The History of Technology Working Group meets monthly to discuss a colleague’s works-in-progress or to discuss readings that are of particular interest to participants.
Meetings are usually held at the Consortium offices in Philadelphia from 6:00 to 7:30 on third Tuesdays. Scholars located anywhere can also participate online.
To join this working group, click "Request group membership" at right. You will receive instructions for participating online or in person.
Jennifer Alexander is an Associate Professor of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Minnesota, with specialization in technology and religion; industrial culture; and engineering, ethics, and society. Her publications include The Mantra of Efficiency: From Waterwheel to Social Control (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). Her current project is a book manuscript analyzing the international religious critique of technology that developed following WWII. She asks how religious and theological interpretations of technology have changed over time; how, over time, technologies and engineering have extended their reach into the human world over time through a developing technological orthodoxy; and how these changes have affected each other.
Zachary M. Mann is a Consortium Research Fellow and Ph.D. Candidate in English Literature at the University of Southern California, where he is a 2019-20 Mellon Humanities in a Digital World Fellow. Previously, Zach served as the founding managing editor of The Offing, a literary magazine, and the noir & mystery editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Before that, he worked in the tech and video game industries. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Fiction, from California State University, Long Beach, and a B.A. in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
Arwen P. Mohun is Henry Clay Reed Professor of History at University of Delaware. She specializes in the social and cultural historian of technology. Her publications include Steam Laundries: Gender, Work, and Technology in the United States and Great Britain, 1880-1940 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999); His and Hers: Gender, Consumption and Technology (University of Virginia Press, 1998) co-edited with Roger Horowitz; and Gender and Technology: A Reader (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003) co-edited with Nina Lerman and Ruth Oldenziel.
Upcoming Meetings (all times Eastern)
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Jaipreet Virdi, University of Delaware, "Dorothy Brett's 'Ear Machines': Disability, Technology and Representation"
Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Paulina Hartono, Berkeley, "Do Radios Have Politics? The Politics of Radio Ownership in China in the 1920s and 1930s"
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Junaidu Dunladi, Bayero University, Kano-Nigeria: "Public Perceptions and Resistance to Piped Water in Kano City, 1924-1945"
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Leyatt Betre, Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, Princeton, "MIRVing alone: Controlling the multiple meanings of multiple warhead delivery system"
Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
October 15, 2019
Tech Working Group will not meet on October 15, due to the upcoming international SHOT conference
September 17, 2019
What is the history of technology and who gets to decide?
The group will discuss Eric Schatzberg's conclusion and manifesto from his Technology: Critical History of a Concept, and Jennifer Lieberman's essay "Finding a Place for Technology."
April 16, 2019
Benjamin Twagira, Emory University, paper title "'We Are What What We Know': Radio, Rumor, Identity and Politics in Militarized Kampala"
March 19, 2019
Meredith Sattler, Cal Poly San Louis Obispo, "Knowledge Space Eco-Technics: Designing Life-Forms and Life Ways at Biosphere 2, 1974-1994"
February 19, 2019
Whitney Laemmli, Columbia University Society of Fellows in the Humanities, "The Lilt in Labour: Movement, Efficiency, and Pleasure in Mid-Century British Industry"
January 15, 2019
James Esposito, Ohio State University, "The Airplane as Breathing Machine: Aviation Medicine and Human Experimentation at the Royal Air Force Physiological Laboratory 1939-1954"
November 20, 2018
We will be reading Lee Vinsel and Andy Russell's Technology and Culture article "After Innovation, Turn to Maintenance." Jennifer Alexander will share some thoughts to share some thoughts to start the conversation.
October 16, 2018
Peter Sachs Collopy, Caltech Archives, "When Computer Animation was Analog: Scanimation Outside the Digital Paradigm"
September 25, 2018
NOTE SPECIAL DATE
Yuan Yi, Columbia University, "Custom-Made Machines in the Era of Mass Production" (dissertation chapter)
May 15, 2018
Alicia Maggard, Brown University, presenting "Pacific Mail, Industrial Empire:
Steam Infrastructure and U.S. Power", a chapter from her dissertation.