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2010 - International Communication Association Words: 191 words || 
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1. Simpson, Tim. "Mumford’s Megamachine and the Post-Industrial City of Consumption" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore, <Not Available>. 2019-08-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p412668_index.html>
Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: Lewis Mumford coined the term “megamachine” to characterize large scale organizational efforts – building the pyramids, fighting the world wars, maintaining the military industrial complex – that use humans as component parts. The modern industrial city could be understood as a component of this megamachine, a series of integrated factories, regulated by the state, that mobilized human biopower for the mass production of tangible products. However, today marks the emergence of a new type of urban megamachine: the “mega-tourist” city. Las Vegas, Dubai, and Macau are each exemplary of this post-industrial city form. These new spaces of exception are designed for a global audience of visitors and compete for consumer attention by marketing a set of intangible and ephemeral experiences produced by a new type of immaterial labor and offered in thematic and often incongruous architectural settings. While these new structures are engineered for an economy of fascination, experience, and affect, this should not obscure the fact that they do produce a tangible product – consuming subjects – which then reproduce the urban form. This paper will describe the ecology of the new mega-tourist city.

2013 - 4S Annual Meeting Words: 243 words || 
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2. Gano, Gretchen. "How Crowds Make Technology: Revisiting Lewis Mumford's Megamachine" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 4S Annual Meeting, Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, California, Oct 09, 2013 <Not Available>. 2019-08-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p668013_index.html>
Publication Type: Paper Abstract
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Science and technology studies (STS) scholars claim that we live with the technological systems today that we, through a series of individual and collective choices, have wrought. However, save for recent public kerfuffles over GMO foods and BSE in Europe, most of us don’t take part in political activities that address the accretion of technologies in our lives, much less technology’s internal logic that has us all updating software, waiting for traffic lights, and going about our business as drone planes take aim in Afghanistan. In this light, the assertion that collective intentionality governs technology is troubling. This paper explores a foundational metaphor of how crowds in society make technology: Lewis Mumford’s concept of the megamachine, or dynamic, regimented human capacities driving sociotechnological achievement. I ask whether constructivist approaches in STS square with Mumford’s metaphor. I examine the megamachine’s component parts in relation to two pivotal works that characterize the impact of collective capacities on society and in turn, socio-technical arrangements: Bruno Latour’s Pasteurization of France and Elias Canetti’s Crowds and Power. I provide a structured commentary on sociotechnical models (collective capacities and actants) and processes for transformation (innovation and abduction) in Mumford, Latour, and Canetti, accounting for power dynamics, the material, and the drive for endless and accelerated progress that connects these two. The resulting model of a “soft” megamachine suggests an alternative approach to the design and practice of technology assessment and a lens through which to view contemporary network society.

2017 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
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3. Ritz, Bridget. "Power in Marx and Mumford’s Critical Social Theories" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Palais des Congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada, Aug 12, 2017 Online <PDF>. 2019-08-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1244400_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Lewis Mumford’s critique of power in modern technological society heeds Marx’s famous call for “a ruthless criticism of everything existing,” one that “must not be afraid of its own conclusions, nor of conflict with the powers that be” (Marx, 1843:13, emphasis in original). In this paper, I trace the differences surrounding Mumford and Marx’s common definition of the problem in society as power, and characterization of that problem as irrational, and argue that their different solutions to the problem of power stem from their different theories of self and society. Both Mumford and Marx call for a reasonable solution to irrational power, but whereas Marx argues that the solution is another power-based conflict, the communist revolution, Mumford argues that a reasonable solution requires nurturing the imaginative and sentimental human capacities, and respecting natural and traditional limits, which in his view are what can keep power in check. I conclude with the argument that next to Marx’s solution of fighting power with power, Mumford’s critical theory appears more reasonable by allowing for a solution to power that is not identical with the problem itself.

2010 - International Communication Association Words: 86 words || 
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4. Haratonik, Peter. "Lewis Mumford’s Ecology of Cites and the “Destiny of Megalopolis”" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Suntec City, Singapore, <Not Available>. 2019-08-20 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p404688_index.html>
Publication Type: Session Paper
Abstract: In a writing career that spanned more than six decades, American architectural critic and urban historian Lewis Mumford was an outspoken critic of misguided attempts at urban renewal and improvement. At the same time, he provided, though rigorous historical analysis, a model for how urban activists could indeed find the means to confront the “standardized chaos’’ and ‘gigantism’ that plague the contemporary megalopolis. This paper summarizes Mumford’s ecological approach to urban re-devolvement and offers ways for the communication and media scholars to engage in this effort.

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