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More This book views technology in Africa from an African perspective. Authors Affiliations are at time of print publication. Print Save Cite Email Share.
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Show Summary Details. Subscriber Login Email Address. LT: I think that in the field of the history of technology, it emerged really as a field that focused on technological developments in the West from the industrial revolution through the 20th century. That is increasingly being diversified by historians who are looking at women in technology and how technologies have a lot to do with our gendered identities. The way that razors can be gendered female by making them pink. How does that make it different from another razor?
So, those [are the] kinds of questions that make us laugh, but end up being really important.
But, for a long time, this narrative also assumed that technology, modernization, and progress was a story of the West. What does it mean, but thinking about technology not only as a Western story, but thinking about it from other regional perspectives? A: And so, this involves talking about pots and things like that as forms of technology?
LT: Right. So at this particular place—at this development project.
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It was a place in which there were not just these big, mechanized machines that arrived, but metal pots started arriving in markets sooner than in other places. The first ones were made out of iron. They were brought by the French, and [the French] were hoping to introduce them to sell them to African consumers in this place that they saw as being particularly modern. It was part of their development project. And a lot of times, these blacksmiths produced items for women [and] for the domestic household.
They started creating metal pots that were very light, easy to use. These new metal pots cooked a lot faster. So it ended up saving them [labor and time]. There has been technology to create metal pots and all kinds of other things in West Africa for a very long time. And many women had a great need for these metal pots. But it did more than just ease their labor burdens.
They cooked a bit faster and they looked different when they were cooking. LT: Well, not necessarily that their role was changing.
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