The Society of Automotive Historians is seeking proposals for papers to be presented at its Tenth Biennial Automotive History Conference to be held in Palo Alto, California, USA, from April 10 through 12, 2014. The conference will be co-sponsored by the Revs Automotive Research Program at Stanford University and will take place at the Vail Automotive Innovation Facility on the Stanford campus.
The conference theme is “The Evolution of Automotive Technology” and will focus on the continuing development of the motor vehicle and its process of manufacture over a 120-year history. Although considered by many to have reached a plateau a half-century ago, the industry and its products seem in recent years to have entered a new phase of creative development addressing again issues once thought resolved and responding to new economic, social, and environmental conditions through fundamental research.
Papers may address the search for an effective and portable source of energy, one of the first issues confronted by automotive pioneer designers and one that is being studied again from the point of view of contemporary requirements. Papers may address the development of standardized vehicle control systems, the arrangement of power components or safety devices and the interface between the vehicle and the driver, all of them under reconsideration in ways that have the potential to fundamentally alter the relation between the vehicle, the driver and the road. At the same time the industry, until recently believed to be entering a phase of business consolidation, has expanded to embrace many new producers, a process that could only be made possible through innovations in production technology and international trade agreements. Proposals for papers on automotive subjects unrelated to the conference theme will also be considered.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Rudi Volti, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Pitzer College, Claremont, California. Professor Volti’s fields of expertise cover technology and society, social bases of economic structure and behavior, automobility, and the sociology of work and occupations.
Following the conference, a certain number of the conference papers will be selected for publication in Automotive History Review, the journal of the Society.
The Society of Automotive Historians is a unique interdisciplinary organization devoted to all aspects of automotive history – engineering, design, economics, the lives of automotive pioneers and innovators, the history of motorsport competition, the integration of motor vehicles into modern life and the culture of cars. In its publications and conferences, historians of technology, business historians and social historians interact to share their knowledge and perspectives.
Proposals should include the title of the submission, names and affiliations of presenters, chairs, participants, etc., together with addresses, phone/fax numbers, email addresses of contact personnel, proposed format (paper, panel, workshop, etc.) and a one-page abstract describing the content of the presentation. Proposals must be received by October 31, 2013; notification of preliminary acceptance is anticipated by November 30. Proposals should be submitted by email to Arthur W. Jones, Conference Chair, [email protected].