[SIGCIS-Members] SIGCIS triumphs at the Business History Conference awards banquet

Thomas Haigh thomas.haigh at gmail.com
Sun Apr 2 17:11:39 PDT 2017



Some exciting news from the awards banquet last night at the Business
History Conference.


Our own Gerardo Con Diaz won the Kroos prize for best dissertation with his
2016 Yale thesis "Intangible Inventions:   A History of Software Patenting
in the United States, 1945-1985." This is an award that the BHC takes very
seriously - the finalists present their dissertations in a 90 minute plenary
session to close out conference. Afterwards I heard several very prominent
business historians rooting for Con to win, which he duly did a few hours


Both of the best article prizes went to "IBM Rebuilds Europe: The Curious
Case of the Transnational Typewriter," by Petri Paju and (ahem) me. Those
are the Scranton Prize for the best overall article in Enterprise and
Society and the Wilkins prize for the best on comparative or international
business. The paper comes out of our shared experience in the Software for
Europe project, reflecting the challenge posed by Gerard Alberts to find a
way to deliver on his promise of connecting the history of information
technology to the development of transnational European identity. Petri did
all the hard work and the meticulous research - my contribution was strictly
in rewriting, editing, framing, etc. Which was great fun, particularly the
chance to get Hitler, J.G. Ballard and Miss Congeniality into the same
paper. As I said in accepting the award, we hadn't expected an article on
typewriter supply chains in the 1940s to seem to topical. I therefore
thanked Trump, Brexit, and Putin for making the case for this research.
Preprint at


The history of computing is not as well represented on the BHC program as it
has recently been at SHOT, but there was also a strong "maintainers" themed
panel with Rebecca Slayton, Nathan Ensmenger, Andrew McGee and Ellan Spero.


Best wishes,



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