SFB 1187 ›Medien der Kooperation‹ an der Universität Siegen
Workshop “Rethinking and Rebuilding: Grand Narratives in the History of Computing”
Monday, 04. - Tuesday, 05 July 2022

This event is prompted by the publication of A New History of Modern Computing by Thomas Haigh and Paul Ceruzzi (MIT Press, 2021), a book that was planned and largely written under the auspices of Siegen University. As the most ambitious scholarly overview history of computing published this century, this book updates the grand narrative of computing history by drawing on new generations of scholarship. Topics such as digital media devices, videogames, home computing, computer networking, smartphones, cloud computing, and the evolution of the IBM PC standard are integrated into the overall story for the first time.

Yet our purpose here is less to celebrate the new book as to ask what it, and its silences, tell us about the potential to tell other stories on a similar scale about computers and their history. The workshop gathers scholars from fields such as media studies, the history of science and mathematics, and the history of AI to ask what a grand narrative of the history of computing might look like if told from other perspectives. What do Haigh and Ceruzzi get right, and what opportunities did they neglect? What topics and chapters would appear if the story was told in a different way? What would be the protagonists and the plots?

The most current program can be found over here


Thomas Haigh (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee & Siegen University)
Sebastian Giessmann (Siegen University)


Room 217/18 of Herrengarten 3, 57072 Siegen and online


Sebastian Giessmann

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