Call For Papers: ARPANET (1969-2019)

Map of the Arpanet 1973

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?

Suggested topics:

  • 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:


Internet governance and INWG


The debate inside the International Network Working Group (INWG) and the events between 1974 and 1976 that led up to the INWG 96 transport protocol were a small part of a much larger debate going on within the communications and networking industry. This article places the INWG discussions in this wider context to better understand the technical points and implications and their ultimate impact on established business models.

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The Turn to Infrastructure in Internet Governance

9781137533265Editors: Musiani, F., Cogburn, D.L., DeNardis, L., Levinson, N.S. (Eds.)

This book brings together a stellar group of interdisciplinary international scholars, to examine the current fundamental restructuring of global Internet governance by focusing on governance by Internet infrastructure. The authors see public and private entities co-opting Internet infrastructure for broader political and economic purposes.

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Governance of Socio-Technical Systems

The Governance of Socio-Technical Systems

Edited by Susana Borrás, Professor of Innovation and Governance, Head of Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark and Jakob Edler, Professor, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, University of Manchester, UK

9781784710187Examining the ‘who’ (agents), ‘how’ (policy instruments) and ‘why’ (societal legitimacy) of the governance process, this book presents a conceptual framework about the governance of change in socio-technical systems. Bridging the gap between disciplinary fields, expert contributions provide innovative empirical cases of different modes of governing change. The Governance of Socio-Technical Systems offers a stepping-stone towards building a theory of governance of change and presents a new research agenda on the interaction between science, technology and society.


Opening the Black Box of Web Archiving: STS Approaches and the Governance of Born-Digital Heritage

Illustration à partir de Nils Jepsen - Aarhus Universitet  CC BY 2.5

Illustration à partir de Nils Jepsen – Aarhus Universitet
CC BY 2.5

Résumé de l’intervention de Francesca Musiani et Valérie Schafer au colloque Web Archives as scholarly Sources: Issues, Practices and Perspectives, international conference, Aarhus (DK), 8-10 Juin 2015

At the crossroads of two topics of the conference, “Approaches to web archiving” and “Research methods for studying the archived web”, our starting point is that the material, practical, theoretical elements of Web archiving as an ensemble of practices and a terrain of inquiry are inextricably entwined. Several examples illustrate this, from the archiving practices of Internet Archive to those of national preservation institutions: they reveal different modalities of accessibility to archives, consultation interfaces, constitution of corpuses – that, in turn, are not without methodological consequences for researchers. Thus, the exploration of Web archiving processes and infrastructures – often discreet, invisible, ‘black-boxed’ (Latour, 1987) appears increasingly relevant.

Approaches inspired by Science and Technology Studies (STS) can contribute to shed light on the shaping of Web archives; and, in return, some of its notions – e.g. technical democracy, co-production, boundary object (Callon et al., 2001; Star & Griesemer, 1989) – may be approached in novel ways building upon Web archives as a research terrain. In particular, STS approaches are interesting in order to explore the notion of governance as it relates to born-digital heritage.

In 2005, the Working Group on Internet Governance defined Internet governance as “the development and application by Governments, the private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that shape the evolution and use of the Internet”, adding that “it also includes other significant public policy issues, such as critical Internet resources, the security and safety of the Internet, and developmental aspects and issues pertaining to the use of the Internet”. A definition that fits Web archives very well, if they replace systematically the word “Internet”: indeed, Web archiving practices involve a variety of actors, moved by different motivations; they encompass different and evolving definitions, values, imaginaries of the very notion of Web archiving (e.g. Kaehle, 2014 on the “participatory turn” in archiving the Internet); they suggest different ways in which control and responsibility can be exerted, be it social norms, technical standards or policies.

As such, our contribution aims to show that Web archives and archiving, understood as a socio-technical system, display a number of features and raise questions that are of interest for Internet governance scholars: multi-stakeholderism, the dialectic between national, international, transnational governance(s), and the juxtaposition of market, technology and norms as instruments of power. Web archiving: a microcosm of Internet governance?


Callon, M., Lascoumes, P. & Barthe, Y. (2001). Agir dans un monde incertain. Essai sur la démocratie technique, Paris: Seuil.

Kaehle, B. (2014, October 28). “Building Libraries Together

Latour, B. (1987). Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Star, S. L. & Griesemer, J. (1989). Institutional Ecology, ‘Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39. Social Studies of Science, 19 (3) : 387- 420.