Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2000 15:19:54 -0400
From: "John K. Brown" <[log in to unmask]>
XXI INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF HISTORY OF SCIENCE
International Union of History and Philosophy of Science
(Mexico City, 8-14 July, 2001)
General Theme: Science and Cultural Diversity
THE PROCESS OF TECHNOLOGICAL 'AMERICANIZATION' IN LATIN AMERICA IN THE
19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES
Contact information of organizers:
Departamento de Estudios Internacionales, Instituto
Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM)
Rio Hondo No. 1, San Angel, 01000
Mexico D.F. MEXICO.
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
John K. Brown.
Division of Technology, Culture and Communication.
Thornton Hall A-216
School of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
(804) 924-4306 - Fax
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
This symposium will focus on the processes of technological
'Americanization' that occurred in Latin America during the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries. By Americanization, we mean the adoption of
technological styles, productive processes, industrial goods, technical
standards, and overarching models of industrialization coming from the
United States. Such transfers confronted the opposition of local
techniques in the region. As important, the process of technological
Americanization collided in Latin America with technologies and practices
imported from Great Britain. The dynamic mixture of these three
influences gave a unique character to the technological style of the Latin
American region. Comparisons of British and American technology are
crucial to this analysis as both nations played key roles in efforts to
transfer models of innovation and Western industrial production to other
The following topics will be key focal points of the symposium: national
influences on the mechanical engineering profession, uniquely American
methods to organize enterprises and production methods, the symbols and
ideologies of technological progress, and the competition with British
firms and technology in fields such as mining, railroads, cars, industry,
oil, weapons, and technical education. A key element of this inquiry is to
understand why the innovations developed in or by the United States did
shape Latin American industry, yet ultimately failed to produce sustained
economic development in the region.
Five topics will receive detailed consideration:
1. The flows of engineers and machinery into Latin American, spreading
models of production and consumption from the United States.
2. The introduction of technical standards and engineering designs.
3. The American processes of production, and methods of organizing
American business enterprises.
4. The most important technological drivers of innovation and
productivity, such as railroads, cars, the internal combustion engine,
electricity, the processes of mining, oil and steel production, as well as
the capital goods sector.
5. The American symbols and ideology of technological progress that gave
shape to the material development of Latin America without leading it to
successful economic development.