Call for Papers ICOHTEC SYMPOSIUM 2014

Call for Papers


Technology in Times of Transition

The International Committee for the History of Technology’s

41th Symposium in Braşov, Romania, 29 July – 2 August 2014

Deadline for proposals is 3 February 2014

The 41st ICOHTEC Symposium will be held in Romania at the turn of July and August next year. The main theme of the meeting will be Technology in Times of Transition. The aim is to examine major breaks and turning points in technological development with the following conversion periods in a multidisciplinary framework.

The general theme is tailored for the site, while the intention is to examine flexibility of technology to adjust to major societal transitions in the past and present. Times of transition refer to rapid and even revolutionary phases of history when major societal structures changed and nations had to bend to new conditions. Industrial revolutions of the 18th and 19th century, restructuring the econ-omies during and after World War I, depression of the 1930s, post-war period of reshuffle and economic growth and collapse of the Soviet regime in the 1990s are examples of times of transition. In addition, the idea of the symposium is to promote dialogues between East and West as well as North and South and – if possible – also to compare experiences of various countries in the similar circumstances.

Brașov, where the medieval heritage is uniquely combined with rich industrial history, is going to be an excellent site for examining imprint of technological change on culture and civilization. Evidently Brașov is one of the cities where the transition has been felt and lived through several times in the past. Especially transition first to a massive industrialization regime during the planned economy and then to a drastic regime of de-industrialization after 1989 affected strongly to Brașov.

ICOHTEC welcomes individual paper and poster proposals as well as the submissions of entire sessions to this symposium. The tendency is to favour compact and coherent session proposals where presentations communicate with each others.

The symposium programme will include scientific and plenary sessions, poster presentations, business meetings and the general assembly of ICOHTEC as well as social events such as excursions, receptions and a banquet, and possibly pre- and postconference trips. The premises of the Transil-vania University of Brașov will serve as venues for this meeting.

The programme committee suggests the following subthemes for the consideration of session organizers and contributors.


1. Technological basis for the breakthrough of industrialisation

2. Technology for warfare and post-World War I industrialisation

3. Technology during the interwar economic recession and other depressions

4. Post-World War II restructuring of production and markets

5. Technology during the Cold War

6. Post-1989 deindustrialisation and reindustrialisation of Eastern Europe

7. Restructuring in memories: experiences on technological transitions

8. Technology policy in retrospect

9. New insights into the industrial and cultural heritage

10. Skilful hands: Handicrafts under the pressure of mass production

11. Extensions of the human hand and brain: Advanced technologies

12. Technological utopias and symbols of technological progress

13. Technology in constructing gender in the market and former socialist economies

14. Artistic presentation of technology and technological perspectives of visual culture

15. Technology, design and new materials: How they have shaped society

16. Special topics

The committee will also consider submissions not directly related to the symposium theme as long as they can be regarded to be related to the history of technology broadly defined. They can be included in "Special topics" sessions.


The symposium covers all periods and all areas of the globe. In keeping with a cherished tradition of the field, the meeting is open to scholars from all disciplines and backgrounds. We plead for sub-missions of new, original and unpublished work that offers fresh perspectives for the history of technology as well as exploring sources and methods. The programme committee especially en-courages graduate students to participate in the symposium and submit their proposals (limited travel grants will be available; see further information at: Because we aim at quick and equal processing of submissions, paper or poster proposals must be submitted in English. Nevertheless, besides English also French, German, Russian and Spanish are acceptable for paper and poster presentations at the symposium but the organizers will not provide simultaneous translation during the symposium.

We urge contributors to consider organizing a full session of three or four papers per time slot. Individual paper submissions will also be considered equally.

INDIVIDUAL PAPER proposals must include: (1) a 200-350-word abstract; and (2) a one-page CV. Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions. If you are submitting a paper proposal dealing with a particular subtheme, please indicate this in your proposal.

In preparing your paper, remember that presentations are not full-length articles. Depending on the number of papers in the session, you will have no more than 16-20 minutes to speak, which is roughly equivalent to six to eight double-spaced typed pages. For more suggestions about preparing your conference presentation, please consult the guidelines at the conference website.

Contributors are encouraged to submit full-length versions of their papers after the symposium for consideration by ICOHTEC’s journal ICON.

SESSION proposals must include (1) an abstract of the session (200-350 words at maximum), listing the proposed papers and a session chairperson; (2) abstracts for each paper (200-350 words); (3) a one-page CV for each contributor and chairperson. Sessions should consist of at least one set of presentations – but no more than four time slots of 90 minutes – and they may include three or four papers in each, which might extend series of successive sections over more than one day. Proposing a commentator – instead of the fourth presenter – is also possible. The programme committee reserves the right to relocate papers to different themes and add papers to sessions. We also encourage proposing roundtables and other "untraditional" as well as experimental session formats. Whatever the session format will be, organisers and chairs are expected to reserve enough time for general discussion between the presenters and audience.

POSTER proposals must include (1) a 200-350-word abstract; and (2) a one-page CV. Abstracts should include the author’s name and email address, a short descriptive title, a concise statement of the thesis, a brief discussion of the sources, and a summary of the major conclusions. Please, indicate one of the specified subthemes for your poster.


The final deadline for all submissions is Monday 3 February 2014.

Please, sign up to our online submission system, fill in a form and send your proposal through it. All proposals are to be submitted via our online system. The link to the system is available at our website:

If you have any questions related to the scientific programme, paper, poster or session proposals, please, do not hesitate to contact Slawomir Lotysz, the chair of the programme committee, via email


Maria Elvira Callapez, Portugal

Alexandre Herlea, France

Slawomir Lotysz (chair), Poland

Timo Myllyntaus, Finland

Christopher Neumaier, Germany