Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
June 9-10, 2017
Abstract deadline: February 3
This two-day conference of the Society for the History of Recent Social Science (HISRESS) will bring together researchers working on the history of post-World War II social science. It will provide a forum for the latest research on the cross-disciplinary history of the post-war social sciences, including but not limited to anthropology, economics, psychology, political science, and sociology as well as related fields like area studies, communication studies, history, international relations, law and linguistics. We are especially eager to receive submissions that treat themes, topics, and events that span the history of individual disciplines.
The conference aims to build upon the recent emergence of work and conversation on cross-disciplinary themes in the postwar history of the social sciences. A number of monographs, edited collections, special journal issues, and gatherings at the École normale supérieure de Cachan, Duke University, Harvard University, the London School of Economics, New York University, the University of Toronto and elsewhere testify to a growing interest in the developments spanning the social sciences in the early, late, and post-Cold War periods. Most history of social science scholarship, however, remains focused on the 19th and early 20th centuries, and attuned to the histories of individual disciplines. Though each of the major social science fields now has a community of disciplinary historians, research explicitly concerned with cross-disciplinary topics remains comparatively rare. The purpose of the conference is to further encourage the limited but fruitful cross-disciplinary conversations of recent years.
Submissions are welcome in areas such as:
- The uptake of social science concepts and figures in wider intellectual and popular discourses
- Comparative institutional histories of departments and programs
- Border disputes and boundary work between disciplines as well as academic cultures
- Themes and concepts developed in the history and sociology of natural and physical science, reconceptualized for the social science context
- Professional and applied training programs and schools, and the quasi-disciplinary fields (like business administration) that typically housed them
- The role of social science in post-colonial state-building governance
- Social science adaptations to the changing media landscape
- The role and prominence of disciplinary memory in a comparative context
The two-day conference of the Society for the History of Recent Social Science, hosted by the Erasmus Institute for Public Knowledge in collaboration with the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication and the Faculty of Social Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam, will be organized as a series of one-hour, single-paper sessions attended by all participants. Ample time will be set aside for intellectual exchange between presenters and attendees, as all participants are expected to read pre-circulated papers in advance.
Proposals should contain no more than 1000 words, indicating the originality of the paper. The deadline for receipt of abstracts is February 3, 2017. Final notification will be given in early March 2017 after proposals have been reviewed. Completed papers will be expected by May 15, 2017.
The organizing committee consists of Jamie Cohen-Cole (George Washington University), Bregje van Eekelen (executive organizer, Erasmus University Rotterdam), Philippe Fontaine (École normale supérieure de Cachan), and Jeff Pooley (Muhlenberg College).
All proposals and requests for information should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Sachs Collopy: contributions / website / email@example.com / My primary research project concerns how people used the medium of videotape to experiment with consciousness in the 1960s and 1970s. One of the main methods for such experimentation was mediated self-observation, the practice of recording and then watching oneself. Such techniques appeared decades earlier in ethnographic film, including in the work of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson in Bali and New Guinea in the 1930s. Mead and Bateson went on to be part of the group that developed the new science of cybernetics, which became the framework in which many of my research subjects in the 1960s and 1970s conceptualized the videotape as a new tool for individuals and communities to engage in feedback loops, observing themselves and learning from the experience. Bateson in particular was actively involved in the communities of experimental videographers that emerged in both psychotherapy and the art world in the 1960s, bringing the methods of his cybernetic anthropology to practitioners of other disciplines.