their literary landscape. * He expressed concern about how these new forms of information technology encroach upon the silence and intimacy necessary for human reflection and, by implication, for the production of literature. 1 Modiano’s comments were
Social Media from Modiano to Zola and Proust
The Jet-Age Airport and the Spectacle of Technology between Sky and Earth
Vanessa R. Schwartz
This article examines the second most visited site in Paris during the 1960s, behind only the Eiffel Tower, which stood outside the city's walls in Orly. The airport there, re-built in 1961 to welcome the new era of high-speed air travel in the form of jet service, featured a prominent “terrasse” where visitors paid admission to watch the jets come and go. This article examines the jet-age renovation of the airport and the wild popularity of visits there in order to consider the role of visual spectacle in advancing the culture of technological optimism of 1960s France.
Amateur Radio and the Politics of Aural Surveillance in France, 1921-1940
Derek W. Vaillant
As France wrestles over the uses and societal impact of digital media and the Internet, it is instructive to recall another era of communications innovation, namely the introduction of interwar radio to the French public, and the government's reaction to controversial applications by the citizenry. Recent scholarship has underscored the importance of interwar radio broadcasting to France and its territories. Less explored, however, is the work of amateur user/developers who shaped the radio medium as an instrument of speaking, as well as listening. Determined to manage applications of radio, the French Interior Ministry formed a Police de l'Air to monitor France's airwaves, including the activities of amateur radio users (i.e., hams), whose lawful (and sometimes unlawful) use of point-to-point and broadcast communication had begun to significantly disrupt the government's effort to dictate the future forms and uses of radio. Against a backdrop of political crisis and attempts to manage print and electronic communication and dissent, the skirmishes between the Police de l'Air and amateur radio users reveal historical aspects of contemporary debates over use, access, and qualifications to speak and be heard in mediated cultural and political settings.
Chandra Mukerji, Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).
Sara Pritchard, Confluence: The Nature of Technology and the Remaking of the Rhône (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011).
Laura Downs, Stéphane Tonnelat, and Joan Scott
Laura Downs Simone Weil by Francine du Plessix Gray
Stéphane Tonnelat The Glass State, The Technology of the Spectacle, Paris, 1981-1998 by Annette Fierro
Joan Scott Fausse Route by Elisabeth Badinter
Articles Special Issue on Representations, History, and Wartime France Special Issue on French Studies and Its Futures Dossier on Technology, the Visual, and Culture Reflections, Events, and Debates Review Essays Book Reviews Index of Books Reviewed
On MoMA's Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes
Nicole C. Rudolph
This article reviews the New York Museum of Modern Art's recent Le Corbusier retrospective and its accompanying catalogue. The author critically evaluates the curators' reassessment of Le Corbusier's legacy via the lens of landscape. A key insight gleaned from the show pertains to technologies of mobility: inspired by the views from the automobile, the steamer, and the airplane, Le Corbusier deployed modern materials and techniques of mass construction in order to maximize an inhabitant's contemplation of the natural world. What we learn from Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes, the author argues, is that the architect valorized and designed to prioritize “3 Cs”: circulation, composition, and contemplation. The notion of contemplation may be more useful to understanding Le Corbusier's architecture than the concept of landscape.
In 2006 a terrible fight pitted two steel makers, Mittal and Arcelor, against each other. Understanding the dynamic of this enormous takeover requires a historical perspective. The structure, business strategy, and corporate governance of these groups evolved over a long period of time. This article explores the conflict in the context of the history of French steel industry. An examination of Usinor, moreover, as the ancestor and creator of Arcelor, can reveal a lot about the political, social and economical influence of steel makers in French society. Understanding the conflict also calls for an analysis of how a large company could change its corporate culture. Instead of reducing corporate culture to individual or collective “values,” as Edgar Schein did some time ago, this article explores Usinor's culture as a system of representations, material elements, technologies, products and ways of doing and thinking.
French Colonial Sailors and Technological Knowledge in the Union Française
In the 1950s, French shipping companies began to replace their old fleet of steamships with new diesel ships. They also began to lay off sailors from French Africa, claiming that the changing technology rendered their labor obsolete. The industry asserted that African sailors did not have the aptitude to do other, more skilled jobs aboard diesel vessels. But unemployed colonial sailors argued differently, claiming that they were both able and skilled. This article explores how unemployed sailors from French Africa cast themselves as experts, capable of producing technological knowledge about shipping. In so doing, they shaped racialized and gendered notions about labor and skill within the French empire. The arguments they made were inconvenient, I argue, because colonial sailors called into question hegemonic ideas about who could be modern and who had the right to participate in discourse about expertise.
Owen White and Elizabeth Heath
turn fall under the rubric of the history of capitalism, sometimes with an avowedly global field of vision. 7 Others have explicitly addressed globalization and empire and, particularly, how new technologies and flows of people and goods reshaped