[SIGCIS-Members] Last chance & current status: CFP: SHOT 2012 Conference, 4-7 Oct in Copenhagen. Deadline 31 March.

Thomas Haigh thaigh at computer.org
Sat Mar 17 08:03:16 PDT 2012

Hello SHOT members,


Below is a repeat for the call for possible participants in SIGCIS panel(s)
for the main SHOT meeting I sent out last month. Two weeks left, so I'm
sending it again in case we pick up any last minute additions. 


If people are interested I would need fairly worked out abstracts of their
personal contributions by the end of next week to give us a full week to
massage them together into one or more coherent panel proposals. Abstracts
should include one paragraph on each of: topic, argument, evidence
(sources), contribution to literature. They should target historians of
technology with no necessary knowledge of or interest in history of


Here's what we have so far. My apologies to their contributors for not
getting back to this quicker - between the "email inventor" frenzy and
losing most of last week to the latest infection brought home by our baby
from his first semester of daycare I've fallen behind with a number of


.         Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan has a "new project on technical media
in the 19th c, albeit with reference to proto-computational automata."
Sounds like he has some flexibility within that.


.         Ksenia Tatarchenko is thinking of "the Soviet computer education
program developed by Ershov as an alternative vision of information society,
thus fitting into the Cold War interactions theme and getting more


.         Giuditta Parolini is interested in looking at a collection of
statistical tables, as, in Winner's terms, an artifact with politics. "I
argue that due to the careful planning of the book and the copyright policy
adopted by the authors, the collection of tables was not a neutral computing
instrument, but could really be considered a political artefact whose
implicit mission was the dissemination in experimental research of the
statistical methods of analysis of variance and experimental design." So
this might also fit with elements of a cold war theme.


.         Peter Sachs Collopy is interested in personal computing, possibly
in organizing a separate session for the main meeting on this theme.


The "politics of computing artifacts" theme could unite the first three, but
if we can get a couple more I can go with two panels and look for another
way to slice it.





From: Thomas Haigh [mailto:thaigh at computer.org] 
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:16 PM
To: 'members at sigcis.org'
Subject: CFP: SHOT 2012 Conference, 4-7 Oct in Copenhagen. Deadline 31


Hello SIGCIS members,


The dance of the heavens and progress of the Earth have brought us once
again to that special time of year: the SHOT annual meeting call. Well,
technically the "pre-call," as so far there's been a limited announcement
with a promise of details to follow "By 13 February 2012." Below this
message are pasted the current details from the SHOT website at


Note: this is NOT the call for the annual SIGCIS workshop, which usually
takes place on the final Sunday of the conference. Our call will follow and
will have a much later deadline. 


SIGCIS generally organizes one to three panel proposals for the main SHOT
conference, and individual members sometimes also use the email list to put
together panel proposals with SIG sponsorship. These proposals are reviewed
like any others by the SHOT program committee. Sponsorship doesn't guarantee
acceptance, but working with the SIG raises the chance of your paper being
part of a coherent, relevant, and polished proposal. 


If you are interested in being part of such a panel please send me an
informal expression of interest with a brief description of your possible
contribution. I then try to find common themes to develop in the topics that
could tie them together into a coherent looking proposal, and work with the
authors to refine the individual abstracts to meet the expectations of
historians of technology.


SIGCIS members are also encouraged to develop their own panel proposals.
These can also be sponsored by the SIG. Feel free to reply to the list (
<mailto:members at sigcis.org> members at sigcis.org) to find additional panel


Certain things are common for history conferences but can confuse those from
other disciplines. SHOT isn't usually as explicit about some things in its
call as it could be. What you need to know: 


.         Panels generally run for 90 minutes and consist of three
panelists, a commentator, and a chair. Speakers get about 20 minutes each,
with 10 for the commentator, 10-15 for questions, and the rest wasted. Most
people now use PowerPoint. Many historians still read papers word for word.
Some panels are proposed as a whole. Others are assembled by the program
committee from papers submitted individually.


.         Reviewing is based on a one page abstract and one page cv, and
thus is obviously not double blind. Usually about 1/3 of submissions are
rejected, but you will never know why as you do not receive comments from
the reviewers. Selection is done by the program committee members
themselves, with program balance and session coherence a concern. Therefore
the odds of being accepted are generally higher as part of a coherent panel
than as an individual paper. 


.         The full paper is never reviewed or published, but you are still
expected to write out some version of it for the commentator to read prior
to the meeting.  The commentator is supposed to weave together useful common
threads in the papers, add context where missing, and make suggestions on
possible improvements. This role is known as a "discussant" in some
disciplines. SHOT commentators generally err on the side of niceness,
particularly versus some discussion I've seen in business schools.


.         All the chair does is to introduce the speakers, moderate the
question period, and make sure that everything runs to time. It's a good way
to get yourself onto the program if you don't have any new work to present.


