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Disruptive Technology

Social Media from Modiano to Zola and Proust

Elizabeth Emery

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

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Dimanche à Orly

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.

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La Police de l'Air

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.

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Paul Gyllenhammer

is based on this power to master and optimize mere matter. Mathematics, mechanics, electromagnetics, and nuclear physics put things into service for us. This is the rule of the enframing attitude of technology. It is also nihilistic, according to

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Peter Soppelsa

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).

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Le Rallye Méditerranée-le Cap

Racing towards Eurafrica?

Megan Brown

roadways a less imperative, or even unnecessary, means of exerting imperial might. New technologies, particularly improved air travel, erased the necessity of direct access to African territory that was at the heart of the rally's ideology. Second, the

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Roll Out the Barrel

French and Algerian Ports and the Birth of the Wine Tanker

Owen White

of Midi wine producers to Sète’s role in the importation of Algerian wine would continue well after Algeria became independent. 88 Stories of resistance to new technology rarely look heroic in hindsight. In Rouen, the protests of dockworkers against

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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

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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

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La naissance d'un géant

Arcelor-Mittal (1948-2006)

Éric Godelier

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.