WITH Travel Award – A Call for “New Voices” in Technological History

The SHOT Special Interest Group Women in Technological History [WITH] announces its travel award for 2009. The purpose of the award is to encourage participation of “new voices” at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology [SHOT]. WITH invites applications from scholars presenting topics or perspectives underrepresented in SHOT as well as from individuals who can contribute to the annual meeting’s geographic and cultural diversity.

The 2009 SHOT meeting will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 15-19, 2009. See http://historyoftechnology.org. Continue reading

CFP: Seventh International Conference on the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M)

Lucerne, Switzerland
November 5–8, 2009

– Energy and Innovation –

The International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) invites proposals for papers to be presented at its Seventh International Conference to be held at the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz (Swiss Museum of Transport), Lucerne, Switzerland from November 5th till the 8th, 2009. Continue reading

Histories of (un)natural disasters: knowledge, blame and defences

Session CfP for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2009, Manchester, UK, 26-28th August 2009

“Natural” disasters are just as social as they are natural. Their impact depends heavily on social issues such as vulnerability while the work done by society to mitigate their impact is obviously social. However, social aspects of “natural” disasters have often been neglected and they have frequently been understood as caused solely by nature or by divine intervention. The different causal narratives of disasters have given rise to different understandings of responsibilities and blame. Despite their recurrent nature these sudden extreme events are often portrayed as exceptional.

This session will explore the histories of (un)natural disasters across time and space. Paper proposal on any aspects related to any aspects of this topic are welcome. A general theme may be how knowledge and practices have worked to change the likelihood, nature and impact of disasters. How have physical and human geography interacted around disasters historically?

Papers for the session could for example discuss how natural disasters have been framed as “natural” and/or “social” and the implications of different framings. How has the knowledge or understanding of disasters as “natural”, “Acts of God” or “social” developed throughout history? Who or what was blamed?

Today the impacts of these events are managed by warning systems, emergency planning and physical defences. These systems have a long history, and are dependent on complex scientific and social networks. What is this history and how does it link to narratives of causality and blame? For example, whose responsibility have extreme events been seen to be and whose work was it to deal with the consequences of them? Who paid for defensive work? Individuals or the state? National or local government? What were views on how defensive work should be organised?

Many other topics are also possible. If you are interested in submitting a paper, please contact Anna Carlsson on anna.carlsson@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk. The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 3rd 2009. Please include the following information:
Contact email:
Title of proposed paper:
Abstract (no more than 250 words):
Any technical requirements (video, data projector, sound, etc.):

Sixth International Conference on the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M)

Sixth International Conference on the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M)

Ottawa, Canada
September 18-21, 2008

Mobility and the Environment

The International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic and Mobility (T2M) invites proposals for papers to be presented at its Sixth International Conference to be held in Ottawa, Canada from September 18th through the 21st, 2008.

Papers may address any aspect of the social, cultural, economic, technological, ecological and political history of transport, traffic and mobility. However, special consideration will be given to proposals related to the conference theme: Mobility and the Environment. The language of the conference is English.

Hosted by the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the 2008 conference coincides with a period of growing concern about the problematic relationship between the human desire and need for greater mobility, and the environmental consequences and challenges of this demand. Historical perspectives on this relationship offer the promise of greater clarity and understanding. To this end, we encourage proposals that explore all aspects of the issue across the full spectrum of modalities, systems, political contexts and environments. In addition, the conference theme is also intended to embrace philosophical, technical and cultural perspectives on the history of overcoming, or adapting to, the challenges of geography and climate. With respect to all of the above, the conference will also provide an opportunity to consider how important insights and ideas arising from historical research on the environment, and on issues of mobility in general, can best be shared with an interested general public.

Notwithstanding T2M’s natural affinity for the historical view, interdisciplinary approaches are greatly encouraged. Relevant proposals from the fields of geography, philosophy, cultural studies, sociology, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, engineering and others are most welcome. The participation of young scholars and doctoral students is especially desirable. T2M also invites professionals working in the areas of mobility or environmental policy and planning to contribute. Participants are encouraged, though not required, to organize and to propose panels on specific issues or ideas. As a rule, a panel should consist of a chair, a commentator and normally up to three speakers. Session proposals will also be considered.

The deadline for abstracts and a one-page CV (English only) is the 1st of March, 2008: maximum of one page for all individual papers or panel presentations, or one page per presentation within a session proposal. Session proposals should also include a one-page overview of the session. Please send proposals to: submissions@t2m.org.

Submitters will be notified by the programme committee during the first week of April, 2008 on the success
or status of their submission. The full paper of all accepted submissions must be delivered on or before August 1st, 2008. These will be copied onto a conference CD-ROM for distribution in advance to all conference participants. Individual presentations at the conference are therefore to be limited to a fifteen-minute summary to allow for debate and discussion within the session. Registration information and deadlines will be provided during the month of March.

For information about T2M and previous conferences, please visit our website at: http://www.t2m.org.
More information on the Ottawa conference will be posted at http://www.t2m.org/conference in due course.

