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 -------------------------------------------- Symposium THE PROCESS OF TECHNOLOGICAL 'AMERICANIZATION' IN LATIN AMERICA IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES Contact information of organizers: Guillermo Guajardo Departamento de Estudios Internacionales, Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM) Rio Hondo No. 1, San Angel, 01000 Mexico D.F. MEXICO. (52) 5628-4092-Fax 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] --------------------------------------------------- Description 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 economies. 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.