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Special Interest Groups

 

Since SHOT's inception in 1958, members have formed special interest groups (SIGs) for the purpose of bringing together scholars and professionals with interests in specific fields of the history of technology. Brief descriptions and contact information for active SIGs follows.

The Albatrosses

As the name suggests, The Albatrosses share a common interest in the technology of flight. They were formed by merger of informal interest groups in aeronautical history and space history, and accepted as a SHOT interest group in 1985. The Albatrosses sponsor meetings and sessions at the annual SHOT meeting. Membership is open to all SHOT members with similar interests. There are no dues. A newsletter is published quarterly. For information, email Angelina Callahan 

 

Computers, Information & Society

The Special Interest Group on Computers, Information, and Society (SIGCIS) welcomes all with scholarly interests in the historical dimensions of information technology. Membership exceeds two hundred people worldwide and is open to all without charge, including those who are not members of SHOT. The group has an email list for announcements, discussion and collaboration among those working in this field. Its Web site, hosts a partial directory of members and their research interests, as well as an extensive resource guide for the field. In recent years, activities and events have included the organization of many conference sessions for meetings of SHOT, 4S, The Business History Conference and other academic conferences. The group hosts informal dinner meetings at these conferences and an official annual lunch session each year at SHOT's annual meeting. The lunch has been attended by approximately fifty people at recent meetings. It includes an auction of donated books and opportunities for fundraising, announcements, and the introduction of new members.From 2009 onward we hope to organize one day or half day workshops in conjunction with the annual meeting of SHOT.

You may join the group online, after which you will be able to create and update your own directory entry and send email directly to the list of members. For information on the group email Thomas Haigh (chair) or Joline Zepchevski (secretary).

 

Exploring Diversity in Technology's History

The SHOT Special Interest Group EDITH supports scholars and scholarship currently underrepresented in the history of technology and SHOT. The dual aims of the organization are to apply the insights of the expanding fields of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and disability – and growing attention to intersectionality of such categories — to the scholarship of the history of technology, and to provide an intellectual home within SHOT to a broad range of scholars. EDITH holds lunch meetings, conversations, and workshops at the SHOT annual meetings and sponsors SHOT panel sessions on a wide variety of topics related to history of technology and diversity, both broadly defined.  EDITH also runs an email listserv to foster the sharing of ideas and offers a Conference Award program to help defray travel costs for those who are giving a paper at the annual meeting. All members of SHOT and other interested people are welcome to become members of EDITH and join its activities. To find out more about EDITH, please email Ruth Schwartz Cowan and Amy Bix.  To join the EDITH listserv, please contact Deborah Douglas.

Beginning with the 2015 annual meeting, EDITH is offering a Conference Award to help defray travel costs for those who are giving a paper at the annual meeting. For more information, please click here.

 

Envirotech

Envirotech focuses on the interrelationship of technology and nature. Since the early 1990s, "nature and technology" have received greater attention in conference presentations, journals, and monographs by historians of technology and environmental historians. After talking with various colleagues at SHOT, ICOHTEC, and ASEH (American Society for Environmental History) conferences, Jim Williams (De Anza College, emeritus) and Sara Pritchard (Montana State University) agreed to organize a SIG for scholars and students interested in research on "nature and technology."

Envirotech focuses on the interrelationship of technology and nature. Since the early 1990s, "nature and technology" have received greater attention in conference presentations, journals, and monographs by historians of technology and environmental historians. After talking with various colleagues at SHOT, ICOHTEC, and ASEH (American Society for Environmental History) conferences, Jim Williams (De Anza College, emeritus) and Sara Pritchard (Montana State University) agreed to organize a SIG for scholars and students interested in research on "nature and technology." Please see our Envirotech Web site for more information and back issues of the Envirotech newsletter.

 

The Jovians

Established in 1972, The Jovians share a common interest in the history of electrical technology. Membership is open to all SHOT members with similar interests. The Jovians sponsor a breakfast or luncheon meeting at the SHOT annual meeting, sponsor sessions at the annual meeting, and publish an occasional newsletter. There are no dues. For more information, email Jonathan Coopersmith, the current chair.

 

The Lynn White, Jr., Society

The Lynn White, Jr., Society was organized in 1992 to bring together SHOT members whose interests and research focus on the history of technology in the chronological period before the Industrial Revolution. The name honors the memory of prominent SHOT member, early president of the Society, and preeminent historian of technology and the Middle Ages. Those with interests in technology in the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Early Modern period are invited to contact convener Kelly DeVries, Department of History, Loyola College, 4501 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21210-2699.

 

The Mercurians

The Mercurians began meeting in 1986 for the purpose of generating networks between people who share work and interests in the history of communication technologies, defining the field broadly. We meet annually at SHOT's conferences, organize paper sessions for SHOT meetings, and pursue contacts between meetings. All interested persons are welcome at Mercurians' meetings. Antenna, the group's semi-annual newsletter serves both as a clearing house for readers and an informal forum for their ideas. We welcome contributions, including notices and queries about Mercurians' projects as well as short essays on their work. Antenna also includes book reviews and other materials about conferences, museums, publications, archives, funding, and other pertinent materials. Annual subscriptions to Antenna are $5.00 for delivery in the United States and $7.50 for delivery elsewhere. Individual issues are $3.00 each. Members pay an annual fee of $5.00 per year to support a prize, awarded for the best article by a junior scholar, and a research grant, to defray the costs of travel to archives by junior scholars. Please make your check out to SHOT, specifying Mercurians on the memo line. For additional information, or to join, email Andrew J. Butrica or contact him at Apt. 913-South, 5225 Pooks Hill Road, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. You may also visit the Mercurians' Web site.

 

The Military Technology Interest Group

Since its founding in 1985, SMiTInG (as it usually designated) has met annually with SHOT. As its only group activity, the SMiTInG annual meeting is devoted chiefly to sharing current research interests and discussing potential SMiTInG-sponsored sessions. Membership is freely available (no dues) to anyone who asks and currently totals about 160, not all of them from SHOT. A diverse membership shares wide-ranging topical interests relating to military institutions (broadly conceived), including organizations and policies, as well as hardware. Beyond the annual meeting, the main contact between members is the SMiTInG Newsletter, first issued in January 1986. It appears once or twice a year, and is mailed to all SMiTInG members at no charge (Newsletter distribution, which has been temporarily suspended, will soon resume). For further information, email Bart Hacker (chairperson) or contact him at NMAH-4013, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560-0620, tel. 202-633-3904202-633-3904.

 

The Pelicans

The Pelicans were formed in 1979 as an interest group for chemical technology and took its name from a distinctively-shaped piece of laboratory glassware. Its major purpose is to disseminate information about current projects, resources, and sources. This is accomplished through informal meetings at the annual SHOT conference and an occasional newsletter. The Pelicans also sponsor sessions at the SHOT conference. For information, contact chairperson John K. Smith, Department of History, Lehigh University, Maginnes Hall, Bethlehem, PA 18015, tel. 215/758-3365215/758-3365.

 

The Prometheans

The first meeting of The Prometheans in 2005 was heralded by the announcement that "the engineering community and its cousin the engineering-education community remain important parts of SHOT's environment and valued segments of its membership." An engineering-education working group formed by members of this SIG is currently engaged in a number of different activities to help promote a better understanding of engineering education among SHOT members, develop new humanistic curricula for engineers (by, e.g., the exchange of course syllabi), and connect with organizations such as the Liberal Education Division of the American Society of Engineering Education, in pursuit of a coordinated approach to improvements in engineering education. For questions about the Prometheans, email co-chairs Jack Brown, or Ross Bassett. For further information, go to the Prometheans' Web site.

 

SHOT Asia Network:

The Asia Network is an online/offline network of SHOT member scholars sharing either Asian nationality, ethnicity, or research interests. Anyone may join the Network by visiting their newsgroup. For additional information see the SHOT Asia Network Facebook page or email any of the group's moderators:
Tae-Ho Kim
Ashok Maharaj
Honghong Tinn

 

Technology Museums Special Interest Group:

TEMSIG, formed 1984 and re-launched in 2004, provides a forum for those interested in the material legacy and public presentation of the history of technology. There are no annual dues for TEMSIG, but a membership list is maintained for purposes of communication. For information, please email Allison Marsh, or contact her at the Public History Program, Museum Studies Track, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC  29208.

 

Women in Technological History

(WITH) is a Special Interest Group within SHOT whose membership includes both men and women interested in gender issues. WITH has a two-fold purpose: to serve as a support group to encourage and energize women working within the profession and as an activist group that seeks to foster and promote gender analysis within the history of technology. As founding member and former SHOT President Daryl Hafter has written, WITH's goal is to nurture "the subject and the people." Membership in WITH is open to all members of SHOT. To find out more about WITH, please email Arwen Mohun or Corinna Schlombs.

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