VIRAL seminar. Programme 2022-23

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the VIRAL seminar will continue to focus on the many ways we may think about online virality and analyse the circulation of born-digital content. 
The seminar will offer an interdisciplinary overview of virality, digital cultures, circulations and traces. It includes three main presentation types: analysis of corpora, methodological considerations, and historical or socio-technical approaches.

The seminar will take place approximately once a month, and all sessions will be held from 17:00 to 18:30 (Paris time).

If you would like to register for one or more sessions, please email


  • Thursday 22 September 2022, 5.00 pm-6.30 pm (remote session) 

“Viral journalism, is it a thing? Strategies, tactics, concerns” by Anastasia Denisova (University of Westminster, London)

If memes and gifs can reach millions of people, would it be useful for journalism to employ similar formats to engage the audience? Different from clickbait and marketing, viral journalism means diversifying content and understanding emotions. Quality media in the UK (think The Economist, Times, Financial Times etc.) are trying viral technics – but can they turn against the master?

Discussant: Valérie Schafer (C2DH, University of Luxembourg)

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PostDoc Position in Media Studies and Journalism at USI Università della Svizzera italiana (Switzerland)

The Institute of Media and Journalism (IMeG) at Università della Svizzera italiana (Switzerland) invites applications for a 75% per annum pro rata research and teaching PostDoc position (available for *two years*, subject to a positive evaluation at the end of year one).

*The PostDoc Position*

The PostDoc candidate will work under the scientific supervision of Prof. Gabriele Balbi ( <>). The successful candidate will have shared responsibilities in the design and implementation of research projects in the fields of media and journalism studies. The Institute plans to submit research projects to funding institutions in one or more of the following areas: media history, digital journalism, digital cultures and climate change communications. Therefore, expertise in one or more of these fields is important as well as qualitative and/or quantitative methods experience.

The successful candidate will prepare and teach courses at both the Bachelor and Master level, including supervising dissertation students. Specifically, the candidate will teach a Bachelor-level course of 6 ECTS (56 hours of lectures) in the field of Sociology of Communications (in Italian) from Spring 2023.

The successful PostDoc candidate is expected to present papers at scientific conferences and produce publications in high-impact journals.

*Candidates’ profile*

 * Ideal candidates should satisfy the following requirements:
 * A PhD in media or communication studies, or related disciplines.
 * High personal interest in collaborative work in both teaching and
 * Expertise in the field of media and journalism studies. The
   Institute particularly welcomes candidates in one or more of the
   following areas: media history, digital journalism, digital cultures
   and climate change communications.
 * Skills in qualitative and/or quantitative methods are desirable.
 * Excellent command of English and Italian, both written and spoken.
 * A strong desire for research and publishing at high-level conferences.
 * Ability to work independently and to plan and direct one’s own work.
 * Ability to work in a team and autonomy in scheduling research steps.
   Interest for teaching and tutoring students and availability to
   collaborate with colleagues (engage in scientific dialogue, listen
   and think critically) are required.

*The Application*

Applications should contain: (1) a letter in which the applicants describe their research interests and the motivation to apply, (2) a complete CV, (3) copies of relevant diplomas, certificates as well as the full transcript of records, (4) a complete list of publications with details on the candidate’s contributions, (5) two reference letters, (6) the candidate’s three strongest publications, (7) a short description of no more than 300 words for a course entitled “Sociology of Communication” to be taught in Italian from Spring 2023.

Please send your application in electronic form or requests for further information to Gabriele Balbi ( <>)

Applications received before 25 April 2022, will be given priority. However, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

The starting date for this position is from the 1 September 2022. The position will be kept open until a suitable candidate has been found.

Online Workshop : Communication Maintenance in Longue Durée (Zoom)

To get the Zoom link and join the meeting please email

More info:

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

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Klaus Arnold (1968-2017)

We are deeply saddened by the news that Klaus Arnold, has passed away.


Klaus was not only one of the Editors of the forthcoming European Communication History Handbook but, as many of you will recall, he was also the  first Chair of the ECREA Communication History Section.
We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Antje, his children, wider family and friends in light of this terribly sad news.
Words are pretty inadequate in face of such awful news. But at this point,  we would like to remember Klaus fondly and thank him for his active role and  sense of initiative so evident across the very many good things he did in his life. Not least, of course, we are very grateful to Klaus for his role in bringing so many of us together through the ECREA Communication History Section – one of his many lasting legacies.

Nelson Ribeiro
Susanne Kinnebrock
Paschal Preston
Gabriele Balbi
Christian Schwarzenegger