Call for Papers: First Princeton Young Scholars’ Interdisciplinary
Conference on Soviet Science and Technology: The Great Experiment
Revisited: Soviet Science and Techno-Utopianism
Deadline for Submission: November 20, 2011
The organizing committee invites graduate students and young scholars to
submit proposals for the First Princeton Young Scholars’ Interdisciplinary
Conference on Soviet Science and Technology to take place at Princeton
University in Princeton, New Jersey, on February 10-11, 2012.
Soviet claims of an alternate anti-capitalist modernity were based on a
socialist understanding of and command over nature. By the 1950s,
scientists and engineers composed the largest portion of the Soviet elite.
From works of science fiction like Bogdanov’s Red Star to the Soviet
atomic bomb, from importing Ford tractors to cloning IBM computers, the
Soviet Union placed science and technology at the forefront of its vision
of human progress. Home to many infamous ecological disasters, the Soviet
Union was a place where the deeds, words and images of technological
utopianism had transformative power over nature and society.
The conference will unite and coordinate scholarship by young scholars on
the historical personalities, texts, images, representations, and
institutions that were involved in the successes and failures of the
Soviet Union as a modern scientific and technological superpower. In
particular we aim to explore the links between cultural form and utopian
ideals and the planning and realization of technological megaprojects by
the Soviet state. Such questions must be answered through an
interdisciplinary approach that combines scholars of Slavic literature,
socialist art, architecture, and the history of science and technology.
Graduate students and young scholars who are interested in participating
in the conference should submit a one-page paper proposal and one-page
curriculum vita (in Word or PDF format) to Robert MacGregor
(firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ksenia Tatarchenko (email@example.com).
Proposals must be received no later than November 20, 2011 in order to be
considered. Limited travel funding is available. Please indicate if you
wish to be considered for subsidized travel. Notification of acceptance
will be made in December. For additional information about the conference,
please contact the conference organizers at the addresses above.
The conference will feature a keynote by Loren Graham (Professor Emeritus,
MIT), a roundtable discussion of Princeton and outside faculty, and a
series of panels of graduate student papers with commentary. The format
will be commentary and discussion on pre-circulated papers of 10-15 pages
posted online in advance. All participants will be invited to a dinner on
Friday, February 10 and accommodation with Princeton graduate students
will be available.