[SIGCIS-Members] History of Computing at the Business History Conference

Thomas Haigh thaigh at computer.org
Mon Jan 24 13:18:39 PST 2011

Hello everyone,

I was just looking at the recently announced program for the Business
History Conference meeting in St. Louis, 31 March-April 2.

We’re organized panels for previous meetings, though not for this year’s.
However there are still a few presentations by SIGCIS members scattered
through the program. Computing and IT are not always as visible at the
conference as we might hope, but it is an interesting conference with a
diverse range of perspectives so perhaps we can organize something for the
next meeting (Philadelphia, March 2012) when the announcement goes out later
this year. Knowledge seems to be a hot topic there, so this might be a good

The papers that caught my eye are

Jeffrey R. Yost, University of Minnesota
Diebold and Associates, Information Technology Consulting, and the Diffusion
of Knowledge in Digital Computers and Applications Programming in the 1950s

Hyungsub Choi, Chemical Heritage Foundation
Circulation of Knowledge in the Second and Third Industrial Revolutions

Olga Pantelidou, National Technical University of Athens
The Citi Never Sleeps: ATMs and Corporate Social Policy in New York City
during the 1970s

Also an interesting panel on methodology featuring several SIGCIS members:

E.1 Method or Madness: Does Business History Have a Methodology?
Regency C
Chair: R. Daniel Wadhwani, University of the Pacific
Discussant: The Audience

David Kirsch, University of Maryland
Between the Humanities and Management Science: The Epistemology of Business

JoAnne Yates, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Historical and Qualitative Methods for Studying Organizations

Matthias Kipping, York University, and H. Daniel Wadhwani, University of the
The “Holy Trinity” of the Historical Method: Source Critique, Triangulation,
and the Hermeneutic Circle

Roy Suddaby, University of Alberta
The Use of Historical Methods in Organizational and Institutional Theory

Finally this year's president, Richard R. John, is well known as a historian
of communications, treating the early US postal system as a kind of
information infrastructure. His new book is a history of American
Telecommunications, apparently dealing with AT&T and Western Union (didn't
read it yet...).


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