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[ecrea] CFP "Media and Attacks", Le Temps des médias. Revue d'histoire

Thu Nov 16 11:30:12 GMT 2017

/Le Temps des médias. Revue d’histoire/

Call for papers

*Special Issue*

*Media and attacks (provisional title)*

*Fall 2019*

A terrorist attack seeks to destroy a hostile figure; generally, it also seeks media coverage and impact: posterity will preserve via images the memory of its political objective. Yet attacks against a national community generate media coverage whose scale generally seeks to slake with the incessant thirst for news from the public (Lefébure & Sécail, ed. 2016). This raises the question: how to provide information without playing into the hands of propaganda? In France, since 2015 the debate on media coverage of such attacks has intensified following criticisms from media regulatory authorities, or from individualcitizens or victims' associations. It is therefore important to consider this feature of media coverage as an object in its own right (Garcin-Marrou 2003, Dayan 2006, Bugnon 2015) and to understand, from a historical perspective, how the attacks highlight various perspectives of society over time(Frau-Meigs 2005, Truc 2016).

The notion of such an attack is not easy to define and refers to a broad spectrum of events whose particular logic can vary according to context, the means employed by their perpetrators and the aims of the attack. From the first tyrannicides in ancient Greece to the terrorist attacks of today, we shall adopt a broad meaning of the term based on two main criteria: the eruption of violence in a public space and the political aim of the act. The terrorist attack appears more specifically in the revolutionary context of the late eighteenth century and hemps modify the very nature of the event: at stake is not just the target of the attack itself but also the disintegration of the existing political system, or even the advent of a new system. Over and beyond the specifics of these "singular terrorist events", a link may well exist between the revolutionary "terror" of 1793-94, the acts of "propaganda by deed" (“propagande par le fait”) of the anarchists in the nineteenth century, the attacks of the extreme left or extreme right in the 1970s, the attacks of independence-focussed organizations or"jihadist terrorism" which has increased since the 2000s.

As with tyrannicide (Cottret 2009), there is a history of terrorism (Sommier 2000, Ferragu 2014). However, the history of the mediatisation of this "propaganda by the fact" is largely unwritten. This special issue of /Le Temps des médias. Revue d’histoire/aims to help contribute to filling this gap by identifying the issues of the publicization of events classified under this category of "attack". There is indeed a need to understand the way media focus on attacks at different times and thus identify them to their contemporaries. Because the "media aspect " could possibly induce an over-contemporary periodisation of the object, we consider more broadly the notion of "publicisation"; this refers rather to the visibility of the attacks and to a form of "proto-conscience" of the effects of how they were conveyed to their publics. Thus, the study of oral (tales, songs, public readings...) or material (statues, steles, etc.) media and mediations of stories, which whether dating back to Antiquity or the Middle Ages, is relevant for this issue.

How and under what conditions does the eruption of political violence emerge in media narratives? Does the terrorist event refer to a specific category of news? Does the figure of the threat, from the regicide to the terrorist, proceed from a narrative distinct from those of other types of criminal threats? As to reception, how do citizens react to media coverage? Does the media coverage of terrorist events elicit specific emotions over time? How do the attacks shape the imagination of contemporaries and, if so, stimulate political discourse?

The aims of this issue are numerous. First, proposals may be devoted to characterizing the forms of media treatment of certain attacks and how they evolve in various national contexts and periods. A second objective is to establish to what extent the terrorist event has a character of "media exceptionality" compared to other types of attack. Finally, we shall also consider the study of how media inform their audiences as they first latch on to and then debate terrorist events in the public space.

Synchronic or diachronic propositions may include, but are not limited to:

  * The specific media coverage of certain attacks in France or other
  * The narrative categories of attacks in terms of novelty or
    recurrence of their operating methods (blind attack, suicide
    bombing, etc.);
  * The place of certain figures (victims, terrorists, experts, police,
    etc.) in the media stories;
  * The conditions of news-making in terrorist contexts;
  * The various devices and status of materials used in media stories
    (amateur images, propaganda images, etc.)
  * The way in which terrorist events inspire fiction and cultural
    productions (cinema, television series, music videos and songs, etc.);
  * The public's reactions to events and the way their words feature in
    the media;
  * Temporalities and processes of memorization of attacks: how the
    event emerges, the moment of the trial of the perpetrators,
    commemorations by or in the media; etc

This list is not exhaustive. Any period, any national area and type of media or mediation may be studied (pamphets, press, poster, radio, television, cinema, posters, photos, songs, web, social networks, etc.).

However, we are not concerned with two perspectives which are too broad for this issue: on the one hand, the issue of relations between media and terrorism without any direct relationship to specific events and their impacts; on the other hand, terrorist propaganda as such (organization, rhetorical, strategic and ideological forces).
Bugnon Fanny, /Les « Amazones de la terreur »: sur la violence politique des femmes, de la Fraction armée rouge à Action directe/, Paris, Payot, 2015. Cottret Monique, /Tuer le tyran? Le tyrannicide dans l'Europe moderne/, Paris, Fayard, 2009. Dayan Daniel (ed.), /La Terreur spectacle. Terrorisme et télévision/, Louvain-la-Neuve, De Boeck, 2006.
Ferragu Gilles, /Histoire du terrorisme/, Paris, Perrin, 2014.
Frau-Meigs Divina, /Qui a détourné le 11 Septembre? Journalisme, information et démocratie aux Etats-Unis/, Louvain-la-Neuve, De Boeck/INA, 2005. Garcin-Marrou Isabelle, /Terrorisme, médias et démocratie, /Lyon, Presses universitaires de Lyon, 2001. Lefébure Pierre, Sécail Claire (ed.), /Le défi Charlie. Les médias à l’épreuve des attentats/, Paris, Lemieux éditeur, 2016.
Sommier Isabelle, /Le terrorisme/, Paris, Flammarion, 2000.
Truc Gérôme, /Sidérations. Une sociologie des attentats/, Paris, Puf, 2016.

Proposals including a 400-word abstract (in French, English or Italian), author’s full name, affiliation, and contact details (as a Word .doc attachment) should be submitted before _April 30th, 2018_, to the three coordinators:

· Maëlle Bazin, Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas (CARISM): (bazinmael /at/ <mailto:(bazinmael /at/>

· Gilles Ferragu, Paris Ouest-Nanterre-La Défense (ISP): (gilles.ferragu /at/ <mailto:(gilles.ferragu /at/>

· Claire Sécail, CNRS (LCP-IRISSO): (claire.secail /at/ <mailto:(claire.secail /at/>

Completed articles (approximately 35,000 characters) to be sent _by December 1, 2018_. They will then be reviewed, double blind; by the editorial board of the journal as well as external reviewers.

NB: Please note, the final articles have to be submitted _in French_ andwill have to respect the journal standards:


*Provisional calendar*

April 30, 2018: deadline for submission of proposals
Mid-May 2018: selection and return to authors
1st December 2018: submission of article by author - for review
February 2019: return to the author for possible modifications
End of April 2019: submission of article modified by author
Fall 2019: publication of the special issue

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