Camille Paloque-Berges & Valérie Schafer (ed.)
Special issue of Internet Histories. Digital Technology, Culture and Society.
This call for papers aims at revisiting the history of ARPANET, its genesis, development, heritage, memories and the writing of its history 50 years after the first four nodes came into service.
ARPANET’s story is today part of the Internet’s official heritage, as a first crucial step in its development. Seminal research, such as Janet Abbate’s Inventing the Internet (1999) or Alexandre Serres’ Aux sources d’Internet: l’émergence d’ARPANET (2000) has extensively covered its history. However, the 50th anniversary of ARPANET provides an occasion to reflect on existing histories, to open the debate to new perspectives and approaches.
What have these pioneering researchers provided and what lessons have they taught us in terms of studying the history of computer networks? When considering ARPANET as a first step towards the Internet: how did this determine – and is still determining – our current understanding of the Internet and of the ARPANET? What other chronologies and territories involving the ARPANET can be advanced? What is left to explore and discover in the ARPANET’s history? If the ARPANET is dead today, are its heritage and spirit still alive and if so, how?
- The ARPANET’s inspirations: previous concepts, models, theories, technologies
- Development of computer networks from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s: society, culture, politics and economics in the ARPANET’s times (from a local, national and international perspective)
- The place of ARPANET in the history of ARPA/DARPA or funding agencies more generally
- The place of ARPANET within the history of military networks
- Trajectories of ARPANET’s developments: from experiments to achievements, through mistakes and failures
- ARPANET’s communities: from developers to users
- ARPANET’s hardware and software within the history of computers and computing
- Famous and less-known protagonists or witnesses of ARPANET
- Spaces, places, maps, territories, geographies, and geopolitics of ARPANET
- Communicating with, through, and about ARPANET
- ARPANET as a model: reception and influence on other networks and/or in other countries
- ARPANET’s governance and architecture
- ARPANET and infrastructures for digital information
- ARPANET’s cultures: perimeters, specificities, limits …
- The history of networks shaping collaborative work
- Writing ARPANET’s history: critical historiography, methodology, epistemological issues
- New discoveries in the history of ARPANET
- ARPANET’s heritage in the present Internet and digital cultures
Of course, we encourage and welcome other topics and perspectives on ARPANET’s history too.
The proposals are to be submitted to
explicitly mentioning CFP ARPANET.
They need to fit in one page, detail an explicit angle of analysis and outline, and integrate a short bibliography.
Successful authors will be invited to submit then a full paper through the editorial system, which will undergo full peer review and will determine acceptance of papers for publication.
Deadline for the submission of proposals: October 15th 2017
Notification of proposal acceptance: November 15th 2017
Submissions of the full paper (6000-8000 words): April 15th 2018
Feedback based on reviews: June 30th 2018
Deadline for Revisions: October 15th 2018
Internet Histories: Digital Technology, Culture and Society is an international, interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal concerned with research on the cultural, social, political and technological histories of the internet and associated digital cultures.
More information on the journal can be found at
Instructions for Authors are available at
Should you have any questions regarding this CfP, please feel free to contact us: