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Mikael Hård

Mikael Hård is Professor of History at Darmstadt University of Technology. His books include The Intellectual Appropriation of Technology: Discourses on Modernity, 1900-1939 (coedited with Andrew Jamison; MIT Press, 1998).

Titles by This Editor

Inside Modern European Cities

Urban Machinery investigates the technological dimension of modern European cities, vividly describing the most dramatic changes in the urban environment over the last century and a half. Written by leading scholars from the history of technology, urban history, and the sociology of science and technology, the book views the European city as a complex construct entangled with technology. The chapters examine the increasing similarity of modern cities and their technical infrastructures (including communication, energy, industrial, and transportation systems) and the resulting tension between homogenization and cultural differentiation. The contributors emphasize the concept of circulation—the process by which architectural ideas, urban planning principles, engineering concepts, and societal models spread across Europe as well as from the United States to Europe. They also examine the parallel process of appropriation—how these systems and practices have been adapted to prevailing institutional structures and cultural preferences. Urban Machinery, with contributions by scholars from eight countries and more than thirty illustrations (many of them rare photographs never published before), includes studies from northern and southern and from eastern and western Europe, and also discusses how European cities were viewed from the periphery (modernizing Turkey) and from the United States.

Contributors
Hans Buiter, Paolo Capuzzo, Noyan Dinçkal, Cornelis Disco, Pál Germuska, Mikael Hård, Martina Heßler, Dagmara Jajeniak-Quast, Andrew Jamison, Per Lundin, Thomas J. Misa, Dieter Schott, and Marcus Stippak

Discourses on Modernity, 1900-1939

Starting around 1900, technology became a lively subject for debate among intellectuals, writers, and other opinion leaders. The expansion of the machine into ever more areas of social and economic life had led to a need to interpret its meanings in a more comprehensive way than in the past. World War I and its aftermath shifted the terms of this ongoing debate by underlining both the potential dangers of technology and its centrality to modern life.

This book examines the broad range of social and intellectual responses to technology in the first four decades of this century, and suggests that these responses set the terms that continue to govern contemporary debates. Focusing on the broader contexts within which intellectual positions are formed, the book highlights the ways in which attitudes toward technology were shaped in a wide variety of national and organizational settings. A common theme is that, in debating technology, people drew on their distinctive national symbols and cultural traditions. By emphasizing the interplay between debates on technology and the making of modernity, the book challenges standard historical accounts of the early twentieth century.

Contributors:
Ketil G. Andersen, Aant Elzinga, Tor Halvorsen, Mikael Hård, Kjetil Jakobsen, Andrew Jamison, Catharina Landström, Conny Mithander, Sissel Myklebust, Dick van Lente, Peter Wagner.