Communication, Culture & languages

Between experimental and cross-disciplinary approaches

The Communication, Culture and Languages Department brings together teachers and researchers from various disciplines: information and communication sciences, management sciences, sociology, history, foreign languages, cultural studies, design, and political science.

Audencia is the only business school in France to host researchers in information and communication sciences (71st CNU section).

International, intercultural and interdisciplinary approaches are central to the team, supported by a long-standing collaboration with Prof. Colleen Mills (Cantebury, NZ) and Prof. Cynthia Stohl (UCSB, USA). The scientific and pedagogical programs attached to the Department contribute to the development of research and professional practices around communication, media and cultural processes. Our diversified approaches are complementary and allow us to produce a detailed analysis of the interactions between actors.  We seek to grasp the multiple mediations at work in project situations: educational projects, action research, and support for communication, media, and cultural organizations and services. We are interested in action research (research-intervention, research-design, etc.), project-based pedagogy, art-science dialogue, and alternative research and teaching practices, which positions the department between experimental practices and epistemological questioning.

We operate mainly from the Mediacampus, in the heart of the Quartier de la Création on the island of Nantes: this location places us in the midst of a vibrant ecosystem of digital, innovation and cultural entrepreneurship players.

Audencia benefits from the expertise and experiments conducted by the members of the Department, notably in the framework of the ECOS2025 strategic plan. Through our research and teaching, we contribute to training global citizens and humanist managers. Our students and partners will be able to act in the direction of the great challenges of today's transition from approaches in communication and culture: a concern for the other, a concern for relationships, a concern for the heritage and works that form the basis of the common good.

In a logic of publications, funded projects and seminars, we are invested in each of the challenges structuring the strategic plan:

- Responsible information: our research and teaching focus on the media ecosystem, journalistic practices, the circulation of content, modes of engagement and participation in political life

- Inclusive management: we work on issues of diversity, representation, organizational communication modes, and implicit marketing

- Models of sustainability: our scientific and pedagogical activities focus on forms of work in the cultural industries, on the business models of digital platforms, on the ethical design of mediation devices


The team Media and Responsible Engagement focuses on how media (broadly understood as link or relation) engage social actors, that is, mobilise and orient them in a more or less lasting manner. It is especially attentive to how media enable or, on the contrary, prevent actors from reflecting on the ethical or responsible character of their engagement. Members of the team thus explore phenomena as diverse as disinformation, journalistic ethics, conspiracy theories, (non) violent communication, dark advertising, and implicative marketing.

Team leader: Thomas Martine

Members: Claire Burlat, Estelle Prusker, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Florence Touzé

The Design & Fiction group is interested in what fiction does to a brand, to information, to a course, to a scientific article or to an organization. First, fiction is put in perspective with debates: what discussion produces fiction? How does it affect the participants? How far can fiction take us through dystopia, fake news, illusion, and fantasy?
From there, the object of debate is questioned through experimentation. The members of the group are thus involved in the design of a fictional object, the faktory, in order to evaluate what, in its materiality, encourages or not the debate, the changing of opinions, and even the engagement in individual and/or collective action.
To build this object, several meetings are planned with authors and designers, students, researchers, and of course, the general public.

Team leader: Marie-Julie Catoir-Brisson

Members: Nicolas Minvielle, Catherine Morel, Thomas Martine, Julien Pierre

Recently the aesthetic dimension of the organizations and the mobilization of creativity has gained momentum in academic research. At the crossroad of the arts, management sciences and communication studies, the Art, Aesthetics and Organizations group explores transversal research objects, oriented towards the study of artistic and creative organizations and concomitantly the study of the aesthetic dimension of organizations.
Thus, the research undertaken by the members of the group questions the place and role of art and the artist in organizations but also in pedagogy. They investigate forms of entrepreneurship and business models best suited for artistic and creative organizations but also forms of management based on art. Thirdly, they consider how the passage through artistic forms influences the design of new products, services, and experiences.
The research methods used by the team members are essentially qualitative and largely borrowed from the Social Sciences.

Team leader: Catherine Morel

Members: Martha Abad-Grebert, Delphine Saurier

In line with the globalized issues of ecological and social transition, the members of the axis observe and analyze the processes of writing and circulating public policies (PP) from a communicational and critical perspective, based on two main fields: culture (including communication, data and new technologies) and the economy (mainly entrepreneurship and the social economy and solidarity).
By focusing on the media and technological apparatus that support the writing and circulation of PP, the knowledge and discourse mobilized, their concrete arrangements and the sociological dimensions that support them, the members of the axis:
• Observe the institutional moments of this writing.
• Analyze the practices and discourses of instituted actors (ministries, international organizations, etc.) and instituting actors (NGOs, social movements, foundations, media, individuals, etc.) in the public space in order to initiate new policies; to discuss, act on the PP; to renew those already written, to imagine and propose alternatives, to adapt to these policies.
• Track the circulation of policies and their writing in an internationalized space.

Team leader: Odile Vallée

Members: Jérémy Vachet, Dominique Trudel, Delphine Saurier


Research Seminars

Each axis presents the progress of its work in several seminars during the year, with interventions by members or external guests. Once a semester, the Department organizes a session of the seminar 'Visualization of the research process': the mornings are devoted to workshops on research practice, and the afternoons to a presentation of work related to the epistemological reflections discussed in the morning. The Department has thus had the pleasure of welcoming researchers such as Yves Jeanneret, Shelley Bouliane, François Cooren, Jonathan Schroeder, Janet Borgerson, Joëlle le Marec, Julia Bonaccorsi, Marc Jahjah, Chris Bilton, etc.


Martha Abad Grebert

Head of department

Thomas Martine

Professeur associé