A Joint Conference between the International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) and The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH). The International
Association of the Labour Museums (WORKLAB) is a minor partner in the conference.
Deadline for Proposals is 16 November 2009.
Conference language: English
As a joint conference, the primary theme ‘Reusing the Industrial Past’ is intended to be a broad idea covering various approaches. Clearly,the industrial past is reused whenever old industrial installations are renovated or adapted. There have been many attempts to preserve the most significant aspects of old industrial areas after productive activity has ceased, by giving them a new viable function. However, the idea of reusing the industrial past need not stop there.
Old industrial and handicraft technology can also be reintroduced and reused in manufacturing various products or in explaining how they work to the public in exhibitions. Various kinds of ‘retroproducts’ are now in vogue, while people are looking for alternative technological solutions for plastics, electronics, concrete, artificial chemicals and fertilisers. Knowledge of old technologies is in demand. What
technologies do historians suggest could be reused?
Manufacturing still has a strong impact on culture, working habits and ethics. The industrial past and obsolete technologies are also present in the way people think and use their language. For instance, "put the small pulley on" continues to be used as a metaphor in British English for speeding up. Similar examples can be found in other languages as
well. For social historians, it would be interesting to discover practices and ethics of factory work that continue to be used in offices and shops today. The culture of work seems to change more slowly than work itself and technology in use.
The conference programme will include scientific and plenary sessions,poster presentations, business meetings and general assemblies of the
organising societies, excursions, social events such as receptions and the banquet, and pre- and post-conference trips. The premises of the University of Tampere and the historical industrial buildings on the in the City Centrum will serve as conference venues.
In order to make the conference theme as strong as possible, the programme committees have decided that all papers must fit within one of the following sub-themes (which must be indicated on the proposal).
The bullet points under the subthemes are simply examples of topics that fit into the each subtheme. Papers need not deal specifically with a particular bullet point:
1. Nuts and Bolts Keep on Rolling
- Deindustrialisation and restructuring: Threat or opportunity?
- Stubborn technologies: Resistance to change
- Technological outcasts: Products and solutions rejected by consumers
- Technological comeback: Retroproducts and retrodesign
- Reinventing the industrial past: Innovations that never existed
- Legitimising competitiveness: Political and economic actions to support technological image and performance
- Processes in change: Technology of textile manufacturing and papermaking
2. Artefacts and Experiences in Transition: Challenges for Industrial Heritage
- Canonisation of the symbols of industrial revolutions
- Living and dead industrial landscapes
- Regeneration through heritage
- Reuse of industrial environments
- Societal aims for the conservation of industrial heritage
- Adapting technology and reforming industrial heritage
- Contested pasts - the heritage of science, technology and industry in geo-political conflict
3. Social History of Industry
- Reinterpretations of the First Industrial Revolution
- Social history of factory work
- Identities of blue-collar workers and white-collar workers in industry
- People and machines in industrial history
- Masculine machines and female labour: Gender in industry
- Local experiences: changes in work, vanishing employment, emerging opportunities
- Twins astray? Labour history and industrial history
- Serfs of looms and slaves of mobile phones
4. Cultural History of Technology
- Emotions and machines: Adored and hated technologies
- Technological optimism and pessimism
- Company cultures: Breaks and continuity
- Ethics of factory work
- Workers’ culture: Legitimising hard work
- Long shadow of history: Influence of the industrial past in our present way of life
- Fossilisation of factory rhetoric in language
- Exploiting images of the industrial past
5. Environmental History of Industrialisation and Deindustrialisation
- Harnessing nature: Environmental exploitation
- Interdependence of energy and mechanisation in the smoke-stack industries
- Smoke-stack industry as an environmental burden
- Environmental heritage of the First Industrial Revolution
- Environmental consequences of deindustrialisation
6. Museums and Industrial Memories
- Collection policies for the industrial era
- New perspectives for exhibiting industrial heritage
- Challenges for museums in the postindustrial society
- Museum architecture in old factories
We urge contributors to consider organizing a full session of three or more papers. Individual paper submissions will, of course, be considered.
Note: Membership of ICOHTEC, TICCIH, or WORKLAB is not required to participate in the conference.
For more suggestions about preparing your conference
presentation, please consult the guidelines at the conference web site: