2023 Computer History Museum Prize

Nominations are now open for the 2023 Computer History Museum Prize. The deadline is April 30, 2023.

See full instructions here: https://www.sigcis.org/chmprize.

2022 Computer History Museum Prize



Jacob Gaboury, Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics (MIT Press, 2021)


2022 Mahoney Prize



Theodora Vardouli and David Theodore, “Walking Instead of Working: Space Allocation, Automatic Architecture, and the Abstraction of Hospital Labor,” in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 6-17, 1 April-June 2021. Prize


SIGCIS events at SHOT in New Orleans

There's some terrific computer & information history events scheduled for the SHOT annual meeting in New Orleans, coming soon on November 10-13, 2022. Here's an overview of the meeting; there's three elements in particular that you should check out: 



New Orleans, LA, US | November 13, 2022

The Special Interest Group in Computing, Information, and Society [SIGCIS] welcomes submissions to their annual conference

Read the details here: meetings.sigcis.org

Proposal Due Date: June 1, 2022

2021 Computer History Museum Prize


Morgan G. Ames, The Charisma Machine: The Life, Death, and Legacy of One Laptop per Child (MIT Press, 2019).

Prize Citation:

Morgan G. Ames’s The Charisma Machine impressed the judges for both the clarity of its writing and its superlative scholarly achievement. Ames thoughtfully engages with the history of the One-Laptop-Per-Child dream, from Seymour Papert’s vision in the 1960s, through Nicholas Negroponte’s embrace of the project in the 2000s, and Walter Bender’s efforts to take the computer into the world. What may look like a traditional history of ideas about the spread of computers is in fact much deeper and broader: Morgan Ames subtly creates more space to look at the project and its actors from a critical distance and explore the hidden assumptions and the technocolonialism underlying their technocratic dreams. Rather than mechanically using the toolbox of STS to deconstruct the technocratic dreams, the author reaches beyond. The book is informed by an impressive mastery of ethnography and cultural studies, as well as science and technology studies. And the author takes the reader to places where historians seldom go. Historians of technology know that users matter, but Ames makes the OLPC users a central part of her narrative and visits different continents to better convey the users’ context and experience. In doing so, she blazes new paths for contemporary history.

2020 Computer History Museum Prize


Gerardo Con Diaz, Software Rights: How Patent Law Transformed Software Development in America (New Haven: Yale University Press 2019).

Prize Citation:

Gerardo Con Diaz's Software Rights is the definitive account of the history of software patents in the United States. Meticulously researched and engagingly written, the book is notable for its original analysis and empirical novelty. Most contemporary discussions of software patenting treat software as something purely “virtual,” but this book brings the physicality of software to the foreground and shows how that physicality has at times been instrumental to software patents. It also highlights the interpretive flexibility of software (as text, algorithm, and machine) and the ways in which these ambiguities facilitated competing arguments for and against patenting. And it tracks the changing criteria for patenting and the conflicts within the complex legal framework for intellectual property protection. Particularly refreshing was its presentation of the shifting positions of various stakeholders and the genuine disagreements within those groups. The history of software patenting is tremendously complicated, and the judges were impressed with how carefully, clearly, and insightfully Software Rights explains this history. As one judge put it, “If I were to recommend a single book on the history of software patents, this would be it.” Chapeau for this achievement!

2021 Mahoney Prize


Colette Perold, “IBM’s World Citizens: Valentim Bouças and the Politics of IT Expansion in Authoritarian Brazil,” IEEE Annals of the History of Computing 42, no. 3 (July-September 2020): 38-52.

Prize Citation:

Colette Perold is Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Her article follows a notable figure in Brazilian history, Valentim Bouças, IBM’s first representative in Brazil, his relationship with the company from the 1910s to the 1940s, and the role IBM’s computers played in Brazil’s changing political climate in the early-twentieth century. This notably well-written and argued article pushes computer history not only into Latin America studies but into its relationship with U.S. foreign policy, and the history of globalization and colonialism. Bridging the history of technology with political and economic history, Perold demonstrates that “Brazil is a particularly fruitful site for understanding IBM’s global expansion,” but also that “As historians of computing continue to uncover these narratives outside the global North, we will find that investigating… political and economic contours… will generate new insights into the ways multinational computing companies first installed themselves in the global South, and into the factors that override democratic social relations, both between countries, and within.”

Register Now! SIGCIS 2021: Online Edition

Registration is now open for the SIGCIS 2021 conference, to be held online on September 23, 24, and 25, 2021. We have an excellent program (available from http://meetings.sigcis.org/conference-schedule.html), featuring a keynote panel on Friday, September 24, with Rayvon Fouché, Jason Edward Lewis, Lisa Nakamura, and Lucy Suchman.

Details and registration instructions are available from http://meetings.sigcis.org/.

SIGCIS 2021: Online Edition

SIGCIS 2021 is an open call for any and all work related to the history of computing and information systems, broadly imagined. The SIGCIS community is especially welcoming of new directions in research and creative production, and encompasses academic professionals, museum and archive professionals, IT practitioners, artists and creative technologists, and independent researchers across the disciplinary spectrum. We maintain an inclusive atmosphere for scholarly inquiry, promoting diversity in STEM and supporting disciplinary interventions from beyond traditional history of technology. We especially encourage submissions from those who have not previously attended but wish to learn more about our community.
Abstracts due June 1, 2021.
More information: http://meetings.sigcis.org/call-for-papers.html


Subscribe to SIGCIS RSS