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Message posted on 31/03/2021

CfP: Postcolonial Histories of LTS in Africa - SHOT 2021

To whom it interest:

AnnualMeeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT)New Orleans, Louisiana18-21 November, 2021   Session Title: Beyond the Deficiency Narrative: PostcolonialHistories of LTS in                        Sub-Saharan Africa.  Description In the 1960s and 1970s, technology was seen as anavenue, through which Africa could beequal among ‘gods’, a platform to build hubris narrative. The nations were stillnewly independent full of euphoria and vigour to denounce the long colonial underdevelopmentepisode. On one hand, the new independent nations had a missionto disprove the former colonial powers that they were capable of unbridling underdevelopmentby themselves. On the other hand, they had a mission of showing andmobilizing their masses towards a freer and a people-centred development. This two-prongedmission would utilize technology, especially the large technical systems (LTS), asthe means to the end. Urban environments served as platforms of flaunting andexploiting new technologies, especially roads, water, sanitation and power network.Despite the introduction or expansion of such networks, colonial deficiency persistedthrough the post colony. As observed by Akallah and Hård (2020), the perpetuationof the kind of ‘deficiency narratives’ in LTS and Urban Studies derive frominadequate theorisation and biased methodologies. Overlooking the daily use of technologyand various groups’ experience of their material surroundings, established storylines end up as unilateral accounts that fail to provide insight into the complexityof the urban landscape (ibid). In this session, we seek to explore the cross-sectionalstories of the early postcolonial LTS projects in Sub-Saharan Africa from the vantagepoint of history of technology and locate the different trajectories thatinform theprocesses of appropriation. How does space, national developmental philosophiesandpolitical praxis shape adoption and production of technical knowledge? In attemptingto answer such questions, we seek to appreciate the stories themselves and theagency of the local people. We seek to develop new avenues of historiographicalinterpretationson technology from the South. This contributes greatly to the internationalizationof History of Technology.  As such we invite session abstracts of not more than 300 words of thefollowing themes;- Power generation and distribution - Roadand drainage building - Water andsanitation systems -Mobility in urban areas - ColdWar Politics and LTS -Appropriation of technological knowledge  Kindly submit abstracts together with short biosand institutional affiliations to the conveners Dr. J. Akallah based at Maseno University, Kenya and F. Edward based at University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Thedeadline for submission is April 6, 2021. Regards,

Frank Edward, M.A. ORCID ID:

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