Cfp – Computer Networks Histories : local, national and transnational perspectives

International Conference – Call for papers
14-15 December 2017 – Lugano Switzerland

Aims and scope
Recently several works in the fields of Internet Studies, Science and Technology Studies and Media Studies have stressed the importance of early local, national and transnational computer networks histories for a deeper understanding of technological and social change in contemporary societies.
This 2-days conference has a triple aim.
First, gathering scholars and researchers from a variety of disciplines working on theoretical and empirical analysis of computer networks histories.
Second, providing a wide perspective on these histories, including case studies from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania and including international organizations dealing with the control and management of networks: this interdisciplinary and international debate could be useful to compare worldwide experiences and to provide new frames on this topic.
Third, the conference aims to develop new frameworks and a space of discussion on the historical role of computer networks, representing the starting point of an international community of scholars.

Potential topics may include, but are in no way limited to, the following:
The origins and development of computer networks under a local, national, international or transnational perspective;
Political, economic and cultural representations of computer networks in Western or/and Eastern cultures;
Comparative analysis of early and late networks;
Physical infrastructures and materiality of computer networks;
The political economy of national digital infrastructures;
Histories of the digitalization of analogic networks;
The history of failed and forgotten computer networks projects;
The influence of early computer networks on the development of the Internet and of the World Wide Web;
The cultural and social history of computer networks communities (e.g. communitarian networks, academic networks, professional networks, civic networks).

All the authors are invited to send an abstract of a max 500 words and a short bio by February 28, 2017 to
All invited speakers interested in publish their papers in the journal revue Histoire et Informatique will be asked to send a paper of max 5000 words by October 31 2017.

Conference and venue
The 2-days conference will take place in Lugano, Switzerland, hosted by the Faculty of Communication Sciences of USI – Università della Svizzera italiana ( The organizing committee comes from a collaboration between the Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG) of USI and the Association Histoire & Informatique Suisse of Bern ( grants will be available for participants without access to other financial resources (please attach the motivation and an estimate of the needed budget to your proposal).

Keynote speakers
Prof. Hu Yong (Peking University’s School of Journalism and Communication)Prof. Benjamin Peters (University of Tulsa, Department of Communication and affiliated fellow at the information Society  Project at Yale Law School)unknown

Retrouver l’appel en PDFF cfp_computer-networks-histories

Interopérabilité culturelle

vol34no1-small300Volume 34/1, 2016 de la revue Communication, coordonné par Laurence Favier, Widad Mustafa El Hadi et Dominique Vinck

 » (…) La notion d’interopérabilité culturelle attire l’attention sur l’imbrication des savoirs dans des contextes sociomatériels, notamment le média de langue et le bagage de références historiques et culturelles partagées au sein d’un collectif, savoirs dont une part majeure reste souvent tacite, ce qui va bien au-delà de ce qu’en définit la norme ISO (IEC TR 20007:2014) sur l’interopérabilité culturelle et linguistique portant sur la définition des symboles, des icônes, des caractères et des glyphes. Plus fondamentalement, l’interopérabilité culturelle renvoie aussi au fait que les autres couches d’interopérabilité, y compris le fait de distinguer des couches d’interopérabilité (Zacklad, 2012), charrient une vision des choses — notamment de l’organisation des connaissances (Hudon et El Hadi, 2010) — et des pratiques, un modèle en partie implicite qui ne constitue pas nécessairement une référence partagée. Ce fait conduit à déplacer parfois radicalement la problématique de l’interopérabilité. »

Lire la suite de la présentation du numéro et découvrir son sommaire

voir notamment

Brigitte Juanals et Jean-Luc Minel, La construction d’un espace patrimonial partagé dans le Web de données ouvert [Texte intégral] 

CFP: Special Issue on Technological Expertise and Publics for Communication and The Public (SAGE)

Andrew R. Schrock
Samantha Close

Submission Deadline: November 15, 2016

Communication has a long and rich history of debating the relationship between publics and expertise. James Carey (1989) famously critiqued Walter Lippmann (1922) for an elitist reliance on expertise in the formation of public opinion. Carey preferred Dewey’s (1927) notion of “public,” deeming Lippmann’s stance elitist. Habermas’ public sphere similarly does not favor experts, and communication as a discipline has largely favored publics over expertise. However, Michael Schudson (2008) suggested that Carey’s framing of the Dewey-Lippmann “debate” favoring publics missed important reasons why expertise is vital to democracy. He argued that Lippman’s intent was that “experts were not to replace the public… rather experts were to provide an alternative source of knowledge and policy” (p. 10).

