CFP for SHOT Open Session - Singapore, June 2016

Open Session: “Histories, Poverties, Technologies”

The Special Interest Group on Exploring Diversity in Technology's History (EDITH) proposes an Open Session panel exploring the relationships between technology and poverty for the upcoming Society for the History of Technology Annual Meeting in Singapore (22-26 June 2016).

Narratives in the history of technology are often built on armatures of progress and situated among historical actors who, if they happen not to eat well and sleep comfortably, are likely engaged in heroic tales of exploration and innovation. In such narratives innovative technologies, invariably modern, new, sophisticated, or scientific, enable heroism and progress. Technology is a terrain of many meanings implicated in the multitude of human experiences not only through its innovation but also through use, consumption, production, and as a producer.  Yet when technology enters these fields of exploration, the consuming and producing historical actors tend to earn and spend "enough” - the poor and socio-economically deprived remain understudied in relation to technology and in our histories of things. This is even though poverty is as salient a feature of the world today as in the past, and the poor inhabit these technological worlds too. Through this open session call we seek to capture and understand these experiences and the multitudes of connections between technologies and poverties. We seek to include analysis of scarcities and deprivations in histories of making and doing, adding new rubrics from class stratification to hunger, inaccessible infrastructures to techniques of survival, work regimes to family strategies, nodes of consumption to networks of production.

Topics to be addressed might include:
·         technological responses to scarcity, whether as large plans for amelioration or small strategies for survival
·         scarcities and marginalization as unintended outcomes of technological change or as deliberate technologies of control
·         responses to, and relationships with things, amongst the poor and on the margins of society
·         economies of production and systemic inequalities
·         the role of things in the geographies and environments of class, poverty, and power
·         ideologies and ideas of poverty, progress, and technology

To propose a paper for this panel, please send an abstract and CV (according to SHOT’s submission requirements) to the session organizers. Themes will be refined based on submissions received by Dec 8, 2015. For more information on the upcoming SHOT meeting see:

Session organizers:
Waqar Zaidi <> Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)
Nina Lerman <> Whitman College