Call for papers
ICOHTEC 2014, Brasov, Romania
29 July-2 August 2014.
PANEL TITLE: ‘The Dark Side of Technology’: Technology and Illness since
the Nineteenth Century
ORGANIZER: Dr. Amelia Bonea (Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, University of Oxford)
ABSTRACT: Technology and medicine are intimately connected. Particularly since the nineteenth century, technology has often been hailed as an instrument of progress and modernization and has played a central role in the development of medical theory and practice, making diseases recognizable and curable. Yet, the invention and use of technologies has also been surrounded by scepticism and anxiety, with new technologies often generating new concerns and risks of disease. This panel will focus not on technology as a “cure” of disease, but rather on technology as a (potential) cause of physical and mental illness. We are looking for papers that will investigate health concerns associated with the proliferation and use of various technologies, from medical technology such as vaccines and medical devices to industrial technologies to technologies of transport and communication. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: epidemics and travel, medical X-rays and cancer risk, technology and mental health, occupational health problems, musculoskeletal disorders and technologies of communication. By examining case studies from a variety of geographical and socio-economic settings, the panel hopes to stimulate discussion of broader themes such as the role of technology in creating medical knowledge, risk management and the ethics of risk, but also to identify common trends and divergences in health concerns associated with technology over the last two centuries.
The symposium covers all areas of the globe, so I would be keento hear from scholars who have engaged with this topic in various geographical settings. If you are interested, please get in touch with
me off list at email@example.com by 20 January 2014 at the latest. The paper abstracts should be about 200-350 words; a one-page CV will also be required for the final submission.
More information about the symposium is available here: