Deadline: 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
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.