Bart Hacker: .
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