.         Only one paper submission per person per year is allowed.  SHOT
discourages people from speaking two years running, but that rule does not
apply this year because this is an "overseas" (i.e. not the USA) meeting. 


.         Connecting your paper or panel to an official conference theme is
helpful, but not usually essential. The East/West Cold War theme should be
an easy one for many of us to address.


.         SHOT usually has travel money from the NSF and other sources to
help graduate student presenters and those "between jobs." This is applied
for separately after acceptance of your paper.


Best wishes,


Tom Haigh




Call For Papers:
SHOT 2012: 4-7 October
Copenhagen, Denmark

Deadline for submissions: 31 March 2012

The Society for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting in
Copenhagen, Denmark from 4-7 October at the Copenhagen Business School. The
Program Committee invites paper and panel proposals on any topic in the
history of technology, broadly defined. The Committee welcomes proposals for
individual papers or sessions, as well as works-in-progress from researchers
at all levels (including graduate students, chaired professors, and
independent scholars). It welcomes proposals from those new to SHOT,
regardless of discipline. Multinational, international, and
cross-institutional sessions are particularly encouraged. We especially
encourage proposals from non-Western and Eastern-European scholars. Since
this is a non-North American meeting, the Program Committee will permit
scholars who presented at the 2011 Cleveland meeting to give papers in
Copenhagen. It is SHOT's policy to relax its rule about not presenting
papers at two consecutive meetings in order to attract as many people as
possible to meetings outside of North America.

For the 2012 meeting the Program Committee continues to welcome
unconventional sessions; that is, session formats that diverge in useful
ways from the typical three/four papers with comment. These might include
round-table sessions, workshop-style sessions with papers that are
pre-circulated electronically, or "author meets critics" sessions. We also
welcome poster proposals for presentation in poster sessions. 


While paper and session proposals on all topics are welcome, the Program
Committee is especially interested in proposals that engage the following
I. Technology, sustainability, and environment. SHOT has a long history of
analyzing how technologies have interfered with or shaped nature and our
social or cultural environments. The search for sustainable technology
solutions has recently become a main preoccupation of engineers, designers
and tinkerers all over the world and is high on the political agenda too.
Possible themes to address are: 

.         Questions of scale: onsite, small- and community-scale technology
as challenges for large-scale and centralized models of technology design,
both in rural and new urban environments 

.         Smart design: ecodesign and sustainable industrial or product
design as evidence of smart solutions for an accountable handling of

.         Natural infrastructures: infrastructures as "natural" environments
and nature (air, water, soil) as co-producers of large-scale infrastructures

.         More with less: new technologies and the search for efficiency in
energy consumption or technologies of power saving in housing, transport,
and communication

II. Technology, East-West relations, and the Cold War. During the Cold War,
Europe was one of the central laboratories for experimentation with
ideological and political regimes, which deeply affected traditional paths
of knowledge and technology transfer in Europe. While the history of the
Cold War has mainly been told as a history of discontinuity and
fragmentation, we would especially welcome papers and sections dealing with
examples of successful co-operation or "hidden continuities" in
inter-European technology transfer during the 20th century. General areas to
be explored are: 

.         Changing times: continuities and discontinuities in the transfers
of knowledge and technology between Eastern and Western Europe and the rest
of the world from the mid-19th century to the present

.         Negotiating identities: spaces and places of co-operation or
confrontation before, during, and after the Cold War

.         Blurred boundaries: spill-over effects and holes in the Iron

.         Trading zone: Europe as symbolic battlefield and diplomatic
playground for world hegemony

.         Chilling effects: Technologies at war & wartime technology 

.         Secret stories: technologies of intelligence and espionage and
their staging in popular media (comics, films, magazines, television &

.         Competing Modernities: the uses of technology in a variety of
economic development and modernization schemes 

Evaluation Criteria
The Program Committee's highest priority in evaluating paper and panel
proposals is scholarly excellence. 

General ground rules
SHOT rules exclude multiple submissions (i.e., submitting more than one
individual paper proposal, or proposing both an individual paper and a paper
as part of a session).  However, scholars may both propose a paper and serve
as a commentator or session chair.

Proposals for individual papers must include
1. a one-page abstract (maximum 600 words)
2. a one-page curriculum vitae, including current postal and e-mail

Proposals for complete sessions must include
1. a description of the session that explains how individual papers
contribute to an overall theme (300 words max)
2. the names and paper titles of the presenters
3. for each presenter, a one-page summary (maximum 600 words) of the paper's
topic, argument(s), and evidence used
4. for the commentator, chair, and each presenter: one-page c.v., with
postal and e-mail addresses

* Please note that in general we discourage panels with more than three
**Please indicate if a proposal is sponsored by one of SHOT's special
interest groups.


For more information please see the Society's
<http://www.historyoftechnology.org/annual_meeting.html> Annual Meeting
Webpage. For general questions about the Society, please email SHOT
Secretary  <mailto:shotsecy at virginia.edu> Bernie Carlson
<mailto:shotsecy at virginia.edu> .


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