Skip Navigation

Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science

Société canadienne d'histoire et de philosophie des sciences


Redistribution and Reparation in the History of Science: an Open Listening Session

Note: This session in the upcoming History of Science Society annual meeting is open - you are welcome to register and attend even if you're not registered for the meeting or even a member of HSS.

Thursday, November 18, 12-1:15pm Central Time

Register here:

Submit a short pre-session survey here:

Where’s the money (and value and recognition)?

We invite you to join an open listening session on redistributing scholarly resources to support early-career and underrepresented scholars and scholarship. We invite scholars who hold forms of academic capital, and early career and underrepresented scholars to talk about how historians of science, and the History of Society Society (HSS), allocate value and resources. Where is value situated at different stages of the career, and where should it shift? What are scholars’ needs at different stages, places and positions? How can we think about redistribution and reparation in the history of science?

We invite discussion about where resources and value are located, and how they might be reallocated. This session follows on the HSS Futures and related panels at last year’s virtual HSS. Specifically, conveners include two journal editors, two HSS standing committees and two Co-Chairs of an HSS special interest group. Collectively we have small amounts of money, some gatekeeping functions, some control over symbolic value and recognition, and our own labor time for mentoring and support. We are seeking feedback from early career and underrepresented scholars, as to how those resources can be re-deployed. More broadly, we welcome a conversation about how resources in the field and the Society might be redirected to support early career and underrepresented scholars and scholarship.

Co-sponsored by the Forum for the History of Human Sciences, Isis, Journal for the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Graduate and Early Career Caucus and the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.

This meeting is open to all, regardless of Society membership or conference registration status.


Calls for Papers



“Sustainability and the Arts in a Technological Society: Revisiting Jacques Ellul”

July 8-9, 2022
Montreal, Canada
Conference Website

Best known as the author of The Technological Society (1954, English trans. 1964), Jacques Ellul (1912-94) wrote over sixty books and hundreds of articles, among them a sustained reflection on the arts, The Empire of Non-Sense: Art in the Technological Society (1980, English trans. 2014). Throughout his oeuvre, Ellul advances a radical notion of freedom and an ethics of non-power, making space for revolutionary projects and a refusal of the dominant order. For Ellul, the greatest threat to freedom is the increasing demand for efficiency, productivity, rationalization, standardization, and automation in industrialized cultures—a sociological reality he calls ‘Technique’. Witness to rapid technological intensification in the twentieth century and the atrocities of two world wars, Ellul offers not so much solutions as diagnoses of the accumulating environmental, economic, and humanitarian disasters that have resulted from an exaltation of the values of Technique. This conference addresses the question of sustainability in relation to artistic practices and industries, using Ellul’s critiques as a starting point.

In The Empire of Non-Sense, Ellul turns his attention to the entanglement of Technique and modern art. He analyses a range of artistic movements, including Pop Art, Art Brut, abstract expressionism, and Happenings, taking up critiques offered by Bernard Charbonneau, Theodor Adorno, Pierre Daix, Guy Debord, and Abraham Moles, among others. Ellul claims that the most dramatic transformation has been the incapacity for modern artworks to symbolize beyond themselves, beyond the values of Technique. In a technological society, writes Ellul, symbols become clichés or mere images, signaling a loss of place and meaning; they become technical phenomena or embodied theory. Ultimately, Ellul worries that the arts are incapable of confronting the hegemony of Technique; that, for the most part, they tend to reproduce dominant ideologies rather than create spaces for opposition.

Ellul was also an ecological thinker, and together with Charbonneau they advanced ideas that continue to inform discourses in modern environmental and décroissance movements. For most of his life, Ellul remained in his native Bordeaux where he was as committed to grassroots activism as he was to his scholarly career, taking part in organized actions against environmental destruction in the Aquitaine region. After serving on the municipal council in Bordeaux and seeing firsthand the limitations of State politics (which, to Ellul, are incapable of escaping the logic of Technique), Ellul’s commitment to direct political action through small, autonomous groups deepened.

We invite papers and presentations from scholars, artists, activists, curators, and critics, that consider the intersection of sustainability and the arts through an engagement with Ellul’s work. Ellul’s perspective on the arts has rarely been considered, therefore this conference is an opportunity to bring forward these critiques in relation to his theories on the increasing demand for productivity, efficiency, rationalization, and standardization in nearly all aspects of everyday life. What is the role of the arts in a technological society? What strategies do artistic practices offer in refusing the dominant order and logic of Technique? What aspects of the arts and culture industries are sustainable or unsustainable if we are to take seriously measures to prevent climate change and environmental degradation?

Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:
· the significance of early culture industry critiques from the Bordeaux and the Frankfurt Schools
· Ellul’s concern about the symbol in the arts
· sustainable and unsustainable practices in the arts and culture industries
· Ellul, Debord and the Situationist critique of spectacle
· the role of the arts in imagining sustainable futures
· examination of individual artists in relation to the Ellulian challenge
· transgressive and revolutionary potential of the arts and artistic practice
· queer and feminist artistic practices and contributions
· degrowth in the culture industries and the potential for alternative economies
· collective action through the arts, artist collectives, and anarchist formations
· the revolutionary potential of the historic avant-garde, or lack thereof
· Charbonneau’s notion of false “creative” compensations for the dominance of science and economics
· media ecology perspectives on the arts and environment
· critical perspectives on Ellul’s work related to the arts and ecology, including but not limited to the The Empire of Non-Sense (1980) and Humiliation of the Word (1981).
· Ellul’s poetry

Call for Papers Montreal Ellul Conference 2022

We invite prospective participants to submit a proposed title, 250-word abstract, 100-word bio, and any technical equipment or support requirements in a single Word or PDF document to Papers may be given in English or French. Proposals for full panels (comprising 3-4 papers) are also welcome and should include a 300-word rationale for the panel in addition to abstracts for each individual paper.

We particularly invite submissions from artists and members of marginalized communities. These can have more of a presentation style rather than being a formal paper.

Submission deadline: Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Acceptance notices will be sent in early January 2022

International Jacques Ellul Society website:; abstracts may also be submitted via the conference page on the website: click to it from the brief conference description on the main page.

Paper submission deadline for online posting: May 1, 2022
Conference dates: July 8 – 9, 2022
Conference location: McGill University, Montreal, Canada



Maggie Osler Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship has been created in the name of Dr. Margaret “Maggie” J. Osler to honour her work and her 35-year contribution to the Department of History. It is given annually to the highest-achieving student in areas of Maggie's intellectual, teaching and research interests.

After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1963, Maggie went on to study under Richard S. Westfall in the Department and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University, where she obtained her Ph.D. in 1968. In 1975, she found her permanent academic home in Calgary. Among the many subjects that she studied, seventeenth-century French natural philosopher Pierre Gassendi remained at the core of her scholarship. She is remembered by her colleagues and students as an internationally known scholar devoted to excellence in the course of her teaching, actively involved in academic life until her death on September 15, 2010.

Award details:

To contribute to the scholarship, please donate here or contact:

Danielle Christensen
Advisor, Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary
403.220.8291 |

Motion re: Federal Scientists

MOVED: The Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science endorses the principle of the federal scientists' freedom to communicate, and reaffirms the centrality of the ability of scientists to communicate for the advancement of science

Link to the petition:

Motion re: Nova Scotia Bill 100

MOVED: In light of recent legislation in Nova Scotia, Bill 100, the Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act, given Royal Assent on May 11, 2015,
CSHPS deeply regrets the passage of this Act, because it:

• Threatens academic freedom and the integrity of academic institutions
• Fails to reflect adequately the contribution of universities to the economy and liberal society of Nova Scotia
• Does not properly recognize university governance structures and oversight mechanisms
• Fails to take into account the systemic underinvestment in PSE that has led to these issues
We therefore urge all governments to reject and repeal such legislation or draft regulations that remedy these concerns.

Link to NS Bill 100:

Manchester Manifesto

On the occasion of the largest global meeting of historians of science, technology, and medicine we, the officers and members of the Division of the History of Science and Technology of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology affirm the following:

(1) Science, technology, and medicine have been abiding features of humanity for millennia and are integral parts of society and culture throughout the globe.

(2) Scientific, technical, and medical literacy is a public good.

(3) We support the study of nature and strive to render it comprehensible to the scientific community and to the wider public through conscientious scholarship and public outreach activities in the human family’s many languages.

(4) Historical scholarship on science, technology, and medicine should seek a full and nuanced accounting of the growth, progress, problems, and prospects of these essential human activities. This supports awareness that science, technology and medicine, when rightly prosecuted, are a public good.

(5) Historians of science, technology, and medicine can build bridges between different cultures through collaboration and examination of different perspectives, heritages, and styles of thinking.

(6) An understanding of the history of science, technology, and medicine enhances the teaching of general history as well as the teaching of the methods and context of science, technology, and medicine.

(7) The artifacts of science, technology, and medicine constitute an essential material heritage of humankind. These materials must be preserved, interpreted, and further developed by professionals with a deep knowledge of their cultural significance.

Therefore, in the interests of global betterment and putting knowledge to work, the united participants of the 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology, and Medicine held at Manchester, UK, in July 2013 declare:

1. The history of science, technology, and medicine should be supported and financed regularly and continuously by state and private institutions to ensure that younger generations are familiar with their scientific, technological, and medical heritage as interpreted by appropriately-trained historians.

2. The history of science, technology, and medicine merits prominent integration into the curricula of high schools, colleges, and universities. Local and national practices should guide this integration.


Please submit news items by email to the webmaster.



More announcements, conferences, calls for papers, and job postings   >>>

Join or Renew Membership Online