CFP: Thinking media history – Symposium of the Society for Media History

26-27th of May 2016

University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France

Conference languages: English and French


This first Congress of the French Society for Media History (SPHM) aims at bringing together French and foreign researchers, junior or confirmed, historians and specialists from other disciplines around a common field of study: media history.

This first Congress aims to draw up an inventory of institutional and historiographical developments in media history since its emergence and to explore current themes of study. It will also evaluate the relationships, boundaries and exchanges between media history and other fields of history while considering affinities between historians and their colleagues in other disciplines.

Papers may focus on methodological issues or on specific approaches centering on the use of the media, gender studies, political and institutional studies, media professions … What is the current state of international, comparative and “cross-media” studies? How should we articulate media history with cultural studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies or memory studies? Does the field of media history still remain relevant or should it merge with media studies? The position of media history inside the domain of cultural history, and History as a whole could also be discussed: What is the contribution of media history to the renewal of the writing practices of historians?

In connection with this theme, proposals questioning the specific relation that media historians have with their sources will be particularly welcome. Are newspapers, radio, television and web archives similar to others? What type of history is possible conducive to an approach through the media? To what extent do digital archives question existing assumptions of historians by forcing them to renew their tools, their techniques and analytical grids, or indeed the very foundations of their profession?

A third focus will center on the objects of study. In the past fifteen years, the spectrum has greatly expanded: sociability of journalists, audience measurement, transmedia exchanges – all contribute to redefine the boundaries of media history. What are the dynamics and effects of this diversification? Do the media face the risks of fragmentation, dilution or fracture?

Finally, interventions questioning the purpose and the social utility of the knowledge generated by media historian would be particularly valuable. What is the social and political role of media history? What are the issues and challenges of teaching it and disseminating it to a broad audience? What are the reflections around the patrimonial process, conservation and enhancement of this specific field of study?

Proposals showing an international and/or interdisciplinary approach will be valued.

Submission of proposals and timetable

Proposals (3000 signs maximum in word or pdf files) will include a title, an explicit problematic and a short bibliography. Researchers may also join an overview of their work and a short biography. Acceptance will be on the basis of double-blind peer review.

Proposals must be sent no later than November 25, 2015 at the following address:

Practical information

A session will be specifically dedicated to doctoral students who will present the construction of their object, their sources and methodologies.

There is no registration fee and the symposium will cover the coffee and lunch breaks. Accommodation and travel expenses are the responsibility of speakers. However, non-funded researchers can indicate their need for financial support to cover travel and / or lodging.

Symposium languages

The presentations, lasting 20 minutes, may be in either French or English.


Deadline for the submission of proposals: November 25, 2015

Notification of acceptance: January 10, 2016

Date of the symposium: May 26 and 27, 2016

Organizing Committee

Claire Blandin (Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne – CRHEC)

Jamil Dakhlia (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, CIM)

Pierre-Emmanuel Guigo (Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po)

Bibia Pavard (Université Panthéon-Assas, CARISM)

Géraldine Poels (Ina)

François Robinet (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, CHCSC)

Valérie Schafer (ISCC/ CNRS, Paris-Sorbonne, UPMC)

Scientific Committee

Anne-Claude Ambroise-Rendu (Université de Limoges)

Fabrice d’Almeida (Université Panthéon-Assas, CARISM)

Jean-Pierre Bertin-Maghit (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, Directeur de l’IRCAV)

Jérôme Bourdon (Université de Tel Aviv, Israel)

Niels Brügger (Head of the Centre for Internet Studies, and of NetLab, Department of Aesthetics and Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Josette Brun (Université Laval, Québec)

Evelyne Cohen (ENSSIB-Université de Lyon, LARHRA)

Nicholas J. Cull (University of Southern California Annenberg, USA)

Christian Delporte (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Président de la SPHM)

Françoise Hache-Bissette (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, CHCSC)

Jean-Noël Jeanneney (Ancien ministre, Professeur émérite à l’Institut d’études politiques de Paris)

Zdravka Konstantinova (Chef du Département d’Histoire et Théorie de journalisme, Faculté de journalisme et de communication de masse, Université de Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgaria)

Laurent Martin (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, CERLIS)

Cécile Méadel (Université Panthéon-Assas, CARISM)

Caroline Moine (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, CHCSC)

Katharina Niemeyer (Université de Panthéon-Assas, CARISM)

Michael Palmer (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, CIM)

Claire Sécail (CNRS, LCP)

Marie-Eve Thérenty (Université de Montpellier 3)

Isabelle Veyrat-Masson (CNRS, LCP)

François Vallotton (Université de Lausanne, Switzerland)

Jean-Claude Yon (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, CHCSC)

This symposium is organized by the Society for Media History (, with the support of the Centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines (CHCSC, Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) and of the Carism (Université Panthéon-Assas).


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