Call for Panelists

46th Symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology Katowice, Poland, 22-27 July 2019

Session proposal by Stefan Poser and Artemis Yagou: “Challenging Power through Playing with Technology”

Deadline: 31 December 2018

Private and public institutions shape life through the design of various technical products and services for daily use. In many cases, users employ such products and services as recommended by advertisements and manuals provided by manufacturers or as dictated by institutionally-defined regulations. Other users do not follow these conventions and develop their own modes of usage or technical solutions. We aim to explore new historical perspectives on the question of how and why people deal with technology, by examining playful and unconventional uses of technical products and services. Such approaches to technology question the power relations embedded in products and services, but may also be classified as exercises in power. What are the consequences and wider implications?

The session in Katowice will focus on the following themes in the history of technology:

– Playful and challenging approaches to products and services (e.g. Tinkering, Geocaching)

– Creatively overcoming technical limitations or undermining technologies (e.g. Hacking)

– Transgressing boundaries and taking risks (e.g. Train surfing).

Contributions on other playful approaches to technology are also welcome.

Please send your proposal (abstract of 300 words and one-page CV) to Stefan Poser and Artemis Yagou until 31 December 2018. Thank you.

Dr. Stefan Poser, Helmut-Schmidt University, Hamburg,

Dr. Artemis Yagou, Deutsches Museum, Munich,

Session proposal by Magdalena Zdrodowska: “History of Technology and Disability” 

Deadline: 15 December 2018

Dear Colleagues,

I am planning a session on complicated and mutual relations between technology and the disability for 2019 ICOHTEC conference to be held in Katowice, Poland 22-27 July 2019 and seeking panelists. Panel will engage with the conference theme (technology and power) by examining the disability-technology relations in local, state contexts as well as globally, and intersections of disability and poverty, gender or ethnicity – all these aspects influence the accessibility as well as development of instruments, services and “technical literacy”.

Please have a look at the list of potential topics, and consider it more as an inspiration than a closed and ready catalog of problems:

  1. The bio/medical technologies as biopolitical tool
  2. strategies and contexts of resistance against bio/medical technologies
  3. prosthesis as cultural artefact and political statement
  4. dis/emancipatory technologies
  5. global and postcolonial aspects of relations between technology and disability
  6. special – mainstream – and back again: assistive technologies
  7. the cyborgisation of the disabled body
  8. disabled users and DIY practices: reusing, repairing and tinkering as inventing
  9. the disabled inventors

To submit proposal please send it to by 15 December 2018, as the session proposals deadline is 15 January 2019. In your proposal please include a 300-word abstract and a one-page CV.

Symposium proposal by Bart Hacker and Ciro Paoletti: 14th Annual Symposium of the Social History of Military Technology at the46th Symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology, Katowice, Poland, 22–27 July 2019

We seek proposals for papers to be presented in the 14th Annual Symposium of the Social History of Military Technology (14SSHMT), scheduled as part of the program for the 46th Conference of the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC), Katowice, Poland, 22–27 July 2019. ICOHTEC has selected the general theme of Technology and Power.” Among the several subthemes listed, one is particularly relevant to our symposium: State Power and Military Technology, which identifies a number of specific topics (see the ICOHTEC 2019 CfP at: In submitting a proposal for 14SSHMT, you are encouraged, but not required, to address the ICOHTEC theme and subthemes. General information about lodging, transportation, travel grants, and other matters will be posted on the conference website:
The Symposium of the Social History of Military Technology, a regular part of the ICOHTEC annual meeting since 2005, strives to move beyond the narrow material focus that the history of military technology often assumes among fans, antiquarians, and many historians. As commonly practiced, the history of military technology centers on weaponry, warships, fortifications, or other physical manifestations of warfare, stressing their making, workings, or usage. Historians have also tended to assume a strictly utilitarian and rational basis for military technological invention and innovation. However necessary they may be, such approaches largely ignore some very important questions. What are the contexts of social values, attitudes, and interests, non-military as well as military, that shape and support (or oppose) these technologies? How do the social order and military technology reciprocally interact? Or, more generally: How do social and cultural environments within the military itself or in the larger society affect military technological change? And the indispensable corollary: How does changing military technology affect other aspects of society and culture? In brief, this symposium will address military technology as both agent and object of social change, taking a very broad view that encompasses not only the production, distribution, use, and replacement of weapons and weapon systems, but also communications, logistics, medicine, and other technologies of military relevance, as well as sciences of military interest.
We seek papers about: (1) representations of weapons as well as weapons themselves, about ideas as well as hardware, about organization as well as materiel; (2) ways in which social class, race, gender, culture, economics, politics, or other extra-military factors have influenced and been influenced by the invention, r&d, diffusion, or use of weapons or other military technologies; (3) the roles that military technologies play in shaping and reshaping the relationships of soldiers to other soldiers; soldiers to military, political, and social institutions; and military institutions to other social institutions, most notably political and economic; and/or (4) historiographical or museological topics that discuss how military technology has been analyzed, interpreted, and understood in other fields, other cultures, and other times. Pre-modern and non-Western topics are particularly welcome.
All proposals must be submitted in English. Although papers may be presented in English, French, German, Spanish, or Russian, ICOHTEC does not provide simultaneous translation. Proposals must include a short descriptive title of the paper, an abstract (maximum 300 words), and a short CV (maximum 1 page).
(1) Abstracts are strictly limited to no more than 300 words. They should include a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions. Please do not include notes or bibliography.
(2) Your CV must be no longer than 1 page, It should include your educational and professional employment histories, notice of significant publications and/or presentations. You may include other relevant information in the CV, as long as you do not exceed the 1-page limit. Be sure to include your name and email address, and to specify your present institutional affiliation (or independent status).
Do not submit your paper proposal to ICOHTEC. Bart Hacker and Ciro Paoletti are organizing the symposium. Send your proposal to Bart Hacker at: <>, no later than 10 January 2019, but earlier is better. Bart and Ciro will assemble and submit the complete symposium. Please feel free to distribute this CFP to anyone you believe may be interested and qualified.