Online Workshop : Communication Maintenance in Longue Durée (Zoom)

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In the last decades, more and more scholars have claimed for inclusion of maintenance among the key topics and key questions of technology (Edgerton 2007, Jackson 2014, Russell and Vinsel 2018, Henke and Sims 2020). Communication and media studies have just partially included in their methodological and analytical tools reflections on maintenance (see Balbi and Leggero 2020; Weber and Krebs 2021) and this paper-based workshop aims to advance in this aspect adding another fundamental yet underestimated layer in communication and maintenance research: the Longue durée. The workshop will host methodological and empirical approaches ranging from history to anthropology, from geography to political studies, from economics to obviously communication and transportation studies.

Final program

24 February 2022, noon-3pm CEST

Noon-1.30 pm


Roundtable 1 

What does maintenance mean in communication studies?

Roberto Leggero

Communicating and doing maintenance in Medieval and early Modern time societies. Why is it not only an art history problem

Stefan Krebs

“Keeping the lights on” – maintaining (communication) infrastructures 

Gabriele Balbi

Communication is Maintenance. Towards a maintenance culture in communication and media studies.  

2 pm-3.30 pm

Panel 1 


Felipe Beuttenmüller Lopes Silva

Large Scale Infrastructure Systems in Lisbon: Politics of repair and maintenance on Europe´s periphery

Laura Meneghello

Feeling the air: Sense perception and the maintenance of pneumatic mail tubes in the longue durée

Rebecca Mossop and Stefan Krebs

The delicate balance between expansion, innovation and maintenance

of the Luxembourg telephone network

Matthias Röhr

Digital timescales? The digitalization and privatization of the German telecom-munications network of the 1980s and 1990s and the change of timescales in the telecommunications

25 February 2022, noon-3pm CEST

Noon-1.15 pm

Roundtable 2

What does longue durée in maintenance mean?

Hitomi Sato

Reflection from the project Spatial and social mobility in the Medieval and Early Modern Alpine regions: Political, religious, and social dynamics in boundary areas

Heike Weber

Maintenance and beyond: A pluri-temporal perspective

Andrew Russell

Maintenance and the longue durée in the United States

1.45 pm-3.30 pm

Panel 2

Maintenance Theory 

Erik Koenen

Only old media: Maintaining the media heritage

Martin Meiske

The hidden cost of maintenance. Reflections on the persistence and

long-term effects of railway tie impregnation for environment and society  

Julie Momméja

The clock of the Long now in longue durée: Maintaining a communication

“cool tool” through millennia

Kirill Postoutenko

Persistence of communication: Non-technological view

Corinna Peil

We are all maintainers: Mundane practices of maintenance in the use of digital media as sites of contestation, critical (re-)assessment, and social negotiations

3.30p pm-3.45 pm

Closing Remarks