François Vallotton is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Lausanne, where he teaches Media History in particular. He is the author of numerous contributions in the field of cultural and intellectual history, and has also developed teaching and research projects on audiovisual history from a Swiss and transnational perspective. As such, he is one of the hosts of the Hub «Audiovisual History of the Contemporary Era» at UNIL’s history department, which aims to develop the history of radio, sound and television while developing a methodological reflection on the use of audiovisual sources in the service of a history of the contemporary period.
François Vallotton is also a founding member of the interdisciplinary Centre of the Historical Cultural Science at the University of Lausanne, which brings together the Film, French literature, Art history and History departments. His research in this context address on Book and Publishing history as well as on national and universal exhibitions.
His work at Berkeley is mainly oriented in two directions. First, as co-leader of a Swiss research project titled “Beyond Public Service: Towards an Expanded History of Television in Switzerland, 1960 to 2000” (https://wp.unil.ch/tvelargie/), François is interested in investigating the different television «dispositifs» which existed at that time. Beyond the institutional analysis of the public service, this project aims to take into account techniques, actors and discourses associated with the development of this media in Switzerland, both official and private, on an experimental and more institutional basis, in a transnational, national and regional perspective.
François is undertaking another new research project centered on the development of the audiovisual department of the Swiss publisher and book club Rencontre. It concerns the development of a prototype of video recorder (based on film and not on video) and a film catalogue which has as most famous production Marcel Ophuls’ film The Sorrow and the Pity.