Histoire publique

Histories of Technology’s Persistence: Repair, Reuse, and Disposal

7 Décembre 2018 to 8 Décembre 2018

Histories of Technology’s Persistence: Repair, Reuse, and Disposal

Car Mechanics in a Mercedes Garage, 1965. KFZ 7, 5 (1964), cover page.

International workshop at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History.

Repair, reuse and removal are closely interlinked phenomena related to the lives and persistence of technologies, and they go beyond the question of innovation. When technical artefacts become old and outworn, decisions have to be taken as to whether it is necessary, worthwhile or possible to maintain and repair them, to reuse or dismantle them for different purposes, or to get rid of them. And these decisions depend among other factors on the availability of second-hand markets, repair infrastructures and dismantling or disposal facilities. The contributions to this workshop stress the long lives of old technologies whose form and duration has been shaped by repair, reuse and disposal practices. The workshop aims at showing that maintenance and repair have not become obsolete in modern industries and consumer societies.

Organised by Stefan Krebs (University of Luxembourg) and Heike Weber (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology).

The workshop will be based on pre-circulated papers. Guests are welcome but registration is required. Please contact Stefan Krebs (stefan.krebs@uni.lu)

 

Programme

Friday, 7 December 2018

 09.00
 
Welcome by the organisers     
             

Reflections on the Historiography of Repair

10.30     

 

From the Ethnography to the History of Repair: Notes from the Field
Jérôme Baudry

11.15
        
Coffee break
 

Maintaining Infrastructures & Infrastructures of Repair

11.45      


 
Cycles of Destruction and Creation: Maintaining and Dismantling China’s Wartime Power Grid, 1937-1945
Ying Jia Tan
 
12.30


 
The Unintended Role of Maintenance: Keeping Colombian Roads Passable, 1950s-1960s
Angelica Agredo Montealegre
 
13.15
 
Lunch
 
14.30


 
Fixing Holes in the Plan: Maintenance and Repair in Poland, 1945-1970
Philip Scranton
 
15.15


 
Memories In The Grid: Reuse And Adaptation In Britain's National Electricity Grid
Thomas Lean
 
16.00
 
Coffee break
 
16.30


 
Telephone Repair & Maintenance – Business as Usual at Bell Telephone
Jan Hadlaw
 
17.15


 
Making socialism fit. Cultures of rebuilding, renovating and repairing in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 1960-1992
Jonas van der Straeten and Mariya Petrova
 
18.30
 
Dinner in Esch-sur-Alzette
 

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Maintenance and Repair as Technology Transfer

09.00      


 
Repair, Reuse and Removal of Locomotives on Russian Private Railways 1890–1914
Egor Lykov
 
09.45


 
Technology Transfer Through Obsolete Artefacts and Out-of-date Designs
Slawomir Lotysz
 
10.30
 
Coffee break
 

Waste and Reuse

11.00      


 
India’s Shipbreaking Business, Emerging Economies, and the “Right to Pollute”?
Ayushi Dhawan
 
11.45


 
Consumer Durables, Bulk Waste, and the ‘Planned Obsolescence’ Debate in West Germany (1960s-80s)
Heike Weber
 
12.15
 
Lunch
 

Automobile Maintenance & Repair

13.30


 
German Automobilists as Repair Experts: Community, Identity and Appropriation of Technology
Stefan Krebs
 
14.15      

 
Maintaining Innovators: How 1970s Engineers Struggled to Build a Reliable Electric Vehicle
Karsten Marhold
 
15.00
 
Coffee break
 
15.30

 
“Proof of Life”: Restoration, Preservation, and Old-Car Patina, 1930–2010
David Lucsko
 
16.15


 
Closing comment
Patrick Fridenson

 
 
 

Venue

University of Luxembourg / C²DH
Maison des Sciences humaines
DH-Lab, 1st floor
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette

 

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