After corresponding by email for several years, Silvia Berger-Ziauddin, Peter Bennesved, and Sarah Robey met in 2015 at the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) in Albuquerque, USA. Together, we led a roundtable session titled, Civil Defense and the Nuclear World: An International Perspective on the Future of Shelter Studies. The session generated a great deal of excitement among the audience, and we realized that there were many aspects of the topic of which we had only scratched the surface. At that time, we began to think of ourselves as a working group, and started making plans for future meetings.
The Transnational Civil Defense Working Group serves as a platform for collaboration, networking, and exploration. As our first dedicated meeting, Global/Transnational Perspectives on Civil Defense from the Cold War Era to the Present Day in Zurich this March, will lay the groundwork for the Working Group’s next steps. We hope to establish interdisciplinary networks for future publications, conferences, and other projects.
We look forward to expanding the Working Group to include an even broader range of scholars and professionals in emergency management fields. Please feel free to contact any of the organizers if you would like to join us in our future endeavors.
Finally, the Working Group founders would like to thank the following organizations, which, in one way or another, have facilitated our activities: the Swiss National Science Foundation; the “Knowledge and the Cold War” network at the Center History of Knowledge at the University of Zurich and the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich; the Department of History at the University of Zurich; and the Society for the History of Technology.