Schot convenes workshop to reflect on Making Europe
With the publication of the sixth Making Europe volume in May, the book series has come to completion. Seizing the occasion, Johan Schot gathered many of the authors at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Amsterdam. Together with Phil Scranton, Schot is the series editor and co-authored the volume Writing the Rules for Europe in collaboration with Wolfram Kaiser. During a two-day workshop themed “Reviewing the Impact of the Making Europe Book Series”, the authors and a number of designated reviewers were invited to critically reflect on the insights provided by the books and to celebrate the project’s conclusion.
Initiated by Johan Schot, Making Europe turned into a unique collaborative and interdisciplinary project that bridges the fields of history, social sciences, and science and technology. Over the course of 9 years, the book series has been produced by 13 authors, in cooperation with Tensions of Europe (ToE), an international network of more than 250 scholars.
For many of the authors, returning to NIAS came with a sentiment of nostalgia. In 2011, NIAS, still located in Wassenaar at the time, was the place where they had spent one dedicated year researching, debating and writing Making Europe. Johan Schot states, ‘working together this closely with a group of colleagues was very special. It allowed us to dive into a constant process of interaction and idea development and made the process very fluid. I’m really proud of what we, in a team effort, have achieved. Making Europe demonstrates the power of collaborative, interdisciplinary work.’
The book series displays a new European history by looking at the making of Europe through the lens of technology. Highlighting the interplay between scientific, technological, social and political developments, the 6 richly illustrated volumes tell the stories of the people, experts, users, politicians, and businessmen, who shaped European society. They identify how institutions, consumption experiences, international relations, infrastructures and communication mechanisms evolved and how Europeans globalized. The stories position the European Union in a broader historical perspective and show that Europe should not be conflated with the European Union.
The book series presents the past 150 years of European advances and disasters, divisions and re-unions in an accessible manner to a broad audience, ranging from historians to social scientists, engineers, students, and policymakers. Schot explains, ‘the workshop made us reconnect with our work at an opportune time. The future of the European Union is at stake at the moment, its discussed, and the book series is really relevant in this context.’
For its significant collective contribution to the study of innovation and its impact on society, the Making Europe book series has been awarded the prestigious Freeman Award by the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) in 2014.
Making Europe is a project funded by the Foundation for the History of Technology at the Eindhoven University of Technology. On 24-27 October, the Society for the History of Technology holds its annual meeting in Milan. This occasion marks the starting point for a year-long Making Europe campaign, including events across Europe and the release of a podcast and blog series coordinated from the Centre for Global Challenges, University of Utrecht. For more information, follow Making Europe on Twitter and keep an eye on the activity calendar soon to be published on www.makingeurope.eu.