Tarr Article Prize awarded to David Fedman

The selection committee for the Joel Tarr Envirotech Article Prize is pleased to announce this year’s winner:

David Fedman, “The Ondol Problem and the Politics of Forest Conservation in Colonial Korea,” Journal of Korean Studies 23, no. 1 (March 2018), DOI 10.1215/21581665-4339053

Focusing on the ondol — the cooking stove-cum-heated floor system common in traditional Korean dwellings — David Fedman’s compelling article introduces readers to a little-studied technology whose history has broad implications for our understanding of the intersection of technology, environment, and identity. With the help of an impressive array of Japanese and Korean sources, Fedman shows that the ondol was a critical node in early-twentieth-century discussions about domestic energy efficiency, forest conservation, and the differences in culture and character that supposedly separated Koreans from their Japanese colonizers. The ondol’s legions of early-twentieth-century critics accused it both of wasting valuable timber and of encouraging indolence, but such criticisms did not lead to its abolishment. Instead, the article demonstrates, they drove forestry officials and others to encourage various methods of fuel conservation, some of which involved fundamental changes to the way Koreans designed their homes and prepared their meals. By combining the histories of technology, environment, and colonialism in innovative ways, Fedman’s examination of the ondol offers a model for scholarship linking quotidian technologies within the home to environments beyond it.

Tarr Prize Selection Committee:
Etienne Benson, University of Pennsylvania
Camille Cole, Yale University
Aleksandra Kobiljski, CNRS

Envirotech Sunday Workshop at the SHOT meeting in Milan, Oct. 27, 9:30-12:00

The Envirotech SIG will hold a special morning session on Sunday, October 27, at the Palazzo Delle Stelline (Strehler Room) as part of the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology.

What: Envirotech Workshop @ SHOT
Where: Palazzo Delle Stelline, Milan, Italy – Room: Strehler
When: 9:30-12:00, October 27, 2019


Program

9:30-11:15: Lightning Round (short 8-minute presentations followed by 7-minute Q&A)

  • Mara Dicenta (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY): “More-than-human Postindustrial Landscapes”
  • Johan Gärdebo (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm): “Environing Technology”
  • Dolly Jørgensen (University of Stavanger)
  • Finn Arne Jørgensen (University of Stavanger): “Wayfinding, Environment and Technology”
  • David Pretel (El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City / Max Planck Institute): “The Nature of War: Technologies, Environments and Maya Resistance (c. 1847-1901)”
  • Jenny Leigh Smith (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong): “Sandbags: An Object in Envirotech”
  • Eric Hardy (Loyola University): “Dutch Dialogues”

11:15-12:00: State of the Union: Discussion of the future of Envirotech as the Envirotech SIG approaches its 20th anniversary


Workshop conveners: Etienne Benson (University of Pennsylvania) & Aleksandra Kobiljski (French National Research Center – CNRS)

Envirotech co-chairs: John Baeten (Indiana University) & Etienne Benson (University of Pennsylvania)

IMPORTANT: The Sunday Envirotech SIG workshop will be in addition to the traditional Saturday Envirotech breakfast.

For questions contact Aleksandra Kobiljski at aleksandra.kobiljski@ehess.fr

Envirotech Parr Travel award for SHOT in Milan, applications due August 15

The Joy Parr Envirotech Travel Award is a grant of $400 toward the costs of attending the annual meetings of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) and the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). The award is named in honor of the eminent Canadian historian of work, gender, and technology Joy Parr.

Eligibility for the award is limited to those presenting a paper or poster at the meeting addressing the interrelated histories of environment and technology. The grant is available to current graduate students, recent PhDs (within the past three years) and independent scholars. The winner will receive a check for $400 at the Envirotech breakfast meeting at the conference.

Applicants should complete the linked questionnaire and email it along with a 1-page CV to envirotechtravelaward@gmail.com.

Applications for the travel grant for the upcoming SHOT conference in Milan, Italy, on October 24-27, 2018, are due by August 15, 2019.

Call for proposals – Envirotech Workshop at SHOT in Milan, 27 October 2019

The Envirotech SIG invites proposals for lightning presentations (8 minutes followed by Q&A) at a special workshop session on Envirotech history to be held at the SHOT conference in Milan on Sunday, 27 October 2019, 9:30am-12:30pm. The workshop will also feature a roundtable discussion on the state of the art in envirotech history.

All subjects are welcome for the lightning presentations, but presenters are especially encouraged to focus on a particular primary source (text, image, object, etc.) that they deem useful for thinking about Envirotech in comparative or global perspective. 

Submissions for the lightning presentations should be sent in the form of a title and abstract (up to 200 words) to Etienne Benson (ebenson@upenn.edu) and Aleksandra Kobiljski (aleksandra.kobiljski@ehess.fr) by 15 August 2019. Presenters will be notified of decisions by 31 August 2019.


This special Sunday workshop will be in addition to the usual Envirotech breakfast, which will be held on Saturday morning. If you plan to attend both, be sure to check the boxes for both events when registering.

Call for 2019 Joel Tarr Envirotech Article Prize Nominations

Envirotech, a special interest group within the Society for the History of Technology and the American Society for Environmental History, invites nominations for the 2019 Joel A. Tarr Envirotech Article Prize. The Tarr Prize recognizes the best article published in either a journal or article collection on the relationship between technology and the environment in history.


