Call for communications for the 6th study day of the Young Researchers Network of LabEx ICCA

Continuity of the notion of border
in the cultural and creative industries

La Plaine Saint-Denis and online: June 28th, 2023
Deadline for submission of proposals: March 10th, 2023
March 20th, 2023


Social sciences may have difficulties reaching a consensus on the definition of border (Paquot and Lussault, 2012), however it can be conceptualized as the delimitation of a social space, in a symbolic sense, or a geographical region. Borders have two contrary effects of inclusion and exclusion: they bring elements together inside a space and exclude what stands outside it (Foucher, 2010).

The context of globalization, accompanied by a rapid development of digital technologies, results in questioning borders’ relevance, especially in regards to cultural and creative industries. At first glance, among cultural identities, creative spaces and artistic styles, it seems that our globalized and digital economy is making boundaries porous or even abolishing them. Coming from this realization, what are currently the forces at work in the reconfiguration of boundaries at the heart of cultural and creative industries? Are new ones being erected, while others are overtaken?

Digitalization on the one hand and globalized economy on the other hand are likely to favor the diffusion of cultural goods in geographical spaces, but also between social groups and individuals (Bouquillion, Miège and Moeglin, 2013). Legal and economic configurations are emerging to regulate the dissemination and circulation of cultural and informational goods which face new creative practices (Miège, 2014, 2017). This is the case of the digital commons and licenses associated with creative commons. Boundaries are also questioned between formats, as digital technology reinforces hybridization and transmedia phenomena. They are also blurred in regards to the role of market agents, when production, distribution and consumption practices become entangled, especially between users and artists on digital platforms (Bullich and Schmitt, 2019). The trajectory of cultural and artistic goods thus deserves to be questioned, highlighting the changes of symbolic and geographic boundaries.

Certain technologies make it possible to cross borders to create links from an individual stand (Cardon, 2010). A new public space can emerge from the development of platforms as well as networking (Beaud, 1987; Perriault, 2012). Conversely, certain objects are likely to exclude and separate: the digital is an example of a new social boarder that is being erected, preventing individuals from accessing part of the public space. Parallel to the dynamics of digitalization, alternative physical places also participate in the reconfiguration of borders. This is the case of coworking spaces, fablabs or third-places which bring together stakeholders from different backgrounds and various activities (Martin and Pereira, 2021; Lorre, 2021).

From an epistemological perspective, the notion of boarder structures and furthers the study of cultural and creative industries. Therefore, the reconfiguration of symbolic and geographical boundaries is likely to affect the way academic disciplines interrogate this sector. Globalization and digitalization of societies are changing and broadening perspectives as well as fields of enquiry: researchers can now rely in part on digital data while a globalized space can lead to the enlargement of certain research perimeters. In both cases, methodological challenges, particularly in terms of interdisciplinarity, are emerging for the human and social sciences studying the current evolution of these industries.

This study day, organized by Labex ICCA Young Researchers’ Network, proposes to engage in collective and interdisciplinary reflection on the reconfiguration of borders in a digital and globalized economy. The call is structured around three axes:

1) Borders in cultural and artistic creation
2) Borders in the circulation of cultural and artistic goods
3) Borders in research on cultural and creative industries

1) Borders in cultural and artistic creation

The recent transformations of the cultural and creative industries are disrupting the symbolic and aesthetic boundaries that are used to distinguish productions. From a socio-economic standpoint, and considering artistic hybridization and other possibilities offered by platforms, the questioning of borders has strong implications for the stakeholders of creation.

