CFP: Workshop on radio, community and power

Tristan Pinet-Le Bras's picture


Radio, community, power: domination and emancipation in segregated contexts


June 15, 2023, Campus Condorcet, Paris

Deadline for proposals: February 27, 2023

Coordinated by Tristan Le Bras (CENA-Mondes Américains - EHESS) and Thomas Leyris (IRHIS - Université de Lille).


This workshop will gather researchers working on radio in segregated contexts. The study of radio has been particularly dynamic in diverse cultural areas. In Europe, projects such as Popkult60 in Germany and Luxembourg, or the GRER (Groupe de Recherches et d’Études sur la Radio) in France, have been carrying up-to-date research over the role of radio in European history. Africa has also been investigated by recent scholarship over the role of broadcasting in late colonialism and independence. In the United States, sound studies have renewed the history of radio by focusing on the sonic dimensions or racial domination. Be it radios for racial minorities in the United States, or public radios controlled by colonizing powers in Africa, they both experienced strong backfires around the 1960s with intense politicization. It would be desirable and fruitful to investigate the struggle for the control over the airwaves in different situations characterized by racial domination and/or unequal repartition of power according to ethnic status. This workshop is intended to be a platform for all research that questions the dynamic relation binding radiocommunity and power.

Henceforth, the same question could apply to all this research: what happens when racial or colonial domination is highly contested and radio becomes the object of community struggles? We would like to introduce a comparison between imperial and domestic situations. We also want to stay mindful of the music broadcasted and its stakes. Programming is often contested and its manufacturing can reveal political forces at play. In a transatlantic perspective, we would like to offer an opportunity for discussion and encounters between seemingly sealed academic fields. We would also enjoy debate over methodological and conceptual approaches. The concept of race is omnipresent in the United States, while it is not always the case in french-speaking scholarship, especially in Africa.

The organizers know very little about research done in other cultural areas. Nevertheless, proposals coming from other experiences where the history of the radio is related to racial, ethnic and colonial domination are more than welcomed. We are especially interested in proposals about Europe to strenghten the transatlantic perspective. Also, we would like to remain open for research in connected history.

Modalities :

Proposals can be written in French or English and should contain 1500 to 3000 characters (excluding the bibliography and brief biography). All disciplines are welcomed. They should be sent before February 27, 2023 to the following email addresses:

The workship will happen both onsite and online.

 For more information

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