Cité des Télécoms 3rd Doctoral Summer School
“Between International, Transnational and Global History : Information
Technologies at Borders, 19th-21st C.” (23-25 September 2013,
Pleumeur-Bodou, France)


Andrea Giuntini (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), Pascal Griset (University Paris-Sorbonne), Leonard Laborie (CNRS Irice-CRHI) are jointly organizing the third « Cité des Télécoms » Doctoral Summer School.

The organizing institutions will cover accommodation costs for all participants. Few travel grants are available (under special examination). The Summer School will be held just after the 6th Tensions of Europe conference, « Democracy and Technology. Europe in Tension » (Paris, 19-21 September 2013). In order to integrate both events, participants to the Summer School who would present a paper at the conference would have their inscription fees to the conference covered (see for submission).

Call for applications

Deadline: April 26, 2013

Dealing with the history of electric and electronic informations’ borders crossing, the summer school will evocatingly take place where one of the very first transatlantic television transmissions occurred, in 1962 in the northern part of Brittany. Organised jointly by the Cité des Télécommunications (Orange), Paris-Sorbonne University, and Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, it aims at providing doctoral students with an overview of relevant research results and of innovative tools and methodologies in the field of communication history in an international / transnational / global perspective.

Students (including mostly PhD candidates and a limited number of postdocs) will spend 3 days at the Cité des Télécommunications (

They will present and discuss their research in conjunction with lectures given by scholars. Each half-day session will be based on a keynote lecture by an invited scholar and followed by students presentations and discussions of their work in progress. Social events and visits will give the opportunity to discover either traditional or modern faces of this high tech part of Brittany.

The summer school will focus on the interactions between communication technologies, power and global trends seen from a long-term perspective. A solid tradition of studies interpreted and is still interpreting international communications networks primarily as national tools of power operating in the tough geopolitics of information. This interpretation has been somewhat recently challenged in a wave of books and journal special issues emphasizing transnational and global dynamics at stake. Said to be stato- and euro-centric, the so-called « struggle for control » approach would suffer from a « methodological nationalism » ; it would downplay other actors’ autonomy and bypass important historical facts linked to the globalisation of communications. Rather than to oppose them, the summer school will tend to combine and articulate these interpretations and their respective heuristics, mainly drawn from the history of technology, the history of international relations, global history and media studies. While most of the discussion concentrates on the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the summer school will extend its prospect up to the advent of the web in the early 1990s.

The organizers encourage applications which could address these debates broadly, with topics ranging from the deployment and maintenance of technical networks, their regulation and call for reform, their uses in peace and war times, the production and impact of informational flows at local level and their connexion with broader ideas of international society, the rise of transnational movements and opinions, knowledge sharing or piracy.

Teaching team

  • Andreas Fickers (Maastricht University)
  • Andrea Giuntini (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia)
  • Pascal Griset (University Paris-Sorbonne, UMR Irice)
  • Léonard Laborie (CNRS, UMR Irice)
  • Tristan Mattelart (Université Paris 8)
  • Simone Müller-Pohl (Freie Universität Berlin, John F. Kennedy
  • Institute for North American Studies)
  • Dwayne Winseck (Carleton University, School of Journalism and Communication)


Please direct queries and send your application to [email protected]