Studying Science and Technology in Latin America: Beyond Imported Magic

August 24-25, 2012
Indiana University, Bloomington

Adaptation and local innovation

This session explores an assumption common to models of technology transfer and technological diffusion, namely that technological artifacts come from the north, travel to the south, are received unchanged, and make a social impact. In places where popular wisdom frames technology as "imported magic", it may be easier to adopt a diffusion model than to examine how technologies are transformed in the process of creation-adoption that may lead to a stabilized form. The papers in this session grapple with the local, national, and transnational movement of technologies. Collectively these papers go beyond models of invention, transfer and reception and instead draw attention to ongoing processes of adaptation, local innovation, and reinvention.

Breakout session leaders: Dominique Vinck and Ivan da Costa Marques


Michael Lemon (USA) and Eden Medina (USA) "A Review of History of Technology Scholarship in English Language Journals"

Jonathan Hagood (USA), "Bottling Atomic Energy: Technology, Politics, and the State in Peronist Argentina, 1948-1952"

Hugo Palmarola (Mexico) and Pedro Alonso (UK/Chile) "Tropical Assemblage: The Soviet Large Panel in Cuba"

Anita Chan (USA) "Hacking Digital Universalism: Empirical Engineering and Reconfiguring Design at the Periphery"

Morgan Ames (USA), "A Charismatic Boundary Object in Action: OLPC's XO Laptop and Paraguay's Technosocial Assemblage"

Ivan da Costa Marques (Brazil), "Ontological Politics and Latin American Local Knowledges"

Workshop participants can access papers using their login and password on the Papers link. Revised papers must be submitted to the workshop organizers prior to August 1, 2012.