The Department of History Welcomes Edward Jones-Imhotep

I am very pleased to announce that the Provost has recently approved formally the transfer of Professor Edward Jones-Imhotep, currently Associate Professor in the Dept. of Natural Science in the Faculty of Science, to LA&PS History.

Prof. Jones-Imhotep’s research focuses on the intertwined histories of technology, trust, and social order in modern Europe and North America. After gaining a York History B.A. in 1995, he moved to Harvard, where he completed his Ph.D. in the History of Science in 2001. After a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at York, in 2002 he was appointed Assistant Professor of History and History & Philosophy of Science at Guelph before returning to York as Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Science in 2005. Promoted to Associate Professor and tenured in 2009, he has held prestigious fellowships at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris, in 2010-11 and at the Northrop Frye Centre at the University of Toronto (this year).

Edward is particularly interested in the history of technological failure as a way of exploring the place of machines and machine behaviours in the fabric of modern societies. His first book — The Unreliable Nation: Hostile Nature and Technological Failure in the Cold War (MIT Press, 2017) — focuses on how failing machines have helped define hostile natures and national identity during the Cold War. His current book project — Reliable Humans, Trustworthy Machines — examines how observers from the late-18th to the mid-20th centuries saw machine failures as a problem of the self: a problem of the kinds of people that failing machines created, threatened, or presupposed.  He is also keen on developing digital and artifact-based methods and computational tools for historical research. With Christina Adcock, he is the co-editor of Science, Technology, and the Modern in Canada (UBC Press, forthcoming), which explores the social, economic, cultural, and environmental history of Canadian science and technology from the late 19th to the late 20th centuries.Already a member of the Graduate Programme in History, he will take up his appointment in LAPS History as of July 1, 2017. In 2017-18 he will teach a new 1000-level General Education course on Disasters and History: How Humans and Nature Make Disasters (AP/HIST 1777 6.0) and he has just proposed, with Margaret Schotte, a new course on the History of Technology.  We’ll look forward to welcoming him to the Department as of July 1, 2017.

For more information about him, refer to his website:, which has a lot more details about his projects, courses and lectures.