Professor Kara W. Swanson Awarded SHOT’s Martha Trescott Prize


11.04.22 — Professor Kara W. Swanson, a renowned expert on intellectual property and the history of science, has been named the winner of the 2022 Martha Trescott Prize by the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) in recognition of her article “Inventing the Woman Voter: Suffrage, Ability, and Patents,” published in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (JGAPE).

“I am thrilled that this article, a contribution to a special issue of JGAPE on ‘The Nineteenth Amendment at 100,’ has been recognized as a significant contribution to the history of women and technology,” said Swanson. “The history it explores, how white woman suffragists used patents as political tools as they fought for the vote, is drawn from my book-in-progress, Inventing Citizens. The book examines the ways in which Americans have considered eligibility for full legal personhood through debates about who possessed inventiveness, from conversations at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to present-day patent office initiatives.”

The annual Martha Trescott Prize recognizes the best published essay in one of two areas. In even-numbered years, the prize is awarded to an outstanding published historical essay in the area of women in technology. In odd-numbered years, the prize is awarded to an outstanding published essay in the area of social responsibility of engineers in history.

Swanson will be presented with her award at the SHOT annual meeting in New Orleans on Saturday, November 12.

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