[SIGCIS-Members] Interest in late-forming SIGCIS panel on material object approaches to computing history?

Andrew Meade McGee amm5ae at virginia.edu
Tue Jun 11 07:55:13 PDT 2019


Dear SIG-CIS folks,

Andrew Meade McGee from Carnegie Mellon here. I've been having an
interesting conversation on material object history in regards to computing
with Alana Staiti of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History,
and we thought we might gauge from the list possible interest in a
late-forming panel for the fall 2019 SIG-CIS workshop. The deadline is
tight before the June 15th submission, so consider this a fishing
expedition to see if anyone would be interested in a panel on these themes
for the Milan conference. Thanks for considering this call for interest.

Panel organizers: Alana Staiti (Smithsonian National Museum of American
History) and Andrew Meade McGee (Carnegie Mellon University). For more
information or to propose a paper topic, please e-mail amcgee at andrew.cmu.edu.
Should enough interest coalesce, the organizers would submit a panel
proposal on June 15th. Authors who wish to propose a paper for the panel
should e-mail the organizers by June 13th, including an abstract of no more
than 400 words and a one-page CV.

Working title:


*Second Life: Unexpected Object Lessons and the Materiality of Computer
History *
When historians talk about the “materiality” of computing, what exactly is
the material in question? Scholars have explored the materiality
of information in various ways, treating technologies,
infrastructures, landscapes, and workspaces as material components that
comprise the worlds of computing, past and present. This panel takes a
closer look at a specific approach to materiality, one whose central theme
comprises object-based analysis and attention paid to the “social lives” of
things, to borrow a phrase from anthropologist Arjun Appadurai. What does
the “physical” mean in our historical consideration of an information age,
and how do our changing interpretations of and relationships with material
objects redefine our approaches to computing?

The panel organizers welcome papers whose themes include:

* object-based studies

* software and its materiality (or immateriality)

* authenticity and reproducibility

* preservation, value, and heritage

* institutional critique

* public and private histories of material artifacts

* physicality as revealed or hidden in computer history

* limits and constraints on models of materiality

* materiality, immateriality, and personhood

* maintenance, repair, technological afterlives and physicality

* navigating objects as archives

* materiality  from the perspective of designers and users
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