On the one hand, symbolic borders divide diverse spaces (artistic styles, prizes, festivals or networks of national and international artists), which enjoy different legitimacies according to the stakeholders of each sector. This valorization is critical for these industries where the products do not meet basic needs, having an essentially symbolic value (Benghozi, 2006). However, boundaries are likely to be crossed when styles are mixed between artistic expressions perceived as legitimate and non-legitimate (Lahire 2003). One example is Clément Cogitore’s 2019 staging of Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera-ballet Les Indes Galantes: combining classical music and Krump dance, it brought urban culture into the Paris Opera (Opéra National de Paris, 2019). Therefore, borders can be crossed when creation and diffusion venues open up to new productions, whether institutional or non-institutional, like fringes (Lextrait and Bonnin, 2018). Outside of institutions, cultural spaces are emerging, intended to be ‘open’ to creators. For example: exhibitions spaces outside museums, alternative or ‘off’ stages within festivals (Vivant, 2007). Faced with these developments and the apparent overcoming of legitimizing boundaries, we question: what are the necessary mechanisms to achieve symbolic valorization within the cultural and creative industries? On a consumption level, do these transformations contribute to the diffusion of omnivorous or eclectic practices (Peterson and Kern, 1996 ; Donnat, 2004) ? Do they lead to the emergence of new symbolic boundaries among audiences (Glevarec and Cibois, 2018 ; Coulangeon, 2021) ? From a socio-economic perspective, what are the consequences of institutionalization, as well as the rising of alternative spaces where artists’ outcomes can be valued?

Other places have become omnipresent in the lives of citizens and crucial for the cultural and creative industries: digital platforms and social networks. They blur the boundaries separating artistic styles, formats, and even the roles as well as the identities of stakeholders. Digital spaces have become stages where creation and distribution happens, allowing artists to promote their creations themselves without using traditional intermediaries. In return, the latter tend to adopt innovative valorization strategies. During Covid19 lock-downs, the Museum Challenges illustrated a digital promotion strategy including the public in a creation process and the promotion of collections on social networks (Molinié-Andlauer and Andreacola, 2022). This border renewal is likely to represent a threat to professional artists who face the arrival of massive competition where amateur creators are found online (Flichy, 2010). Finally, artists who do not master computer tools and platforms’ communication codes may be penalized by platforms’ dynamics. In this context, what are the new emerging symbolic boundaries? How do they affect cultural and creative industries? In this axis, we welcome papers questioning the mutations of symbolic borders and their effects on creators’ strategies within these industries.

2) Borders in the circulation of cultural and artistic goods

Globalization has led to an intensification of exchanges between countries and the emergence of large international groups within cultural and creative industries. In this context, the circulation of cultural products is constrained by social, economic and geopolitical dynamics, that challenge national specificities (Ciccheli and Octobre, 2021).

We can notably question the nature of cultural objects that circulate, and phenomena of content such as standardization, bestsellerization, starification, as well as the diffusion of transmedia products. Therefore, we can interrogate the existence of cultural diversity in the transnational space (Unesco, Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, 2001) or, on the contrary, the constitution of a dominant, even hegemonic culture. The question of the exchange conditions and the nature of the ‘transnational cultural space’ (Boschetti, 2010) is also raised, particularly in regards to dual notions as the case of ‘center’ / ‘periphery’ (Wallerstein, 1974, 1980, 1989). How do certain products manage to cross borders? How do they integrate to the cultures that receive them (Hall, 1997)? Through which agents do they circulate? To what extent are exchanges unequal (Casanova, 2008)?

Moreover, the emergence in literary theory and criticism of the notion of “world literature” (Moretti, 1994, Damrosch, 2003) seems to suggest that the national character of work is no longer a sufficiently distinctive criterion facing an increasingly homogeneous production. Nevertheless, nationality remains a mean of categorization and valorization within the cultural industries. Examples include the creation of collections of foreign literature in Europe, or film-productions’ exportation being promoted according to their country of origin. If cultural goods are able to convey the national identity of a country, how do creators and cultural stakeholders reinterpret this function today? Can national identity still draw borders between different cultural productions?

Finally, we can question the concentration strategies within industrial players and beyond countries and cultural industries. Since the late 1970s the emergence of conglomerates has been interpreted in political and industrial milieux as a sign of the convergence between cultural and communication industries (Miège and Vinck, 2011). More recently, we have witnessed the entry of technology players often called “Big Tech” into the cultural goods market, in a trend towards a digital platform concentration. We welcome in this axis proposals that will question the borders which bring into light new circulation modalities of cultural goods, in a society context of globalization and digitalization.

