Karen Johnson Freeze Fellowships 2011 awarded

17 oktober 2011

Dora Vargha and Anna Kotomina, two early career scholars in the history of technology, received the Karen Johnson Freeze Fellowships of 2011.

Dora Vargha (Hungary) studies the transfer of Polio technologies in communist Hungary in the Fifties and early Sixties. She plans to use the Freeze Fellowship grant (Euro 2,000) to complete the remaining research for her dissertation Iron curtain, Iron Lungs: Governing Polio in Cold War Hungary 1952-1963. To fully explore the significance of iron lungs in the history of polio, and the way these devices shaped policies, medical hierarchies, and patient experiences, she will conduct additional interviews with iron lung patients and polio victims in Hungary. Furthermore, she will be collecting material in media archives in Budapest in order to round out the picture of the Cold War rhetoric applied in the public representation of cutting edge medical technology.

Anna Kotomina (Russia) received the grant to support her research project Pre-cinematic projection technology and the public sphere in Russian Imperia in 1863-1915. The topic of projection lanterns as a pre-cinematic technology is highly relevant. While many history of technology projects focus on the twentieth century, this particular late-nineteenth history of Czarist Russia promises to link the neglected nineteenth century history to the current history of the multimedia society. Kotomina, who works in Moscow at the State University for Human Sciences and at the Central State Museum of the Cinema, will use the fellowship for archival research in the Russian State Archives in St. Petersburg and Moscow.

The Karen Johnson Freeze Fellowship Fund is a joint initiative of the Dutch Foundation for the History of Technology (SHT) and the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) to encourage research of early career scholars in the history of technology in Central, Southeastern, and Eastern Europe. The Fund was established in memory of Karen Johnson Freeze (1945-2009). Through her efforts, the history of technology has begun to develop as a scholarly field in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Selection Committee, chaired by Professor Ruth Oldenziel (Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands), selected the two scholars out of 21 applicants, whose work was also of exceptional quality. Members of the Selection Committee are Professor Luda Klusakova (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), Dr. Dobrinka Parusheva (Institute of Balkan Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria), Professor Steve Usselman (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA),  and Dr. Jan Korsten (Foundation for the History of Technology, the Netherlands)

Next year’s Karen Johnson Freeze Fellows will be announced at the Annual Meeting of SHOT in Copenhagen (October 4-7, 2012), during a special event organized by the Tensions of Europe research network. The new Call for Applications will be distributed in spring 2012.

For more information, please contact the Foundation for the History of Technology (sht@tue.nl) or click here.