Technology imposes another level of complexity to this debate. By some readings, a need for technological literacies presents a challenge to public communication. Meritocratic or generation-based theories of “digital natives” and “geeks” seem to preclude the formation of broad-based publics (Prensky, 2001). Early concern about a divide of technological access has moved to focus on the unequal distribution of expertise and opportunities to gain it through acquisition of technical skills and media literacies (Jenkins et al., 2009). New forms of experts and expertise have emerged as particularly important to publics, even vital for their existence. Technological intermediaries, such as hackers, are increasingly important to translate and publicize technological issues of public importance (e.g. open data, digital privacy, surveillance). Networked publics on online platforms require expert maintenance work to exist, even when all members of the public need not be experts. The “horizontalist” movement Occupy developed and appropriated technologies to assist the public in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. Expertise played a vital role that did not preclude a public, but helped it flourish.

We suggest that expertise and publics have always been productively entangled rather than on opposing sides of a binary. This special issue examines the role of technological expertise in constituting publics, maintaining publics, increasing publics’ communicative capacities, influencing existing structures of cultural and governmental power, and connecting with issues of public concern. We ask a set of related questions: how does expertise contribute to the formation of publics and enabling of collective action? Conversely, when does the unequal distribution of expertise inhibit the constitution of publics? How does expertise create public goods? How does it mediate the societal distribution of power? What are the diverse ways expertise can be conceptualized? What is the relationship between technological expertise and other kinds of expertise, such as communicative or social? How does the line between “the public” and “expert” become crossed or blurred?

Lire la suite

AOIR Pre-conference – 404 History Not Found: Challenges in Internet History and Memory Studies

aoir2016AoIR routinely hosts several preconference workshops before the main conference. Attendees must register to attend a preconference; the price of the preconference is included as part of the main conference. All workshops will be held on October 5th.


voir la liste des pré-conférences 

Parmi elle celle organisée par Camille Paloque-Bergès (HT2S Cnam, membre de Web90 ) et Kevin Driscoll (University of Virginia):

404 History Not Found: Challenges in Internet History and Memory Studies

How did the Internet become relevant in today’s culture and politics? How were its codes and rules—whether technical, social or cultural—constructed, challenged, and normalized? How did net culture become a mass phenomenon of global importance? To understand why and how the “Internet rules” today, it is essential that we look back at the internet’s past. In this pre-conference, we will discuss the specific theoretical and methodological challenges that arise in the study of the internet through time and memory, for purposes of both historiography (what net histories and how?) and epistemology (net histories as an object of media research). Attendees will be invited to participate in three hands-on, interactive sessions organized around issues, sources and methods fundamental to researching net diachronicity.

Net history survives in unexpected places, unfolding through time and space, collapsing in on the present. The artifacts that surface may be incomplete or inscrutable absent their original contexts, requiring us to borrow creatively from other fields and develop new historical methods (Ankerson, 2011; Brügger & Finnemann, 2012; Paloque-Berges, 2016). From formal archives and oral histories to lingering web sites, software, and hardware artifacts, the material evidence of the past suggests a diversity of social, temporal, and technical regimes. Indeed, recent scholarship on early networks reveals a greater range of experiences, technologies, norms and motivations than is found in best-known histories of the internet (Brammer, 2015; Brunton, 2013; Driscoll, 2014; Hargadon, 2011; Mailland, 2015; Paloque-Berges, 2011; Rankin 2014, 2015; Russell, 2014; Russell & Schafer, 2014; Schafer & Thierry, 2012; Schulte, 2013; Streeter, 2011). In their wake, we question how to make sense of conflicts and contradictions while respecting the subjective lived experiences of individual participants. What is our responsibility to find and document hidden histories, obscure sources, and less visible networks? How will a richer understanding of the internet’s past change how we engage with its present and imagine its future?

This pre-conference will include three workshop sessions organized around core research challenges in net history: (1) epistemology, (2) sources and methodology, and (3) mediation and transmission. Selected participants, rather than present whole case studies, will intervene on specific challenges—for instance: theoretical paradoxes or deadlocks, methodological problem-solving, and demonstrations of born-digital artifacts. The audience will be involved by taking positions, suggesting ad-hoc solutions, and identifying common themes.

(…) This pre-conference will be a full-day workshop facilitated by Kevin Driscoll and Camille Paloque-Berges with support from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche project Web90. The discussions and hands-on activities will be accessible to all AOIR attendees but will be especially engaging for researchers encountering issues of temporality, memory, nostalgia, or a need to “go back in time” in their own work.