3) Borders in research on cultural and creative industries

The emphasis placed on the notion of border within the research field on cultural and creative industries also deserves to be questioned. Facing the globalization and digitalization of culture, how can national, symbolic or economic borders be justified, especially within studies on production, distribution and consumption of cultural products?

In regards to production of field, data national boarders can be decisive. Hence, cross border trends can be difficult to observe. In the film industry, for example, the success of a film is measured by box office, which is calculated differently depending on the country. In the United States, it is computed through the box office receipts while in France it is through admission numbers. Yet we know that the success of a blockbuster goes beyond borders. How can we respond to these transnational challenges embedded in the studies of cultural industries? How do we face the gaps between each nations’ particularities when it comes to the production and use of institutional statistics? Is the internationalization of research and cooperation between researchers of different languages and cultures a solution? If so, under which conditions can this take place?

These phenomena transcend symbolic boundaries between genres, artistic formats, venues and industrial players. All of them are difficult to grasp, especially in economic terms, due to the survival of old statistical measurement methods. This is particularly true in the use of cross-media, as well as digital platforms and social networks consumers. Indeed, through their commutation strategies, digital giants condition the work circumstances under which these fields are being studied. Some of them publish their data and allow individual queries on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), while most of them practice certain opacity. For example, video-on-demand platforms share limited measurements of their audiences compared to television channels, which can result in the misrepresentation of the consumptions linked to them. A current epistemological issue is the possibility of scientifically studying these digital research fields, which crystallize significant issues for the culture and creative industries.

In this sense, one possible solution is the diffusion of computer science methods among researchers, such as web-scraping and protocol programming for the analysis of data sets. Added to this, the emergence of digital humanities, as an interdiscipline linking computer science, humanities and social sciences, is likely to renew and enrich the latter in their approaches to digital fields (Paquienséguy and Pélissier, 2021). To what extent are these interdisciplinary trends feasible despite disciplinary boundaries (Prudhomme and Gingras, 2015)? Furthermore, can they weaken the theoretical and methodological positions of humanities and social sciences? In this axis we are interested in works putting these questions into perspective. We also welcome propositions with innovative research protocols in face of these challenges.

Practical information

The study day will take place on Wednesday, June 28th 2023, at Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in La Plaine Saint-Denis (near Paris), as well as online.

To submit a proposal please send it to before Friday, March 20th 2023, containing the following information:

  • First and family name, email of each author/intervener, followed by a brief biography including the institution’s affiliation ;
  • The title of the intervention and an abstract in French or in English (1000 characters maximum) ;
  • 5 keywords in French or in English ;
  • The axis you match your proposal with ;
  • A text in French or in English (10 000 characters maximum) ;
  • A selective biography.

The financing of transportation and/or accommodation (within the limit of one night) for speakers from outside the Ile-de-France may be considered.

Organizing committee

Hubert Boët, PhD student, University Sorbonne Paris Nord (LabSIC)
Yearime Castel, PhD student, Univesrity Sorbonne Nouvelle (IRMECCEN)
Federica Malinverno, PhD student, UniversitySorbonne Paris Nord (LabSIC)
Aliénor Petiot, PhD student, UniversitySorbonne Paris Nord (LabSIC)

Scientific committee

Alix Benistant, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord (LabSIC)
Anne Bessette, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 (Cerlis)
Philippe Bouquillion, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord (LabSIC)
Christine Chevret-Castellani, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord (LabSIC)
François Mairesse, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3 (Cerlis)
Simon Renoir, Labex ICCA        


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Citer ce billet
rjcicca (2023, 26 janvier). Call for communications for the 6th study day of the Young Researchers Network of LabEx ICCA. Carnet du réseau des jeunes chercheur·e·s du labex ICCA. Consulté le 25 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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