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Transfopress: transnational network for the study of foreign language press

General overview

The international network of Transfopress researchers focuses on bringing to the fore a material heritage object that has until now been almost completely ignored by researchers globally, namely the press published in languages other than the national language(s). Its aims is to update the historiography both of the press and of the construction of national identities and cultures.

Founded in 2012 by researchers at the Centre d’Histoire Culturelle des Sociétés Contemporaines (CHCSC), which is located at the Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (UVSQ), the network has approximately 100 members from more than 20 countries. Transfopress research groups have been set up in Brazil (, Mexico (in collaboration with the Hemeroteca at the Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico), Spain (in collaboration with the Universitat de les Illes Balears) and Italy (in collaboration with the Università degli Studi Roma Tre). New research groups are currently being set up in South-Eastern Europe and in Argentina/Uruguay.

How the network operates

With its flexible modus operandi, the network’s members enjoy a great deal of freedom. The steering committee is composed of seven or eight members with the occasional addition of other members interested in the network’s activities and general orientation from time to time. The committee meets regularly in Paris or at meetings organised abroad and currently includes Bénédicte Deschamps (LARCA [Laboratoire de Recherche sur les Cultures Anglophones]/Université de Paris), Colette Collignan (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada), Diana Cooper-Richet (CHCSC/UVSQ), Philippe Mezzasalma (Service Presse, Bibliothèque nationale de France), Nicolas Pitsos (CHCSC/UVSQ and CREE [Centre de Recherche Europes-Eurasie]/INALCO [Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales]), Stéphanie Prévost (LARCA/Université de Paris), Michel Rapoport (CHCSC/UVSQ) and Isabelle Richet (LARCA/Université de Paris).

In France, the network is linked to a handful of academic institutions, including the Service Presse at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, LARCA, La Contemporaine (formerly BDIC), BULAC (Bibliothèque Universitaire des Langues et Civilisations) and the Médias 19 programme. It has been continuously funded by the CHCSC and has received periodic financial support in the form of a French chair in Brazil (2013), a postdoctoral fellowship from Patrima (2014-2016), a Directeur d’Etude Associé (DEA) post at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme in Paris (2015), a Curran Fellowship awarded by the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and a scholarship from the Institut d’Etudes Avancées de Paris (2019-2020).

Transfopress-Europe seminar series

The Transfopress-Europe seminar group has organised a number of half-day sessions, colloquia and round tables every year since 2014. It aims to be a forum for the exchange and pooling of research carried out by European researchers with a view to comparing results, defining common research areas and disseminating results to the public.

The Transfopress-Europe seminar series is organised by researchers from the CHCSC (EA 2448, UVSQ), LARCA (UMR 8225, Université de Paris) and CREE (INALCO). The seminars are generally hosted by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, BULAC, Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA), UVSQ or Université de Paris.

The Transfopress-Europe seminars to date are (the session programmes are available on the website: click on the ‘Activités’ tab and thenSéminaire’):

4 March 2014: ‘La presse en français dans le monde’, organised by Michel Rapoport – CHCSC/UVSQ.
28 October 2014 : ‘La presse en anglais dans le monde’, organised by Diana Cooper-Richet – CHCSC/UVSQ.

7-8 April 2015: ‘La presse en italien dans le monde’, organised by Bénédicte Deschamps – LARCA/Université de Paris.

20 November 2015
: ‘La presse en espagnol dans le monde’, organised by Géraldine Poels – CHCSC/UVSQ).

10 December 2015: ‘Les apports de la monographie à l'étude des presses allophones’.

25 April 2016: ‘La presse lusophone dans le monde’, organised by Graça Dos Santos –Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense University.

12 December 2016: ‘La presse en arabe hors des pays arabes arabophones’, organised by Franck Mermier – CNRS.

1 June 2017: ‘La presse dans les langues officielles des pays balkaniques en France et la presse allophone en Europe du sud-est, au XXe siècle’, organised by Nicolas Pitsos, CHCSC/UVSQ and CREE/INALCO.

