in Saint-Étienne ICOHTEC Symposium will take place on
Conceptual history, branding and technology as part of the public sphere
by Robert Bud
Abstract: This paper reflects on the consequences for our discipline of taking seriously a large audience of citizens experienced in interpreting and worrying about rich technological brands, as an audience for our research and writing. Such an historiography requires us to focus on the fluid cultural categories of the public sphere as legacies of the past, to bear in mind the lessons of conceptual history and to follow its emphasis on the cumulation of meanings. To illustrate the implications, the presentation reflects on the meaning of the concept of “technology” itself in England. Such meanings of course need not be merely practical. They can serve too as measures of time. And indeed technology, more than any other outcome of human culture, has been used to calibrate the metronome of progress. Drawing on the presentation of technology in museums early in the twentieth century the paper reflects on how research on the history of technology can better inform talk about technology.
Bio of 2018 Kranzberg Lecturer
Page updated: 16 January 2018