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HPOL Colloquium: Do Artifacts Still Have Politics? History and the History of Technology

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

3:30 PM-5:00 PM

Ken Alder, PhD, professor of history, Milton H. Wilson Professor in the Humanities, founder of the Science and Human Culture Program, Northwestern University


Thirty years ago, Langdon Winner posed the question: Do artifacts have politics?  This paper reexamines the ensuing debate in the light of more recent approaches to the history of technology, including: performance studies, object oriented ontology, thing theory, "it" narratives, etc.  Using historical examples from his own and others' research, Alder asks: Do artifacts still have politics?  His answer - not to be coy about this - is yes.  The question remains: What difference does it make if they do?

Contact Information

Melissa Mansfield, Department Administrator