Garth Wilson, Programme Committee Chair, T2M 2008

Dangerous Trade: Histories of Industrial Hazard across a Globalizing World

December 13-15, 2007, Stony Brook University

Though we Americans largely assume them under control, industrial hazards have quietly turned into one of the world’s foremost killers.
The global burden of deaths from work-related disease and injury alone in 1999, was 1.1 million, roughly the same toll as from malaria, and not counting the millions more who perished from pollution and other industrial exposures outside the workplace. Most experts project  these numbers will rise over the first half of the 21st century (WHO 1999), based on a continuing up-surge in the transnational movements of capital, companies, commodities, and people between nations that we have come to know as globalization. These trends, and episodes such as the recent discovery of lead-contaminated toys, have raised new concerns about the limits to national projects of environmental and occupational hazard control. The time is ripe for scholarly exploration and analysis of just how industrial hazards and their remedies have varied and traveled from nation to nation, place to place, across our globalizing world.

An international conference on the historical relationship between industrial hazards and globalization will be held December 13-15, 2007, at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y. The conference will draw together scholars from many corners of the U.S. as well as the U.K., Europe, Asia and Australia.  Among the nearly thirty scholars in attendance, historians, joined by geographers, sociologists and anthropologists, and contemporary health practitioners, will present on-going work on the following themes:

* the making of hazardous industries in developing as well as the developed nations.

* knowing and controlling industrial hazards.

* cross-national passages in the making, recognition and remedy of industrial hazards.

* comparative and supra-national approaches to the history of industrial hazard.

On Thursday afternoon of the 13th, the conference will begin with two sessions on contemporary sessions on hazardous industries in the developing world.  These sessions are open without registration to the public. Registration is required for succeeding sessions, which  will revolve around discussions of pre-circulated papers.  These papers will focus especially on two more recent periods of global economic integration, the late nineteenth/early twentieth and the later twentieth centuries.  They will take up industries from mining to railroads to petrochemicals, and hazards from accidents to dust to air pollution to nuclear plants. Registered participants will have the opportunity to read the papers and participate in the discussions about ongoing research.

Download the  Dangerous Trade Flyer

CFP: 2008 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS 08)

ISTAS 08 will be held July 26-28 2008 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

ISTAS is the annual symposium of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology.

The themes for ISTAS 08 are: Citizens, Groups, Communities and Information and Communication Technologies.

The scope of ISTAS 08 will include research on:

     * How citizens, groups and communities are or could be linked with information and communication technologies (ICT);

    * Designing and developing ICT with and for citizens, groups and communities.

 ISTAS 08 will be a multi-disciplinary event for researchers in engineering, computer science, social sciences, arts and humanities; as well as community-based researchers, policy makers and technology user communities. Papers and discussions will address both the social and technical aspects of the specific topics.

Web site: http://istas08.ca

Contact: Bill.McIver@nrc.ca

CFP: World Congress of Environmental History 2009

Announcing the WCEH 2009 First World Congress of Environmental History 2009 “Local Livelihoods And Global Challenges: Understanding Human Interaction With The Environment” in Copenhagen, Denmark, August 4-8, 2009.

The conference is hosted by The International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO) and Roskilde University.

We invite panel, paper, and poster proposals for the 1st World Congress of Environmental History. The Congress aims to bring together scholars from all over the globe, providing a unique opportunity to learn from each other and to create overarching perspectives on the historical relationships between people and the environment through time.

The development of environmental history has been closely linked to local and regional histories and situations. While this is a strength of the field, it is also a potential weakness. We need to question whether big pictures can be constructed on the basis of more numerous case studies. Do we gain new insights by comparing case studies and drawing conclusions from doing so? Are we able to learn from each other with regard to sources and methods? Can environmental history become politically relevant if we put together empirically sound meta-narratives that go beyond specific times and places?

ICEHO member organizations believe that the answer to all these questions is YES! We therefore seek to devote this World Congress to sharing environmental histories worldwide. In order to broaden our comparative understanding, we seek to highlight places in which no environmental histories have been conducted, or have not yet reached an international audience. For the first time young scholars and senior academics, environmental historians from all over the world, and with different disciplinary backgrounds will meet in order to further the development of environmental history world-wide.

Proposals may address any area of environmental history but, in keeping with the goals of the Congress, the Program Committee specifically solicits submissions of new and original work that will foster the sharing of environmental history and advance productive comparisons.

Oral presentations will be 15-20 minutes long. The conference language is English. Papers must be original: they should not previously have been presented at a professional conference nor published in a scholarly journal. Individual papers are welcome, but are more difficult to accommodate than submissions of entire panels. Panel proposals must be limited either to three papers (commentator optional), or four papers without a commentator. Participants may only submit one formal paper, but they may also be chairs or commentators. Presenters may chair sessions, but not those they present in.

Successful panel submissions will have (1) a good empirical foundation and describe one or more case studies that would together enhance a comparative perspective within a session or (2) be of wider relevance for the discipline in terms of development of methods, new sources and approaches. Papers comparing the same theme in various regions as well as those that present different facets of the environmental history of one place (if this research is new and original) will be welcomed. The conference covers all periods of human history.

A set of keywords is provided on the submission form. You are asked to choose up to three to help the conference organisers to construct thematic threads.

