[SIGCIS-Members] 2013 SIGCIS CFP. "Old Ideas: Recomputing the History of Information Technology, " Deadline June 30
thaigh at computer.org
Mon May 20 13:30:13 PDT 2013
Please find below the CFP for our fifth annual SIGCIS workshop, as always
held in conjunction with the annual meeting of our parent association, the
Society for the History of Technology. As this is scheduled to be my last
full SHOT meeting as chair I've agreed to take primary responsibility for
the program myself. However we are, as always, keen to get new volunteers on
board with SIGCIS - whether to assist with this and future workshops, to
help to upgrade our web and social media presence, or to put your stamp on
other aspects of the group's activities. None of the SIGCIS offices are
intended to be held for life, and keeping a flow of people and ideas into
our core team is essential for the future vitality of SIGCIS.
The theme of "Old Ideas: Recomputing the History of Information Technology"
should lend itself to interpretation in a variety of ways, though I admit it
was inspired by the title of Leonard Cohen's most recent album. So you don't
have to be a grumpy reactionary to propose something. No kids will be chased
This should be an excellent meeting. My impression is that the IEEE Annals
board meeting will probably be held in conjunction with SHOT again, though
I've not seen an official announcement so this may not be definite yet.
Portland has a distinctive and pleasant feel, and is drivable for a large
number of people in the North East and Mid-Atlantic. It's also fairly easy
to get to for international travelers as there is a train running from
As always, any updates to the call and full information about the workshop
itself as it becomes available will be posted to a single URL.
www.sigcis.org/workshop13. The submission links don't work yet, but will be
live well before the deadline which is JUNE 30.
Recomputing the History of Information Technology
SIGCIS Workshop 2013
October 13, 2013, Portland, Maine
Deadline: June 30, 2013
The Society for the History of Technology's Special Interest Group for
Computers, Information and Society (SIGCIS - http://www.sigcis.org
<http://www.sigcis.org/> ) welcomes submissions for a one-day scholarly
workshop to be held on Sunday, October 13, 2012 in Portland, Maine. As in
previous years, SIGCIS's annual workshop will occur immediately after the
end of the regular SHOT annual meeting program, the details of which are
available from http://www.historyoftechnology.org/annual_meeting.html.
Questions about the 2013 SIGCIS workshop should be addressed to Thomas Haigh
(School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee), who is
serving as chair of the workshop program committee. Email
thaigh at computer.org.
Information technologists have little time for old thinking, or for anything
else old. Entrepreneurs seek the new new thing, computer scientists tackle
the grand challenges of future computing, and management consultants chase
the next fad. Scholars in the humanities, who are professionally skeptical
about the nostrums of neoliberalism, the myth of progress, and the allure of
the technological fix, can nevertheless exhibit a similar weakness for the
shiny allure of new technologies. In short, information technology is rarely
understood as something rooted in history. Its cultural associations are
with the future, not the past.
For the SIGCIS 2013 Workshop, we invite scholars to turn their attention to
something different: old ideas and their relationship to information and
computer technology. Perhaps to their overlooked charm, their enduring
power, and their continuities with the putatively new. Such papers might
* Reclaim from what was famously termed the "enormous condescension of
posterity" the ideas about information and information technology held by
specific historical actors, explaining what they really thought they were
doing and how the understood the world around them.
* Demonstrate hidden historical continuities, by showing that
technologies, ideas, or practices generally assumed to be of recent origin
have a close relationship with those formerly known by different names.
* Advocate explicitly or by example the relevance of less fashionable
historical approaches, such as quantitative analysis, old-school Marxism, or
micro-level studies of technical practice to understanding the history of
* Explore connections between historical research on computing, and
the burgeoning recent literature on software studies, game studies, platform
studies, etc. produced by scholars in other areas of the humanities.
* Place topics within the history of information technology into
broader arcs of birth, aging, and death - whether of individuals,
institutions, or social practices.
