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"Dangerous Trade: Histories of Industrial Hazard ...", Stony Brook, NY, USA, 13. - 15.12.2007 PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joachim Willms [Managing Director]   
Dangerous Trade: Histories of Industrial Hazard across a Globalizing World

We invite paper proposals for an international conference on the historical relationship between industrial hazards and globalization. The conference will be held December 13-15, 2007, at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y. It will focus especially on two more recent periods of global economic integration, the late nineteenth/early twentieth and the later twentieth centuries. The conference will highlight several themes:
--the making of hazardous industries in particular places. Issues may range from design, engineering, and management of dangerous processes; to worker health and disease; to housing and sanitation; to air and water pollution; to ecological impacts on surrounding lands and livelihoods. The industries involved may be older, as in agriculture or mining or textiles, or newer, as in petrochemical or nuclear plants. For each period, we seek cases studies in both developed and developing worlds.
–knowing and controlling industrial hazards. Issues may include the evolving awareness of danger, risk, or dissemination; changing and conflicting styles of knowledge, whether lay or expert; changing means of detection and diagnosis; the influence of worker or environmental organizations and advocacy; different state and regulatory approaches and their impacts; and debates and struggles over solutions, whether technological, legal or political.
--historical relationships between intra-workplace and wider environmental hazards, and between the professional and legal terrains of “occupational,” “environmental,” and “public” health.
--cross-national passages in the making, recognition and remedy of industrial hazards. These may involve multinational companies, capital, managers, migratory workers, raw materials, experts, technologies, scientific or other cultural practices, government or international agencies, or labor or environmental groups.
–comparative and supra-national approaches to the history of industrial hazard.

Our deliberations will strive for a more synthetic understanding of how the history of industrial hazards has varied across industries, nations, and periods, and of how, when, and why hazardous processes and their associated knowledge and remedy have (or have not) traveled from one nation or territory to another. The conference will have a workshop format, as we plan to move quickly to an edited publication. Accepted participants will be expected to submit a full manuscript version of their paper a month and a half beforehand, as a basis for conference discussions. Funds will likely be available for accepted presenters to cover food, lodging, and travel, national as well as international. We hope to strike an even balance between U.S. and non-U.S. participants.

Paper proposals must include an abstract of at least five hundred words and a curriculum vitae. The deadline for paper proposals is March 31, 2007. They should be sent as email attachments, in Word or Wordperfect files, to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or else as hard copies, to Christopher Sellers, History Department, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794 USA. Please address inquiries to Christopher Sellers, at the above email, or to Joseph Melling at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .
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