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[Commlist] CFP: Congress Médias 19 - Numapresse (the old press and the new press in the digital age)

Fri Oct 25 16:49:55 GMT 2019

* Call for papers: Congress Médias 19 - Numapresse (the old press and the new press in the digital age) *

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International symposium, Paris, Canadia Cultural Centre and at the French National Library (BNF), June 8 -11, 2020


After a first congress held in June, 2015, Médias 19 and Numapresse are organizing a second large meeting that will take place in Paris, from June 8 to 11, 2020, and that aspires to map the current state of research on the press in the age of the digitization of corpora.

The franco-quebecois scientific project Médias 19, centered around the digital platform <>, has, since 2011, been the development framework of a reflection on the journalistic practices of the 19th century, the valorization and analysis of corpora, as well as studies on the development of the media culture in the francophone space. Since 2017, the international scientific project Numapresse, financed by the French National Agency for Research ( <>), aims to propose a new cultural and literary history of the French press from the 19th century to the present day, by mobilizing the large corpora of digitized news and new text and data mining tools.

This congress, organized by Guillaume Pinson (Université Laval) and Marie-Ève Thérenty (Paul Valéry University of Montpellier III) provides an opportunity to invite researchers to map the current state of research. It will consist of four workdays and is based on the main themes that have, during the last few years, been at the heart of historical and literary research on the press.

The congress will take place in Paris at the Canadia Cultural Centre and at the French National Library (BNF). Presentations should be around 20 minutes. Proposals in French or English (250 words, a succinct CV, complete contact details and mention of the institution that you are attached to) should be sent by e-mail to the following address, before December 1st, 2019: (congresM19Numapresse /at/ <mailto:(congresM19Numapresse /at/>.

Researchers interested in submitting a proposal should know that, for all the themes of the congress, transversal and general studies are preferred to subjects that are purely monographic. In addition, all proposals that do not pertain to one of these axes will also be examined. The congress will result in a publication.

1: Viralities and circulations _(_Committee member in charge of this topic : Guillaume Pinson)

The vogue of world history and cultural transfers, linked to massive campaigns of press digitization, have, during the past few years, opened the way for decompartmentalized studies of media corpora. These will be considered in their capacity to exchange texts and to reunite reader communities from geographical zones that are partly very dense (within big media metropolises), and partly diffusely populated (Europe-American Atlantic axes, or even colonial communications, for instance). Moreover, digital tools have opened the way for circulation and “virality” studies (Cordell) that have nothing in common with the usual reading modes and painstaking analysis. This way, one can automatically retrieve the widespread practices of reprinting articles, some of which being of considerable intensity and space. The global success of Mystères de Paris (1842-1843) by Eugène Sue – which was quickly imitated and gave rise to a mold recovered in every corner of the world, as shown by a research project conducted by the Montpellier team of Médias 19 – is merely the tip of the iceberg. From now on we have the capacity to automatically detect forms of circulation and virality within the corpora that are much more furtive to the eyes, but major when it comes to the intensity of the reprints: literary works that are forgotten today, essays, anecdotes, brief news stories (fait divers), a variety of news...

This axis thus invites researchers to reflect on all forms of circulation and virality in the 19th century. We will privilege synthesizing approaches related to the experience of using digital tools. More traditional studies on circulation and transfers are, however, also welcomed, on condition that these largely elucidate these phenomena of decompartmentalization of corpora. The perspective of a world history of the francophone press (project lead by G. Pinson and D. Cooper-Richet of the Transfopress-network) will also be examined in this axis, amongst other issues: the career trajectories of writers and journalists, contacts and linguistic transfers in the press, relations between the press and emerging forms of mobility (the rapid expansion of the railroad, the development of maritime routes, the installment of electronic telegraph networks), cultural studies of virality (contemporary discourse on space-time, values and debates on new mobilities), material and poetic transformation of the press (the start of telegraphy columns, international magazines), etc.

2: For a cultural and literary history of the press in the 20th century (Committee member in charge of this topic : Marie-Ève Thérenty)

