CFP: " Sessions of the Symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology, ICOHTEC" - Glasgow (UK), 2-7 August, 2011 - Deadline: Jan. 20, 2011

Call for Papers for Sessions of the Symposium of the International Committee for the History of Technology, ICOHTEC (Glasgow, 2-7 August 2010)

ICOHTEC Session "Music, Sound and the History of Technology"

Organiser: Hans-Joachim Braun, Helmut-Schmidt University

During the past decade, sound studies have experienced a remarkable upsurge. Whilst the relationship between technology an d music is still relevant - and we want to do some stocktaking in this field and also talk about future perspectives - other areas have come into scrutiny from sts and sts related researchers: industrial noise and noise abatement and "Music While You Work", sound in the sciences and in medicine, sonification and audification processes, sound in the media (animation etc.). What about the borderline between sound and (electronic) music, sound composition, installations, sound design? Which theoretical concepts are of particular use in coming to grips with these issues? In line with the general theme of the conference, particular emphasis should be put on the consumer, especially the consumer as producer, as in some forms of pop music, but also on problems like You Tube and copyright or music/sound remixing processes at home.

Please contact Hans-Joachim Braun,, and submit a proposal to him until 20 January 2011. This will enable him to submit the concept of the whole session to the ICOHTEC Program Committee by their deadline.

ICOHTEC Session "Playing with Technology"

Organiser: Nikolaus Katzer, German Historical Institute Moscow / Helmut-Schmidt University, Stefan Poser, Helmut-Schmidt University, Hamburg

In the early 19th century a model of the Thames Tunnel was exhibited by a travelling showman as 'new work of scientific art'. In the 1880s a magazine advertised sportive rowing, noting that 'a well-trained crew rowing in harmony is the most beautiful living machine that can be devised'. The American company Gilbert's presented its U-238 Atomic Energy Lab for teenagers at the 1950 New York Toy's fair as 'fun, easy, exciting' and 'thrilling to watch'. These examples illustrate how deeply play, sports and leisure are interwoven with technology.

The aim of this collection of sessions is to analyse mutual influences of play and technology. Technology and play both have crucial functions in human life. They have strongly influenced the development of societies. Following Johan Huizinga, cultural developments are based on play. Although this view may be somewhat exaggerated, it is quite true that since the beginning of industrialization technology-based play has become increasingly important. Thus research in this field may open new perspectives on the questions of how and why people interact with technology.

We are interested in case studies (e.g., of technology-based sports, amusement park technology, technical toys, handicraft works in leisure time, do-it-yourself) as well as in contributions to theory. Are results of the application of classical theories and methodologies in the history of technology easily applied to the issue of 'technology and play' or are special approaches needed here?

Please contact us - Nikolaus Katzer,, and Stefan Poser, - and submit an abstract until 20 January 2011. This will enable us to submit the concept of the whole series of sessions to the ICOHTEC Program Committee by their deadline.