HomeMass Culture : New Approaches, New Issues (19th and 20th centuries)

Mass Culture : New Approaches, New Issues (19th and 20th centuries)

Culture de masse : nouvelles approches, nouveaux enjeux (XIXe-XXIe siècles)

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Published on Monday, March 19, 2018 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

After the 2016 edition, devoted to the links between media and politics from the French Revolution to today, the theme proposed this year is « Mass Culture: new approaches, new issues (19th and 20th centuries)”. Comparative and transnational approaches to archives and sources will allow us to investigate in new and innovative ways the idea of mass culture as an object of historical study. The school’s international dimension will encourage discussion between different historiographical traditions in the field, and comparisons among many historical contexts and regions. Methodological inquiries will be especially encouraged, in order to evaluate the contributions which, for example, the digital humanities or interdisciplinary approaches may offer.

Announcement

The METIS Summer School 2018 will be hold at Versailles/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, on 3-7th September, 2018

METIS[1] is now inviting applications for its second biannual international summer school for graduate students (master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral students welcome), following on the success of its first summer school held in Padua, Italy in September 2018. The summer school will take place in Versailles and St. Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris. It will offer a high-level international environment to students from various disciplines (history, art history, information and communication sciences, political science, sociology, literature, cultural studies, etc.)

Argument

After the 2016 edition, devoted to the links between media and politics from the French Revolution to today, the theme proposed this year is « Mass Culture: new approaches, new issues (19th and 20th centuries)”. Comparative and transnational approaches to archives and sources will allow us to investigate in new and innovative ways the idea of mass culture as an object of historical study. The school’s international dimension will encourage discussion between different historiographical traditions in the field, and comparisons among many historical contexts and regions. Methodological inquiries will be especially encouraged, in order to evaluate the contributions which, for example, the digital humanities or interdisciplinary approaches may offer.

The lectures and workshops will be organized around three themes:

1) Forms/Dynamics/Strategies

We will study different dimensions of the emergence of mass culture and its consequences for individuals and societies, including the widest possible openness to considering non-European and non-Western perspectives. To start with, we will inquire into the applicability of the concept of mass culture concept, long associated with the post-WWII period, to older periods. Where did it develop, and can we distinguish models of development proper to certain national and geographical areas? A second approach will privilege the forms of promotion and commercialisation of cultural production (the emergence of advertising and market studies as well as the birth of marketing through secondary products), and the development of new serialized modes of production, implying the taylorisation of intellectual and artistic work but also the “invention” of transmediatic forms. Finally, we will reflect on the impact of the new modes of production on the field of cultural production in general, the development of avant-gardes, the reinforcement of forms of political control, and the implementation of protectionist strategies on a more global level.

2) The question of spread and reception 

From its emergence through its successive evolutions, what kind of intermediaries have been at the heart of the process of mass culture, and what are the strategies which allow them to facilitate or accelerate the diffusion and acclimation of certain cultural productions?  To what extent is this process accompanied by translation or re-writing?  On a different level, we will explore forms of reception and consumption by outlining comparative perspectives. More generally, we will supplement traditional approaches to the industrialization of production and, for the more contemporary period, to the emergence of a globalized culture, whose chronology we will furthermore question, by highlighting factors which slow or prevent the circulation of works and media productions.

3) Critiques of mass cultures

Since its emergence, mass culture has been the object of numerous critical discourses. What changes in these discourses can we describe from the nineteenth century to the present, and how have new paradigms – that of media culture or the approaches which derive from the visual or the global turn – authorized new forms of questioning and an enlargement of the sources and objects considered? In the French context, the emergence of cultural history was in part built on the basis of a critical rereading – explicit or implicit – of the work of the Frankfurt School. What other historiographies and what other models have influenced the reflections on culture of the last thirty years? Certain key works or institutional initiatives may constitute potential leading threads.

Programme

The summer school will last for 5 days (30 hours), and will be taught in English and French (passive understanding of French is strongly advised) Mornings will be devoted to presentations on theoretical and methodological questions. They will be taught by senior researchers from French, Italian, and Swiss universities who are well-known specialists in our themes. The afternoon will consist of thematic workshops which will allow for discussion of students’ current research. The program will include visits to various cultural sites (the château of Versailles, the Lambinet Museum, and the new town of St. Quentin-en-Yvelines, which has been designated a “Town of Art and History”).

[1] The METIS network consists of the Centre d’histoire culturelle des sociétés contemporaines (CHCSC, UVSQ/Université Paris-Saclay), the Centro interuniversitario di storia culturale (CSC, Università di Padova, Italie) and the Centre des sciences historiques de la culture (SHC, Université de Lausanne, Suisse).

Applications

The summer school is open to a maximum of 15 students from the master’s level to post-doctoral students. A good knowledge of English and at least comprehension of French is required. Interested persons are invited to apply by sending a dossier composed of the following:

  • An academic CV (1 page)
  • A presentation of current research, including the sources used (1 page)
  • An application letter, stating your reasons for attending

These documents can be submitted in either English or French. They must be sent as a single pdf file by email to melodie.passemar@uvsq.fr.

before midnight on Friday 20 April, 2018

Please use the subject heading “Summer School 2018”.  

Responses will be communicated Friday, 30 April.

Registration

Students selected for the summer school will be required to pay an 80€ fee to cover lunches and guided tours. Students will be housed at the université de Versailles/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.

Scholarships

Some scholarships will be offered, depending on funding. Participants who wish to apply for scholarships must state this in their application letter. Scholarships will be awarded according to the following criteria: academic record; research experience; and individual circumstances.

Organizing Committee

  • Caroline Moine (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en- Yveline/Paris Saclay, France)
  • Carlotta Sorba (Université de Padoue, Italie)
  • François Vallotton (Université de Lausanne, Suisse)
  • Jean-Claude Yon (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en- Yveline/Paris Saclay, France)

Places

  • Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France (78)

Date(s)

  • Friday, April 20, 2018

Keywords

  • culture de masse, loisirs, culture médiatique, médias, cinéma, consommation

Contact(s)

  • Caroline Moine
    courriel : caroline [dot] moine [at] uvsq [dot] fr

Information source

  • Caroline Moine
    courriel : caroline [dot] moine [at] uvsq [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Mass Culture : New Approaches, New Issues (19th and 20th centuries) », Summer School, Calenda, Published on Monday, March 19, 2018, https://calenda.org/437193

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