Call for papers – Society for the History of Technology(SHOT) 2009 PITTSBURGH
The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15-19 October 2009. The Program
Committee invites paper and panel proposals on any topic in the
history of technology, broadly defined. Sessions dealing with
pre-19th century technologies are particularly welcome. Of special
interest for 2009 are proposals that engage the two following themes:
Reform(ed) Technologies: While Pittsburgh often brings to historically-
prone minds images of coke works and heavy industrial pollution, the city
is consistently ranked high in livability surveys of American cities, and
smokestacks no longer dominate the skyline. At a moment when
decaying infrastructure is a major topic of public discussion and large
promised investment, Pittsburgh looks the right place for historians of
technology to reconsider linear tales of innovation or destruction. We are
interested both in the ways technologies are reformed and on the historical
development of technologies for reform. Environmental technologies are an
obvious topic, but the theme also welcomes contributions on urban renewal,
new uses of old technologies, and issues of maintenance.
Circulation of Technology: We encourage proposals dealing with the
geographical circulation of technology that discard traditional diffusion
models. We are interested in the relevance of local contexts to accounts of
how technologies circulate at the global scale. We hope that focused
engagement with such questions will also contribute to SHOT’s ongoing
efforts to build a more inclusive and diverse cosmopolitan community.
The Program Committee’s highest priority in evaluating paper and panel
proposals is scholarly excellence. The Committee welcomes proposals for
individual papers or sessions, as well as works-in-progress from
researchers of all stripes (including graduate students, chaired professors,
and independent scholars). It welcomes proposals from those new to SHOT,
regardless of discipline. Multinational, international, and
sessions are also desirable. We especially encourage proposals from
non-Western scholars. For the 2009 meeting the Program Committee also
encourages unconventional sessions; that is. session formats that vary in
useful ways from the typical three/four papers with comment. These might
include round-table sessions, workshop-style sessions with papers that are
pre-circulated electronically, or “author meets critics” sessions. Panel
organizers may choose either to have a commentator or to add one more
paper. We also welcome poster proposals for presentation in poster sessions.
The deadline for proposals is March 30, 2009. Please submit your proposals
to [email protected]
Proposals for individual papers must include:
1. a one-page abstract (maximum 600 words)
2. a one-page curriculum vitae, including current postal and e-mail
Proposals for complete sessions must include:
1. a description of the session that explains how individual papers
to an overall theme.
2. the names and paper titles of the presenters
3. for each presenter, a one-page summary (maximum 600 words) of the paper?s
topic, argument(s), and evidence used
4. for the commentator, chair, and each presenter: one-page c.v., with
and e-mail addresses
Please indicate if a proposal is sponsored by one of SHOT?s special
1. Materials should be sent as a single text attachment to an e-mail
the Program Committee Chair, Tiago Saraiva, at [email protected]
2. Proposals for complete sessions as well as individual papers shall be
submitted in one file.
3. Please adhere to the 600-word limit for each paper. Use no unusual
special formatting, and save your attachment either as a Microsoft Word
document (.doc) or as a Rich Text Format (.rtf) file. Nearly all word
programs, including those used on the Macintosh,can save text in the Rich
Text Format. Do not use Adobe Acrobat (pdf).
4. Name your attachment with your last name and the word proposal,
5. A session organizer should also deliver a description of the overall
If you are organizing a session and proposing a paper in that session,
be delivering both an abstract and proposal, plus your c.v.
6. If you are proposing a non-traditional session you may indicate that
in the abstract. These also require a curriculum vitae.
While SHOT rules exclude multiple submissions (i.e submitting more than
one individual paper proposal, or proposing both an individual paper and a
paper as part of a session), scholars may both propose a paper and serve
commentator or session chair.
Presenting at the 2008 SHOT meeting will not rule out presenting in 2009.
For more information about the Society for the History of Technology and
our annual meeting, please see the SHOT webpage:
For questions, please contact SHOT secretary Bernie Carlson
at [email protected]
Change at SHOT Pittsburgh Meeting
In Pittsburgh, SHOT will be experimenting with a new format of turning over
our Sunday morning program slots to our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and
associated groups, for some to organize their own paper sessions, workshops,
roundtables, or other events. If you are involved with one of our SIGs
to be, please watch for news of this from your SIG officers or contact
more information (contact info for SIGs is available through the SHOT
We welcome rich creative ideas.