* Illuminate the cultural work done to construct some things as old
and others as new, and explain who is carrying out this work and why.
If none of the above fit your work, even with some creative twisting, then
despair not: we also accept new ideas! SIGCIS has a tradition of welcoming
all types of contributions related to the history of computing and
information, whether or not there is an explicit connection with the annual
theme. Our membership is international and interdisciplinary, and our
members examine the history of information technologies and their place
within society from a variety of scholarly perspectives including the
history of technology, business history, labor history, social history, the
history of science, science studies, communications, gender and sexuality
studies, computing, disability studies, and museum studies.
Suggested Formats for Submissions:
Proposals for entire sessions and individual presenters are both welcome. We
hope to run special sessions featuring dissertations in progress and other
works in progress. The workshop is a great opportunity to get helpful
feedback on your projects in a relaxed and supportive environment. All
proposals will be subject to a peer review process based on abstracts.
Individual contributions can fit one of a variety of formats:
1. Traditional 15 to 20-minute presentations followed by a question and
answer session. In this case, a one-page abstract (maximum 400 words) will
be reviewed and included in the electronic conference program. Abstracts
should address the paper's topic, argument, evidence used, and contribution
to the existing literature. A full version of the paper should be sent to
the session commentator at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting. We welcome
proposals for entire sessions (3-4 papers that elucidate a common theme) or
for individual presentations.
2. Dissertation proposals. We intend to continue SIGCIS's tradition of
hosting special sessions that feature dissertations in progress so that
scholars can receive critical feedback in a relaxed and supportive
environment. Interested students should submit a dissertation proposal (for
projects in the early stages) or draft dissertation chapter together with
table of contents of the whole dissertation (for those nearing completion),
which will be pre-circulated in the electronic conference program if
accepted. Participants will be encouraged to read this prior to the session.
You will have five to ten minutes to introduce the material, leaving the
bulk of time available for discussion.
3. Works in progress. This is your chance to receive informal and
expert discussion of draft dissertation chapters, journal articles, or book
chapters. Submit a one page abstract (maximum 400 words) including
discussion of the current state of the work and any specific kinds of
feedback you are seeking. If your proposal is accepted you will need to
supply the draft for discussion by 1 September for inclusion in the
electronic program for the workshop. You will have five to ten minutes to
introduce the material, leaving the bulk of time available for discussion.
4. Proposals in other formats are also welcome, such as round table
discussions, "works in progress" proposals for early-stage research
projects, demonstrations of software of interest to historians of computing
and information, or "author meets critics" sessions.
SIGCIS follows traditional practices for the submission of papers for
professional historical conferences, specifically: selection based on
abstracts rather than full papers; no pre-circulation or publication of full
papers (with the exception of dissertation proposals as noted above); and
the requirement that presenters share their full paper with the session
commentator at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting. Presenters are
encouraged to submit their work the SIGCIS Member Contributions collection.
Submissions should be made online using the links from the main workshop
The top financial priority of SIGCIS is the support of travel expenses for
graduate students, visiting faculty without institutional travel support,
and others who would be unable to attend the meeting without travel
assistance. The submission page includes a box to check if you fall into one
of these categories and would like to be considered for an award. These is
no separate application form, though depending on the volume of requests and
available resources we may need to contact you for further information
before making a decision. Details on our travel grant program are at
http://www.sigcis.org/travelaward. Any award offered is contingent on
registering for and attending the workshop and, for participants in work in
progress or dissertations in progress sessions, on fulfilling the deadlines
set for providing work in progress to be shared on the workshop website.
Funding sources include donations from SIGCIS members at our annual meeting,
income from the Mahoney Fund http://www.sigcis.org/mahoney and support from
MIT Press for our annual book auction. Please note that SHOT does not
classify SIGCIS presentations as participation in the SHOT annual meeting
and so acceptance by SIGCIS does not imply eligibility for the SHOT travel
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