En savoir plus 


L’incertaine révolution numérique

Vitalis_front_largeAndré Vitalis,  L’incertaine révolution numérique, ISTE Editions, Série Informatique et société connectées, coordonnée par Dominique Carré et Geneviève Vidal, 2016, 118 p.

Les grands bouleversements engendrés par l’utilisation des techniques numériques et du réseau Internet sont jugés positivement, mais aussi parfois comme de nouvelles formes de contrôle et d’exploitation. On peut par ailleurs contester le caractère véritablement révolutionnaire de ces bouleversements présentés sous les traits d’une révolution numérique inéluctable qui échappe à toute volonté politique de transformation sociale.

Au-delà de ces différences d’appréciation, cet ouvrage fait un retour sur cinquante ans d’informatisation afin de revisiter les quatre grandes problématiques sociétales qui sont apparues au fur et à mesure de la progression des applications : la problématique du contrôle social, celle de la sécurité, celle de la communication et de l’échange, et enfin celle de la marchandisation. Il s’agit de retrouver les termes dans lesquels elles ont été formulées et, au besoin, de mobiliser des grilles théoriques pour mieux en saisir le sens et la portée. Toutes ces problématiques cohabitent, s’entremêlent et se télescopent dans la mutation numérique en cours, entre contrôle et liberté.
L’auteur: Membre-fondateur du CREIS et du CECIL, André Vitalis est professeur émérite à l’Université Bordeaux Montaigne. Il est l’auteur de plusieurs ouvrages sur la complexité des rapports informatique et libertés.

En savoir plus 

Plugging a 1986 Mac Plus into the Modern Web

Article de Jeff Keacher pour the Kernel

Article de Jeff Keacher pour The Kernel

« Reviving an old computer is like restoring a classic car: There’s a thrill from bringing the ancient into the modern world. So it was with my first “real” computer, my Macintosh Plus, when I decided to bring it forward three decades and introduce it to the modern Web ». Jeff Keacher nous raconte son expérience, à découvrir sur The Kernel

The Web of the pros

Capture d’écran 2016-04-28 à 15.21.02 Capture d’écran 2016-04-28 à 15.21.12This article, focusing on France, explores the notion of a “Web of professionals” and seeks to establish its factual, epistemological, and methodological implications for the history of the World Wide Web in the 1990s. This research reflects on the promises of the New Economy and the roles of the various controversies, cultures, imaginaries, and forms of mediation affecting the business world in its appropriation of the Web. It also aims to reappraise the individual and collective stakeholders whose active part has been somehow underestimated or obscured by the image of the mass Internet user. The professionalization of Web activities, the development of a new generation of entrepreneurs and the conversion of business models to online practices are all significant parts of the emergent Web culture in France, as well as factors contributing to this emergence.

Schafer, V., Thierry, B., « The “Web of pros” in the 1990s: The professional acclimation of the World Wide Web in France »New Media & Society, April 27, 2016. doi:10.1177/1461444816643792

Shane Greenstein: « How the Internet Became Commercial » | Talks at Google

How the Internet Became Commercial:
Innovation, Privatization, and the Birth of a New Network
Shane Greenstein

Princeton University Press, 2015.

j10574Description du livre

In less than a decade, the Internet went from being a series of loosely connected networks used by universities and the military to the powerful commercial engine it is today. This book describes how many of the key innovations that made this possible came from entrepreneurs and iconoclasts who were outside the mainstream—and how the commercialization of the Internet was by no means a foregone conclusion at its outset.

Shane Greenstein traces the evolution of the Internet from government ownership to privatization to the commercial Internet we know today. This is a story of innovation from the edges. Greenstein shows how mainstream service providers that had traditionally been leaders in the old-market economy became threatened by innovations from industry outsiders who saw economic opportunities where others didn’t—and how these mainstream firms had no choice but to innovate themselves. New models were tried: some succeeded, some failed. Commercial markets turned innovations into valuable products and services as the Internet evolved in those markets. New business processes had to be created from scratch as a network originally intended for research and military defense had to deal with network interconnectivity, the needs of commercial users, and a host of challenges with implementing innovative new services.

How the Internet Became Commercial demonstrates how, without any central authority, a unique and vibrant interplay between government and private industry transformed the Internet.

Shane Greenstein is the MBA Class of 1957 Professor of Business Administration and cochair of the Digital Initiative at Harvard Business School, and codirector of the program on the economics of digitization at the National Bureau of Economic Research. His books include Diamonds Are Forever, Computers Are Not and Standards and Public Policy.