2 June 2017: Médias19/Transfopress joint seminar.

26 June 2018: ‘La presse grécophone comme presse allophone’, organised by Nicolas Pitsos – CHCSC/UVSQ and CREE/INALCO.

19 November 2018: ‘Les journalistes de la presse allophone’, organised by François Robinet – CHCSC/UVSQ.

22 March 2019: ‘London and Paris, capitals of the foreign language transnational press’, co-organised with the University of Surrey, UK (

18 June 2019: ‘Editer en Albanais’, organised by Nicolas Pitsos (CHCSC/UVSQ and CREE/INALCO).

Transfopress conferences

The conference programmes are available on the website (click on the ‘Activités’ tab and then ‘Rencontres annuelles’)

1st Transfopress international conference, November 2013, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris
2nd Transfopress international conference, November 2014, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Sao Paulo, Brazil
3rd Transfopress international conference, November 2015, Universidad de Málaga, Spain
4th Transfopress international conference, November 2016, Biblioteca Nacional Mexico
5th Transfopress international conference, October 2017, Paris Diderot University
Transfopress regional conference, March 2018, Universitatea din București, Romania
6th Transfopress international conference, May 2019, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome

Participation at other conferences

The network members endeavour to present their research as often as possible at conferences focused on the history of the press (Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, Freiburg 2017, ESPRIt, Milan 2017).

Transfopress organised a panel for the 2018 European Society for Periodical Research conference at the Paris-Sorbonne University.

Session 4: ‘Periodicals in-Between Reading Spaces and Communities/Les périodiques entre espaces de lecture et communautés’. Chair/Modérateur: Laurel Brake (ESPRit & Birkbeck College, University of London, UK)
 Panel TRANSFOPRESS: 19th Century European Reading Rooms and Press Bureaus and the Circulation of Foreign Languages Periodicals and Editorial Models/Les salles de lecture, les bureaux de consultation de la presse au XIXe siècle et la circulation des périodiques en langue étrangère et les modèles rédactionnels :

- Diana Cooper-Richet (UVSQ, CHCSC, France), ‘Perusing Foreign Language Periodicals in Early Nineteenth-Century Parisian Reading Rooms’
- Isabelle Richet (Paris Diderot University, France), ‘English-Language Periodicals and Reading-Rooms in Nineteenth-Century Italy as Spaces of Cultural Contact and Exchange’
- Colette Colligan (Simon Fraser University, Canada), ‘Newspaper Bureaus in 1890s Anglo-American Newspapers Published in France’
- Nissa Ren Cannon (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA), ‘“Room. Books. Staff.”: Paris’ American Reading Rooms and Expatriate Community’.

The papers will be published in a special issue of Cultural History.


The Transfopress network members make every effort to disseminate the results of their studies:

‘A imprensa em língua estrangeira publicada no Brasil’, Dossier TRANSFOPRESS I, Valéria GUIMARAES, Tania REGINA DE LUCA (ed.), ESCRITOS, ano 9, n. 9, 2015.
‘A imprensa em língua estrangeira publicada na Europa e nas Americas’, Dossier TRANSFOPRESS II Valéria GUIMARAES, Tania REGINA DE LUCA (ed.), Escritos, ano 10, n. 10, 2016.
Imprensa estrangeira publicada no Brasil – primeiras incursões, Tania Regina de Luca and Valeria Guimaraes ed., Sao Paulo, Rafael Copetti, São Paulo Editor, 2017.
Los Medios en lenga extranjera. Diversidad cultural e integraciòn, Juan Antonio Garcìa Galindo and Laura Lòpez Romero eds., Granada, Communicaciòn Internacional, 2018
‘A Impresa francofona nas Américas nos seculos XIX e XX’, Valéria GUIMARAES, Guillaume PINSON, Diana COOPER-RICHET (ed.), Special Issue, Historia, vol. 38, 2019.


The Proceedings of the 4th Transfopress International Conference in Mexico are currently in press, as is The Edinburgh History of the British and Irish PressExpansion and Evolution 1800-1900, David Finkelstein ed., Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, 2020 (, which contains two contributions from Transfopress network members. The proceedings of the 5th Transfopress International Conference will be published in London by Bloomsbury Press.

There are also a number of special issues in the pipeline: Cahiers balkaniques, Cultural History, Media History, Cédille, Revue des Mondes Musulmans et de la Méditerranée, Synergies-Roumanie.

Finally, a world history of the French-language press is currently being prepared in collaboration with Médias 19 and the Université Laval, Quebec.


Transfopress provides researchers with an open access collaborative bibliography: