11th Annual Conference of the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve

The conference "Palaces and Technical Equipment" will be held online. 

The 11th Annual Conference of the Peterhof State Museum-Reserve will be devoted to the engineering aspect of palaces’ life. Not only were imperial residences treasuries of the art and architecture masterpieces, but, as a rule, their owners were the first to use different engineering novelties (such as lifts, electric light, telegraph etc.) on an everyday basis. Back then, the new technologies were supposed to both modernize the everyday life of monarchs and represent their power and superiority. Eventually, some of these inventions became popular among the richest people and afterwards became widespread; others, like the unique Peterhof fountain system, remained unrivalled examples of engineering thought.

We would like to discuss the subject within the framework of STS-studies (Science, Technology and Society), a modern trend in social sciences, which deals with the close connection between technical progress and sociocultural processes. We hope such approach will allow us to go beyond linear history and study the genesis, perception and symbolic value of the new technologies in multidimensional perspective.

We offer to discuss the following issues:

  • symbolic value of the new technologies at the palaces;
  • social reception of the new technologies in 18th – early 20th centuries;
  • the system of technology exchange in European culture 18th – early 20th centuries;
  • inventors and scientists at governor’s court;
  • museumification of the engineering constructions of parks and palaces

Scholars from the fields of history, art history, museum studies, and culture studies are welcome to apply. Deadline for submission is 1 February 2020. Please, send your proposals to Proposal should contain an abstract (250 words max), your name, affiliation, position, phone number and email.

No registration fee is required.

Working language is Russian (in case of timely submission of the paper English-Russian translation is possible).

For any further questions regarding the conference please contact Pavel Petrov and Maria Yushmanova:

What's on