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Millet, Audrey


Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2016/2017

Ph.D. Institution

Université Paris 8/University of Neuchâtel


I conducted my PhD in History at the Paris 8 University and University of Neuchâtel from 2011 to 2015 under the joint supervision of Philippe Minard and Olivier Christin. My research, ‘Factory Draughtsmen during the first industrialisation’ crosses the history of science and technology, economic and social history, workers, intellectual property, drawings and fashion. The desire to buy beyond goods that allow for simple survival led to an assertion of the phenomena of fashion; implying that producers needed to take into account the changing taste of consumers and the diversification of their consumption. The race to novelty to attract customers became a major stake for manufacturers. The draughtsman occupies an essential place in this competition, since the first step in the production process, before manufacturing and marketing, is the creation and design of the product.
My new project for the Max Weber Fellowship is titled ‘The Protection of Drawings and European Modes of Manufacture: France and Switzerland in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries’. In a context of globalization, the need to protect inventions and inventors ranges from strict protectionism (property rights, patents, etc.) to total freedom (open access, shared facilities, etc.). The discussion of intellectual property goes back to ancient times and by the 18th century had assumed national relevance in different European countries. This was particularly the case of images (drawings) intended for the decoration of consumer goods.
In September 2012, I obtained a grant applied to London (GDR "Mondes britanniques", 3434 CNRS); in September 2013, a grant applied to Oxford (Maison Française d’Oxford) ; and a fellowship at the Winterthur Museum and Library (July 2014).
Since 2008, I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses at University Paris 8 and University Lille 3. Topics have included a history of luxury and fashion, French history (16th-18th century) and political history (20th century)».
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