imhotep


Edward Jones-Imhotep

Photo of Edward Jones-Imhotep

Department of History

Associate Professor

Office: Vari Hall, 2164
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext: 30430
Email: imhotep@yorku.ca


I study the social and cultural life of machines, focusing on the intertwined histories of nature, technology, and social order in modern Europe and North America. My research is particularly interested in understanding what technological failures reveal about the historical place of machines and machine behaviors in the fabric of modern societies. I also develop digital and artifact-based methods and computational tools for investigating that history. For a complete list of publications, projects, and research interests, visit my website: https://edwardjonesimhotep.com/

More...

Degrees

PhD, Harvard University

Research Interests

History , Social and Cultural History of Science and Technology, Modern Europe and North America, Technology and the Self

Current Research Projects

Reliable Humans, Trustworthy Machines: A History of the Technological Self

    Summary:

    Supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, this project examines how modern observers from the late-18th to the mid-20th centuries saw the failure of machines as a problem of the self — a problem of the kinds of people that failing machines created, threatened, or presupposed.

    Description:

    Supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, this project examines how modern observers from the late-18th to the mid-20th centuries saw the failure of machines as a problem of the self — a problem of the kinds of people that failing machines created, threatened, or presupposed. The project focuses on three prominent case studies: 1) anxieties about the fallibility of the guillotine in Revolutionary France; 2) concerns over the nature of railway accidents in Victorian Britain; and 3) worries about industrial breakdowns in Progressive-Era America. Rather than isolated episodes, the case studies track—through space, time, and specific technologies—a genealogy of our contemporary understandings for how and why machines fail. Together, they pursue three aims: I) to investigate how and why modern observers understood, explained, and represented machine failures; II) to identify sources for a broader history of technological failure; and III) to explore the history of failing machines as a cultural history of the modern self.

    See more
    Role: Principal Investigator

Books

Publication
Year


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/HIST1777 6.0 A Disasters and History LECT
Fall/Winter 2019 GS/HIST5701 6.0 A Modern Cultural History SEMR



I study the social and cultural life of machines, focusing on the intertwined histories of nature, technology, and social order in modern Europe and North America. My research is particularly interested in understanding what technological failures reveal about the historical place of machines and machine behaviors in the fabric of modern societies. I also develop digital and artifact-based methods and computational tools for investigating that history. For a complete list of publications, projects, and research interests, visit my website: https://edwardjonesimhotep.com/

Degrees

PhD, Harvard University

Research Interests

History , Social and Cultural History of Science and Technology, Modern Europe and North America, Technology and the Self

Current Research Projects

Reliable Humans, Trustworthy Machines: A History of the Technological Self

    Summary:

    Supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, this project examines how modern observers from the late-18th to the mid-20th centuries saw the failure of machines as a problem of the self — a problem of the kinds of people that failing machines created, threatened, or presupposed.

    Description:

    Supported by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant, this project examines how modern observers from the late-18th to the mid-20th centuries saw the failure of machines as a problem of the self — a problem of the kinds of people that failing machines created, threatened, or presupposed. The project focuses on three prominent case studies: 1) anxieties about the fallibility of the guillotine in Revolutionary France; 2) concerns over the nature of railway accidents in Victorian Britain; and 3) worries about industrial breakdowns in Progressive-Era America. Rather than isolated episodes, the case studies track—through space, time, and specific technologies—a genealogy of our contemporary understandings for how and why machines fail. Together, they pursue three aims: I) to investigate how and why modern observers understood, explained, and represented machine failures; II) to identify sources for a broader history of technological failure; and III) to explore the history of failing machines as a cultural history of the modern self.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: Principal Investigator

All Publications


Books

Publication
Year


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/HIST1777 6.0 A Disasters and History LECT
Fall/Winter 2019 GS/HIST5701 6.0 A Modern Cultural History SEMR