Symposium CFP: "Information Technologies and Transfer in Russia, 1450-1850" - Sept 5-6 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Katherine Bowers
contact email: 

Call for papers

"Information Technologies and Transfer in Russia, 1450-1850"
A symposium to be held at Darwin College, Cambridge – Sept 5-6, 2014
Co-organised by Professor Simon Franklin and Dr. Katherine Bowers

This symposium seeks to gather researchers working on the social, economic, and cultural implications of changes in information technologies in the early modern period in Russia. Questions about the way information has been encoded, stored, distributed, exchanged and retrieved profoundly impact society at all levels. Information technologies mediate relations between the public and the private, between the powerful and the ruled. They provide ever more efficient instruments for surveillance and social control, yet also empower popular expression and action. A fresh look at information technologies in their historical and cultural contexts prompts new patterns of association, new tools of analysis, and challenges straightforward assumptions about technology-driven change. This symposium seeks to open a discussion, through individual research papers, about the shifting interrelationships and functionalities of specific information technologies in the early modern period.

We want to draw together researchers working on these questions from diverse fields, opening the discussion to different social and cultural spaces: from the society salon to the village church, from the court to the streets, in commerce and in bureaucracy, in litigation and in education, in public and in private. Part of the Cambridge University research project 'Information Technologies in Russia, 1450-1850', this symposium will contribute to our broader understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of information technologies in the transitions from the medieval to the pre-modern, and from pre-modernity to modernity.

This call for papers is also available online:
Further updates will also be posted to the web there.

The working languages of the symposium will be English and Russian, and we welcome paper proposals in either language. Please send abstracts of 300 words for proposed 20 minute research papers to Dr. Katherine Bowers ( by April 1, 2014.