The Danish Post & Tele Museum and Aalborg University are organizing a conference on the history of infrastructure, to be held at the Post & Tele Museum in Copenhagen, from the 26th - 28th September 2014. The main theme is the role of infrastructure in the modernization of society, from about 1850 to the present day, viewed in the light of recent scholarship in history and the social sciences.
Previous research on the history of infrastructure has been dominated by studies of so-called Large Technical Systems, focusing on technology and the point of view of the system-builders, but scholars today are giving increasing attention to how such infrastructure developments are experienced by end-users, with a clearer emphasis on political issues and social practice. There is also a growing awareness about the significance of various types of conflict for infrastructural change and development, from technical breakdowns and political struggles to the discrepancies between entrepreneurial vision and everyday user experiences. Another highly topical theme is the issue of political governance by means of material and technological devices and systems, such as the state surveillance of telecommunications and computer networks.
Scholars from all relevant fields are invited to submit proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than December 1, 2013. We welcome papers that delve into the history of particular kinds of infrastructure – communications, sanitation, transport, energy supply etc. – but we are also open to theoretical contributions on issues such as infrastructure and modernization or the analytical significance of 'the material turn'. After the conference, a selection of the papers presented will be published in an edited volume on current trends in the historiography of infrastructure.
Post & Tele Museum
1150 Copenhagen K
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