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Card-index course

Productions, circulations and uses of digital traces

Productions, circulations et usages des traces numériques

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Social and Political Sciences (SSP)

Teacher(s): Boris Beaude
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2016 -> 2018

No timetable defined.


Autumn semester
4 hours per week
56 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): French
Public: Yes
Credits: 6.00


This course aims to offer a deep understanding of digital traces, focusing more specifically on the practical modalities of their productions, circulations and uses, while underlining the scientific, social and political issues linked to them.


Digital traces will be considered as information that may enable us to shed light on a various amount of individual and collective practices. Studying these traces implies precise identification of all the socio-technical systems that make their production, circulation and use possible. A particular focus will be given to the deconstruction of this process following each and every actor implied, while underlining the plurality of the associated contexts, interests and issues.

In order to fully understand how these traces generate relatively unprecedented challenges not only to humanities and social science, but also to the whole spectrum of activities dedicated to the characterization of social practices (governance, surveillance, marketing, communication...), stress will be laid within this course on the diversity of theses traces, the complexity of their significances, as well as on the social and political issues associated.

This course offers to articulate theoretical and practical knowledge, while illustrating as much as possible the notions introduced during sessions referring to the hot topics within the field.


Both a strong implication within the course and a thorough reading of the recommended papers are expected from the students. The final exam consists in a personal presentation both oral and written, analyzing a particular issue related to digital traces.

Additional information


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15