Numerous recent works on the press, from La Civilisation du journal (2011) to the studies conducted by Médias 19, have chosen the 19th century as research area. However, an important objective of contemporary studies on the press has also been to achieve a general understanding of the media poetics and media imaginaries of the 20th century. The 20th century is a crucial moment for the expansion of the press, its professionalization, its politicization. It is also the moment that the written medium, losing its exclusive character, faces the competition of other media (cinema, radio, television) that simultaneously influence it. A new temporality, the scansion of the weekly, is added to the daily rhythm of the processing of news, through the creation of important magazines from the end of the 1920s and the start of the 1930s (Candide, Gringoire, Marianne) and afterwards the post-war years (L’Express, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Point). The content evolves as well: new subjects, such as sports, cinema or the television, impose themselves alongside political or traditional cultural news. The complete reworking of the press during the Liberation relies on new ethical and thus poetical demands, that were conveyed by people like Hubert Beuve-Méry and Albert Camus and had consequences for the auctoriality of journalists. Overall, to remedy what were identified as the excesses of the 1930s, forms of writings that were said to be objective impose themselves, for which some newspapers, such as Le Monde, claim to figure as a vehicle. However, we propose the hypothesis that the literarization of press writings does not disappear and that titles (France-Soir post-war, Libération) or formulas (the weekly, then the mook) exist that continue to favor the hybridization of poetics. Amongst others, these different subjects could be addressed: writer- journalists, the relation between the written press and radio and television, the rhythms and

periodicity of information, the issue of the weekly and the magazine, the place of sports, cinema and television... in the written press and the related poetics, the training of journalists and the issue of journalism schools, the emergence of new genres and new formats, the development of the reportage, press illustrations (photography, drawings, comic strips...), the transformations of social, cultural, political representations induced by the press, the comparison of the system of the French press with other countries, the issue of women and gender in the press... Once again, we will particularly welcome approaches that mobilize digital tools, but more traditional presentations are also welcomed.

3: Media culture and digital culture or the atelier for nerds (Committee members in charge of this topic : Pierre-Carl Langlais and Julien Schuh)

Since twenty years, the old press has been massively digitized. These corpora have progressively imposed themselves as the ideal terrain for experimentation of hybrid scientific approaches that crosses history, sociology, literary analysis, infrastructures related to computer science, statistical approaches and automatic language processing. The heterogeneity of the newspaper and the size of digitized archives have favored the emergence of new interdisciplinary spaces (digital libraries, digital humanities, computational literature...) and new circulations of tools, methods and concepts between disciplines. It has also rendered a form of distant reading more legitimate by authorizing multiple approaches: topic modeling, supervised classification, detection of reprints, named entity recognition, the analysis of layout... The techniques of deep learning and automated classification, of word embedding, open up the way for a gigantic ensemble of texts and images that has still barely been explored. This third topic aims at questioning the emergence of a new ecosystem of the digitized press, from the process of elaborating the digital archive all the way to new forms of remediations and experimental projections of these corpora. It will also provide the opportunity to question the methodological effect of these new practices on the conceptualization of the research object and the construction of terrain and of corpora. This reflexive approach, which crosses digital humanities and digital studies could address the following subjects: the construction of digital archives (transformative effects of OCR’s, the mobilization of digital labor, new infrastructures of circulation for digitized texts), the practices of distant reading (genre classification, studies on virality and reprint networks, the long history of visual poetics), extraction of historical data (bylines, advertisers, stock prizes...), remediation of corpora (re-editorialization of articles, of data or of fiction published in the press, data visualizations...)

4: Re-editorialization of press articles: from collecting to data aggregators (Committee member in charge of this topic : Adeline Wrona)

Reading the digitized press means giving yourself the means to point at phenomena of migration and recycling that are hard to observe with the naked eye and to enter a form of automatic philology which scrutinizes variations and republications. On the other hand, producing information online means integrating gestures to republish articles within the everyday functioning of the editorial office, whether this is done by segmentation, recalibration, enrichment or listing. It also entails writing under the anonymous watch of search engines, and of their referencing which imposes unpredictable writing instructions. One of the phenomena most often associated with the digital resides thus in the retrieval and the implementation of a diversification of materialities that give shape to the text, far from the persistent myth according to which the “virtual” would be the synonym of de-materialization.

Yesterday, just like today, the specific feature of the press text is to have multiple lives, in multiple media forms, in different regimes of temporality, by forming ensembles of variable

geometry. The presentations expected for this axis will analyze different phenomena whilst accounting for this logic of re-editorialization which transcends singular publications of the medium of the daily paper. During the interwar period, certain magazines such as Détective have the vocation to valorize the great writers of editorial collections, to the point where it is at last the periodical that integrates a logic of collecting at once.

We will interrogate different issues particular to this question of collection in the analysis of the press of both contemporary journalism and the 19th and 20th century; this could for example concern the renewed modalities of the act of collecting in the digital regime – portfolio, photographic slideshow, and other newsletters; the bylines and copyright implicated by the circulation of one editorial model to the other, from the generalization of “thiefs” during the July Monarchy to the complex definition of “neighboring rights”; we will interrogate the value of copying/reproduction, generally considered to be an impoverishing factor of the information discourse but rarely analyzed in its textual or stylistic reality.
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