ICOHTEC Symposium, Saint-Étienne, 17 – 21 July 2018 Deadline 5 Feb. 2018

ICOHTEC Symposium –– Saint-Étienne, France –– 17 to 21 July 2018  Deadline for proposals 5 February 2018

The International Committee for the History of Technology will hold its 45th symposium and 50th anniversary celebration at the Jean Monnet University in the city of Saint-Étienne, France. The general theme of the symposium is “Technological Drive from Past to Future? 50 years of ICOHTEC.” Our intention is to inquire into long-term trends in interactions between technology and society, as well as how technologies have influenced utopian and dystopian views of the future. We aim to examine how the role of technology has changed across history and what characters and trends of technological change historians can help to anticipate in the future. The value of memories of the past for the present and future has been frequently discussed; the German theologian Albert Schweitzer claimed that “happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory”, whereas Spanish philosopher George Santayana argued that “those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.” The symposium intends to explore whether there is any possibility of solving the tension between history and future.

Sub-themes Expressions of “technological momentum” in history ; The role of technology in the development of societies and in globalization ;  Political authority and the power of technology: shaping technology under the pressures of society ;  Regionalism and universalism of technology: can technology be constructed as neutral, independent of its contexts? ;    Innovations and risks: relationships and interactions between technology and the environment ;  Technology, culture, and landscape: borders and interfaces of natural and artificial ;   Playing with technology and playful approaches to technology ;  Media, communication and technology: mutual dependencies? ; The significance of technological heritage and material culture for the future ;  The beauty of machines: art, design and culture in industry and technology ;  Representations of technology and industry in utopias and dystopias, including speculative fiction and popular culture ;  Heritage in the centennial commemorations of World War I: industry, technology, and the Great War ; Digitization and computerization: technological trends and social effects

Proposal Guidelines Papers, sessions and poster proposals must be submitted in English. INDIVIDUAL PAPER proposals must include (1) a 200 – 300-word abstract, and (2) a one-page biographical sketch. Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title of the paper, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions.  SESSION proposals must include (1) a 300 – 400 word abstract of the session with a list of proposed papers and a suggested chairperson; (2) 200 – 300 word abstracts for each paper, and (3) a one-page biographical sketch for each contributor and chairperson. Sessions should consist of three or four speakers, or three speakers and one commentator. It is possible to propose several related sessions, which can take place over more than one day.  POSTER proposals must include (1) a 200 – 300-word abstract, and (2) a one-page biographical sketch. Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions.

Submission of proposals All proposals (paper, sessions, and posters) must be submitted electronically through our website http://www.icohtec.org/annual-meeting-2018.html. The online submission system will remain open until 5 February 2018

Contact Timo Myllyntaus, the Chair of the Programme Committee, via email (timmyl@utu.fi)


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