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Recently several works in the fields of Internet Studies, Science and Technology Studies and Media Studies have stressed the importance of early local, national and transnational computer networks histories for a deeper understanding of technological and social change in contemporary societies.

This 2-days conference has a triple aim. First, gathering scholars and researchers from a variety of disciplines working on theoretical and empirical analysis of computer networks histories. Second, providing a wide perspective on these histories, including case studies from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania and including international organizations dealing with the control and management of networks: this interdisciplinary and international debate could be useful to compare worldwide experiences and to provide new frames on this topic. Third, the conference aims to develop new frameworks and a space of discussion on the historical role of computer networks, representing the starting point of an international community of scholars. 

Potential topics may include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

  • The origins and development of computer networks under a local, national, international or transnational perspective;
  • Political, economic and cultural representations of computer networks in Western or/and Eastern cultures;
  • Comparative analysis of early and late networks;
  • Physical infrastructures and materiality of computer networks;
  • The political economy of national digital infrastructures;
  • Histories of the digitalization of analogic networks;
  • The history of failed and forgotten computer networks projects;
  • The influence of early computer networks on the development of the Internet and of the World Wide Web;
  • The cultural and social history of computer networks communities (e.g. communitarian networks, academic networks, professional networks, civic networks).

All the authors are invited to send an abstract of a max 500 words and a short bio by February 28, 2017 to nethistories [at] gmail [dot] com. All invited speakers interested in publish their papers in the journal revue Histoire et Informatique are asked to send a paper of max 5000 words by October 30 2017.

Travel grants

A limited number of travel grants may be available for participants without access to other financial resources. To request travel funding, please add to your proposal the motivation of your request and an estimate of the needed budget.