To be eligible for this prize, the article must have been published between October 1, 2017, and March 31, 2019. Articles originally published in any language are welcome, but applicants must provide a translation of non-English articles. The Tarr Prize carries a cash award of $350 and will be conferred at the Society for the History of Technology meeting in Milan, Italy, October 24-27, 2019.


To apply, send your article and a brief curriculum vitae (one page Word or PDF files only please) to envirotechtarrprize@gmail.com. The deadline for nominations is June 15, 2019. The winner of the prize will be notified by the end of July.

Envirotech 2018 Travel Award

The Envirotech Special Interest Group is pleased to announce the Joy Parr Travel Grant, a $400 travel grant for the upcoming SHOT conference in St. Louis on October 11-14, 2018. The application is due by Friday, August 17, 2018.

Eligibility for the award is limited to those presenting a paper or poster at the meeting addressing the interrelated histories of environment and technology. The grant is available to current graduate students, recent PhDs (within the past three years) and independent scholars. The winner will receive a check for $400 at the Envirotech breakfast meeting during the conference.

Applicants should complete the linked questionnaire and email it along with a one to two page CV to envirotechtravelaward2018@gmail.com. Any questions can be sent to Etienne Benson and John Baeten at the same address. For more information about Envirotech, please visit our website at http://www.envirotechhistory.org/.

Announcing the 2017 Envirotech Tarr Article Prize Winner

Envirotech is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016-2017 Joel A. Tarr Prize. As envirotech grows as a field, so does the breadth and depth of its scholarship. This year’s Tarr Prize submissions included a wealth of articles that offered new directions in fielddefining topics like risk, infrastructure, and pollution. The submissions also touched on newer areas of historical research and showed the range of topics withinenvirotech, as well as how an envirotechnical focus can enrich other areas of historical inquiry and shed light on contemporary problems. The submissions spanned the globe—indeed, even extending beyond the earth—across a wide historical time period and represented scholars from a wide range of institutions and career stages. 

Amidst this exceptionally strong field, the committee, Etienne Benson, Aleksandra Kobiljski, and Kellen Backer, selected Camille Cole’s “Precarious Empires: A Social and Environmental History of Steam Navigation on the Tigris,” as the prize winner. Cole’s work links the history of technology, environmental history, and the history of empire through a case study of the steamship in Southern Iraq. Based on a rich array of archival sources in multiple languages,it is also historiographically engaged and brings an envirotechnical focus to a region that has received too little attention.The article follows steamships entering the Tigris, showing how they were transformative, even if not in the ways intended. The idea of precariousness stands at the core of Cole’s study, showing howenvironmental and social conditions helped to create an empire that was difficult to control—both for the British and for the Ottoman empires. Alluvial and marsh environments undermined steamships at the same time that steamships created new avenues for empires to expand, while also providing new opportunities for tribal polities and the local shipping industry. Cole’s work complicates the story of imperial technologies by showing howin this instance, steamships were “not conquering, but not quite conquered by the river or the marsh-based tribal polities.”  It is an impressive study that opens up new pathways for envirotech historians to pursue. 

Envirotech 2017 ASEH Travel Grant

The Envirotech Special Interest Group is pleased to announce the Joy Parr Travel Grant for the upcoming 2017 American Society for Environmental History conference. Eligibility for the award is limited to those presenting a paper addressing the interrelated histories of environment and technology at the ASEH meeting in Chicago March 29 – April 2, 2017. The grant is available to current graduate students, recent Ph.D.s (earned within three years), and independent scholars. The application is due by Wednesday, March 15, 2017. The winner will receive a check for $400 at the Envirotech breakfast meeting during the conference.

Applicants should complete the attached questionnaire and email it along with a one or two page C.V. to envirotechtravelaward@gmail.com. Any questions should be addressed to Kellen Backer and submitted by email to envirotechtravelaward@gmail.com.

Application form.

Envirotech 2016 ASEH Travel Grant

The Envirotech Special Interest Group is pleased to announce a $400 travel grant for the upcoming 2016 American Society for Environmental History conference. Eligibility for the award is limited to those presenting a paper addressing the interrelated histories of environment and technology at the ASEH meeting in Seattle, WA on March 30–April 3. The grant is available to current graduate students, recent Ph.D.s (earned within three years) and independent scholars. The application is due by Monday, March 14, 2016. The winner will receive a check for $400 at the Envirotech breakfast meeting during the conference.

Applicants should complete the attached questionnaire and email it along with a one or two page C.V. to envirotechtravelaward@gmail.com. Any questions should be addressed to Kellen Backer and submitted by email to envirotechtravelaward@gmail.com.

Call for Nominations: 2015 Joel A. Tarr Envirotech Article Prize

Envirotech, a special interest group within the Society for the History of Technology and the American Society for Environmental History, invites nominations for the 2015 Joel A. Tarr Envirotech Article Prize. The Tarr Prize recognizes the best article published in either a journal or article collection on the relationship between technology and the environment in the past. The prize committee will consider all publications that address the intersections of environment and technology and is particularly interested in those that give new insights into interactions between histories and their publics. Articles originally published in any language are welcome, but applicants must provide a translation of non-English articles. To be eligible for the 2015 prize, the article must be published between June 16, 2014 and November 15, 2015.

The Tarr Prize carries a cash award of $350 and will be conferred at the American Society for Environmental History meeting in Seattle, Washington.

Send one copy of your article and a brief curriculum vitae (one page Word or PDF files only please) to tarrprize2015@gmail.com to be considered. The deadline for submissions is December 18, 2015. Winners will be announced in early February.