An understanding of the value structures around and cultural context of engineers and engineering in America in the period before professionalization is essential to critical rhetorical and historical treatment of engineering in the late nineteenth century and beyond. Yet, political and critical histories of engineering alike tend to ignore (or superficially treat) the influence of the military origins of engineers and the novel political, social, and environmental context of the engineering concept's development. This dissertation is a cultural study of the engineering concept in America from the Revolution to the beginning of the Civil War. Using rhetorical criticism and historical context drawn from both familiar and alternative settings, it makes critical observations about the displacement of military legitimacy in the changing political environment of the early American period and suggests a value structure for engineering that could be used to produce alternative readings of engineering organizations and events in later periods.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. Major: Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication. Advisor: Bernadette Longo. 1 computer file (PDF); ii, 231 pages.
Kmiec, David M..
Displacement and equilibrium: a cultural history of engineering in America before its "Golden Age".
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.