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.”

About the Mahoney Prize:

The Mahoney Prize recognizes an outstanding article in the history of computing and information technology, broadly conceived. The Mahoney Prize commemorates the late Princeton scholar Michael S. Mahoney, whose profound contributions to the history of computing came from his many articles and book chapters. The prize consists of a $500 award and a certificate. The Mahoney Prize is awarded by the Special Interest Group in Computers, Information, and Society (SIGCIS) and is presented during the annual meeting of our parent group, the Society for the History of Technology.