Proposals are sought for papers to be presented in the Eighth Symposium on the Social History of Military Technology, scheduled for Manchester, England, 22–28 July 2012, as part of the program for the annual meeting of the International Congress of the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), which is meeting jointly with the International Congress of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. The general theme selected for the 2013 ICHSTM meeting is: Knowledge at Work. For more information about the 2013 ICHSTM conference as a whole, see: .
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 they may be, 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 as well as sciences of military interest.
We seek 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 (4) historiographical or museological topics that discuss how military technology has been analyzed, interpreted, and understood in other fields, other cultures, and other times. Pre-modern and non-Western topics are particularly welcome.
Your proposal should include four elements:
(1) A short descriptive title.
(2) An abstract of no more than 400 words. As mentioned above, the general conference theme is: Knowledge at Work. The conference CFPs suggests numerous subthemes. If you can do so without unduly distorting your topic, you should make an effort to show how your paper relates to the conference theme or subthemes. THIS IS NOT REQUIRED, but it will be helpful in presenting the proposal for our symposium to the program committee.
(3) A 1-page CV or résumé with your educational and professional employment histories, plus a list of significant publications and/or presentations. You may include other relevant information in the CV, as long as you do not exceed the 1-page limit.
(4) Current contact information for you (including email address).
DO NOT SEND YOUR PROPOSAL TO ICOHTEC or ICHSTM. It should be sent to the symposium organizer, Bart Hacker, who will assemble and submit the complete symposium. Proposals must reach the symposium organizer, Bart Hacker, at: , no later than 10 March 2012. Please note that this deadline is far earlier than the normal ICOHTEC deadline because of ICHSTM requirements.
Barton C. Hacker
Washington, DC 20560-0620
202-633-3904 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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