Wednesday, October 19, 2016

CFP: “Beyond Data” Workshop at GHI-DC

A workshop titled "Beyond Data: Knowledge Production in Bureaucracies across Science, Commerce, and the State" will be held on June 1-3, 2017, at the German Historical Institute (Washington, D.C.) in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin. The organizers of the meeting are Sebastian Felten, Philipp Lehmann, and Christine von Oertzen of the Max Planck Institute and Simone Lässig of the German Historical Institute. This workshop aims to bring together scholars from different fields to explore how practices of making and using knowledge emerged and evolved within and across science, commerce and state administration. The organizers state in the call for papers:
How do bureaucracies produce knowledge from the data they gather? This question has been raised not only in the history of science and technology, but also in colonial and postcolonial studies, business and administration history, media and organization studies. In recent years, practices of collecting and transforming data have become popular objects of study in these disciplines, yielding a rich literature on how knowledge was produced and applied in state administrations, academic institutes, businesses, religious institutions, and other public and private organizations. Practices of systematic knowledge production and utilization were thus not confined to one particular domain but rather emerged in science, commerce and state administration alike. Therefore, much can be learned by comparing and contrasting fact‑keeping in these different domains.
Submissions of work in progress are particularly encouraged. The workshop will be conducted in English. The organizers will cover travel and accommodation expenses for invited participants. Please send a short abstract of a proposed contribution (no more than 400 words) and a brief academic CV with institutional affiliation as one PDF file to The deadline for proposals is November 1, 2016.
     Questions should be directed to Christine von Oertzen ( For a more complete description of the workshop's goals, please see the full call for papers.