Postgraduate researchers can submit work in progress (ongoing PhD or Master’s thesis work) for specially designed roundtable sessions (10 minute presentations, with ample time for discussion) that will be chaired by a senior mentor. These roundtables are focused on providing international input on research problems and questions that pertain to developing researchers.

We encourage contributions by scholars from any disciplinary background.

Deadline for submissions is March, 30th, 2008.

To submit a panel, single paper, roundtable contribution or poster
Please visit our website at www.wceh2009.org and go to Submission for details. Abstracts should have between 2000 and 3000 characters (incl. spaces) and should contain up to 5 bibliographic references. A 1-2 page CV must be submitted for each paper and presenter. Use the forms on the website to submit your material.

The submission process for posters is the same at that for papers. Posters will be on display during the Congress and authors will have an opportunity to introduce their research in 3 minutes oral presentations in plenary sessions highlighted in the program. If you wish to submit a poster, use the “Poster” submission form. If your poster is accepted, you will be asked to provide material for the short oral presentation prior to the Congress.

Review Process
Your panel, paper, or poster will be reviewed by the Program Committee in an anonymous process so as to ensure high scholarly standards. Each paper will be reviewed independently by at least three members of the Program Committee, two of whom will assess the quality of the submission, while the third reviewer will assess its relevance to the development of environmental history and its global or international importance. The Program Committee will assess papers within panels individually, and reserves the right to regroup or reassign them into appropriate sessions.

Online submission is the primary means of sending your abstract. If you do not have access to electronic connections, your paper must be delivered by mail by March 14th, 2008 to the congress secretariat. Notification will be by e-mail. In order to be accepted for the program, you will need to reconfirm your participation and register for the conference.

ICEHO Member organizations:
American Society for Environmental History
IUFRO Research Group 6.07.00 Forest History
Association of South Asia Environmental Historians
International Water History Association
Australian Environmental History Network
Network in Canadian History & Environment
Australian Forest History Society
Otago University, History Department
European Society for Environmental History
Sheffield Hallam University
Forest History Society
German Historical Institute
Sociedad Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Historia Ambiental

Should you have any questions, please contact the conference secretariat at: wceh2009@ruc.dk The conference secretariat is located at Roskilde University (RUC). The address is: Roskilde University, Universitetsvej 1, Building 04.2., Att.: Lisa Rimstad Jacobsen, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.

CFP: Ecological restoration and human flourishing in the era of anthropogenic climate change. September 5-7, 2008, Clemson University.

Sponsored by Clemson University Restoration Institute, College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities, School of the Environment, Rutland Institute for Ethics, and Department of Philosophy and Religion

Reports this year from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change place it beyond reasonable doubt that humans are largely responsible for global warming and that the potential consequences are simply unprecedented in scope and magnitude. It is also becoming increasingly clear that some of these consequences are now unavoidable. Preventative measures alone, if enacted, could only head-off the worst. What should be done with the natural world that will be inherited in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, the 20th and the opening decades of the 21st century? As embodied and terrestrial beings, embedded in an emerging and unstable new world climate, how should considerations of justice, ecological and human flourishing influence prescriptive combinations of prevention, mitigation, adaptation, and restoration? What should we believe about ecological restitution or redress to citizens of third-world countries, or future generations? What are the meta-ethical, technological, biological, and geo-political considerations that underlie this range of normative concerns? Our focus will be on issues at the intersection of ecological restoration, global justice, and prospects of well being for human and non-human animals in an era of radial climate change, including the restoration or geo-engineering of large-scale biotic processes and the role of human flourishing in the practice of ecological restoration.

Confirmed speakers include Eric Higgs, Andrew Light and Martha Nussbaum.

To make the conference and its expenditure of energy as useful as possible, the conference format will involve preconference paper sharing and preparatory dialogue, a combination of plenary and small group sessions, ample time for discussion both in and outside sessions, post-conference documentation, the creation of a network on the conference theme and related issues following the conference, and a conference volume to be reworked thoroughly for publication. Additionally, the organizers have set aside 10% of the conference budget to invest in accountable, well-proven reforestation and wind farming. Novel ways of participating in the conference to avoid CO2 emissions are invited. Ideally, we would have the conference entirely on-line but feel we need face-to-face time on this issue to begin the research discussions around it. As much of the conference as is practically possible for us will involve a sustainable ontology -e.g., recycled paper, on-line archiving, local and humane food sources with reduced packaging, etc.

Send the proposal to ERHFconference-L@clemson.edu by November 30th, 2007. The finished papers of those accepted will be due by July 30th, 2008. Proposals should include an abstract of approximately 500 words, an optional explanation of some 200 words explaining the proposal’s relevance to the conference themes, a list of current research projects or of publications related to the conference themes, and full contact details (email, phone, address). Graduate students are encouraged to apply. There will be one graduate student scholarship to help with costs.

Organizing and program committee
Allen Thompson, Clemson University Department of Philosophy and Religion
Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, American University of Sharjah Department of International Studies and Le Moyne College Department of Philosophy
Breena Holland, Lehigh University Department of Political Science and the Environmental Initiative

Deadline: November 30th 2007