"Making Maintainers: A Place for History in an Age of Innovation-Speak and Endless Tech Hype"
Friday, March 24, 2017 - 3:35pm
275 Nicholson Hall
Refreshments at 3:25pm
Lee Vinsel
Science and Technology Studies
Stevens Institute of Technology

Our culture is obsessed with innovation, which is thought to be the goal of business, policy-making, philanthropy, education, even play. Yet, the vast majority of human activity aims not at creating or adopting innovative things but in maintaining old ones. This talk first traces the rise of innovation-speak in the USA before turning to an alternative view of human life with technology that focuses on maintenance, repair, and mundane labor, a long tradition of thought that includes historians like Ruth Schwartz Cowan and David Edgerton.