The Transfers/T2M Duo and the Evolution of the Reflection on Mobilities

The Textbook Case of the Historical Representations of the Paris Beltway

in Transfers
Mathieu Flonneau Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

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Transfers and T2M have carved out a space for free thought. Using the itinerary of the Boulevard Périphérique (beltway) of Paris as an example, I demonstrate how debates and controversies have been integral to the advancement of the way we conceptualize and problematize mobilities. Frictions with political and ideological projects only reinforce our commitment. Nowadays, we have to face a permanent wishful thinking and I express my concern regarding the instrumentalization and the uses of knowledge to promote a “sense of History” disconnected from Parisian tradition, which itself has been neglected as an inglorious relic of the past. The bright path to a smart/world city will probably take longer than expected by its own self-promoters.

Contributor Notes

Mathieu Flonneau is a historian and associate professor (maître de conférences) at Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. He is the director of IAES-EDS (Institut Administration Economique et Sociale, Ecole de Droit de la Sorbonne), a researcher at SIRICE-CRHI (Centre de Recherche d'Histoire de l'Innovation), a member of LaxEx EHNE (Laboratoire d'Excellence Ecrire une Histoire Nouvelle de l'Europe), the President of the T2M association from 2017 to 2020, a founding member of P2M (Passé Présent Mobilités), an expert in urban history, mobilities, and automobility. He co-edits the “Cultures Mobiles” series at Descartes&Cie and the “Mobilités&Sociétés” series at Editions de la Sorbonne. He was a member of the editorial boards of The Journal of Transport History and Transfers. His last publications (books): L'automobile au temps des Trente Glorieuses. Un rêve d'automobilisme, aux éditions Loubatières, 2016. Co-authored with Jean-Pierre Orfeuil, Vive la route ! Vive la République !, L'Aube, 2016. Co-edited with Stéphane LEVESQUE, Choc de mobilités. Histoire croisée au présent des routes intelligentes et véhicules communicants, Descartes et Cie, 2016. Email:

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