CFP (Conference) Transitions in Energy History: State of the Art and New Perspectives

Léonard Laborie Discussion

Call for papers

Transitions in Energy History: State of the Art and New Perspectives

Conference, Milano, 29th November – 1st December 2017


Locations: Museo nazionale della scienza e della tecnologia “Leonardo da Vinci”, Sala Biancamano, Via Olona 6 bis, 20123 Milano, Italy; Edison, Sala azionisti, Foro Buonaparte 31, 20121 Milano, Italy.

Dates: 29th November – 1st December 2017

Deadline for submission: 25 June 2017

Organization: Committee for the History of Electrcity and Energy (Fondation Groupe EDF) together with the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia « Leonardo da Vinci » and the Università La Sapienza.

Rationale :

Transition today is the main paradigm in public policy and private strategies discourses related to energy. Public actors, firms, associations, but also researchers in the sciences and humanities more and more put themselves within the scope of an energy transition to be conducted and thought about as a gradual transformation of the means to produce and ways to consume energy. In this context, historians are sometimes called about on the question of past energy transitions: did it already happen in the past, and if yes what can we learn from them that could be of help today? Another question comes immediately after the first answers: are historians, as all other actors, victims of this notion’s plasticity, speaking all about transition without having the same definition of it? Has this object of research got any sense from an historical point of view?

The symposium on « Transitions in Energy History » aims at making a state of the art and questioning future historical research perspectives on past energy transitions. In which directions went researches on energy transition(s) since the seminal Technics and Civilization (1934) by Lewis Mumford, whom already gave a key role to production and usage of energy to define the three stages in human machine interactions? What is left for new research on the past of energy transitions? Is this paradigm sufficient in itself or do we need to complement or even overcome it?

The symposium will deal in particular with the archival issue. In which way does the actual energy transition perspective impact archives and archival policies in the firms in the energy sector in particular? Professionals involved are encouraged to participate in a reflection crucial to the future of historical studies on the energy transitions.

The symposium will prepare for the publication of a special issue of the forthcoming Journal of Energy History / Revue d'histoire de l'énergie.

Submission and selection process:

Applicants will send a title, a summary of their proposal and a one page cv to both email addresses: et

Languages accepted: English, French, Italian.

Proposals will be submitted by June, 25th 2017 at the latest to the scientific committee (Alain Beltran, CNRS Sirice ; Christophe Bouneau, Université Bordeaux Montaigne ; Yves Bouvier, Université Paris Sorbonne ; Paolo Brenni, CNR ; Anna Guagnini, Università di Bologna ; Sandra Holgado, EDF Archives ; Giovanni Paoloni, Università La Sapienza ; Laura Ronzon, Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia « Leonardo da Vinci »;  Luciana Tasselli, Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia « Leonardo da Vinci » ; Jean-Pierre Williot, Université de Tours ; Sergio Zannella, Edison).

Applicants will be informed of the results at the latest by July, 1st 2017.

Transportation costs will be at the expense of participants. Accommodation costs will be covered by the organizers.

Contacts: and