Béatrice Galinon-Mélénec

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Béatrice Galinon-Mélénec
Lille, France
Alma materParis V Sorbonne
Known forFounded the Human-Trace and Sign-Trace Paradigms
Scientific career
FieldsInformation & Communication Sciences, Communication Anthropology
InstitutionsLe Havre - Normandy University; UMR IDEES 6266 CNRS
ThesisPhD in Sciences of Education
Doctoral advisorGabriel Langouët

Béatrice Galinon-Mélénec is a professor emeritus at Normandy University-Le Havre, a research director at the CNRS UMR IDEES 62661[1] and research associate at DICEN universités Île-de-France-Paris.[2] She introduced the concepts of "human-trace" and "sign-trace" in the information and communication sciences in France and founded the e-laboratory on Human Trace UniTwin Complex System UNESCO Human Traces, of which she is the president.[3]


Professor Galinon-Mélénec holds a doctorate from the University of Paris-V Sorbonne in Sciences of Education (1988), was an Associate Professor at the Institut des Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication (1989-2002) at the University of Bordeaux-Montaigne, and in 2002 became a University Professor, then Full Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at Le Havre-Normandy University,at Le Havre's Institute of Technology. During her time at the University of Bordeaux, she contributed to the launch in 1992 and development of the journal Communication & Organisation[4] and set up the CDHET, (Network for Research in Communication and Development of Humans, Enterprises and Territories),[5] a research group which, in 2000, opened up inter-disciplinary and inter-university research on the relationship between ethology and human behavior. Since 2008, she has been a permanent member of the UMR (Mixed Research Unit) of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique IDEES[1] (Identities and Differentiation of the Environment of Spaces and Societies) 6266, Normandie Université, where she directs the Human-Trace program.[1] In 2011, she founded RIGHT[6] (the Research International Group: Human Traces). She is a member of The Global U8 Consortium, an educational consortium of eight universities located in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Israel, Malaysia South Korea and the UK. Since 2014, researchers from different scientific horizons have been networking on the subject of traces in the e. laboratory on Human Trace in the Complex System Digital Campus UNESCO which she founded.

Research work[edit]

Béatrice Galinon-Mélénec is a researcher/specialist in interpersonal communication with an emphasis on body-to-body communication, on Embodied language processing, and on social semiotics for multimodality in organizations.


In collaboration with Yves Jeanneret,[7] of the Université Paris-IV Sorbonne Paris-Sorbonne University, Béatrice Galinon-Mélénec analyzes the notion of trace in all its complexity. In her publications, in line with the works of Jacques Derrida, she reveals the processes at work in the human interpretation of trace and proceeds with a systematic deconstruction of the use that is made of it. She revisits the works of Erving Goffman on interactions in situations of communication; she does this using her paradigm concerning interactions of sign-traces of the body.


The processes which lead to naming a sign a fragment of perceived reality to which humans attach meaning has opened up several new lines of research in semiology. Béatrice Galinon-Mélénec diversifies the existing approaches by proposing a new terminology: the sign-trace. Starting from the principle that perception is the result (the trace) of the sentient body (which is itself a “body-trace”)[8] and that qualifying what is perceived is the consequence (trace) of a cognitive process, the author proposes the use of the term sign-trace every time that the history of the construction of the emergence of the sign is worth repeating. She illustrates the interest of such an approach for recruiters who are anxious to avoid any personal discrimination when hiring[9].

Human-Trace (Ichnos-Anthropos)[edit]

With the term "Human-Trace" (Ichnos-Anthropos), Béatrice Galinon-Mélénec establishes Anthropos as trace to signify that humans are in a constant "Body-Trace" evolution, which is the consequence of their interactions with the environment in which they live (nature, culture, techniques, society, etc.).[10] The issue of these "traces of interactions" on the environment is associated in symmetry with the position relative to the body's plasticity (including the brain). Both the Ichnos-Anthropos and traces left by human activity in the environment produce a retroactive effect in a systemic dynamic, and have done since the beginning of humanity.[11]


There has been a growing interest in the terms "human trace", "body-trace" and "sign-trace". Nevertheless, if reference is made to certain indexing tools [12], the citations lead us to conclude that their uses in French articles in the humanities between 2008-2018 are more often linked to the evocative power of the words that form them than the systemic, dynamic and multi-scale perspective that they encompass for their author. The traces of digital consultations of the works and publications reveal a 60% readership belonging to academia and from various geographical horizons [13] (The United States, Canada, Brazil, The United Kingdom, Italy, Romania, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, India, The Philippines, Turkey, Mauritius, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon).

Main publications[edit]

In French[edit]

  • Galinon-Mélénec, Béatrice (1991). Projet et communication dans les universités (in French). Paris: Éditions d'Organisation. ISBN 978-2-7081-1320-6.
  • —— (1994). De la Formation à l'emploi, le rôle de la communication (in French). Presses Universitaires Pau. ISBN 978-2-908930-15-3.
  • —— (2003). Homme/animal: quelles relations? Quelles communications? (in French). Presses Universitaires Rouen. ISBN 978-2-87775-353-1.
  • —— (2007). Penser autrement la communication - Du sens commun vers le sens scientifique. Du sens scientifique vers la pratique (in French). L'Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-296-02658-2.
  • ——, ed. (2011). L'Homme Trace - Perspectives Anthropologiques des Traces Contemporaines (in French). CNRS Editions. ISBN 978-2-271-07139-2.
  • —— (2012). "Homme-trace" et "signes-traces", deux paradigmes français à l'épreuve des faits (in French). Rouen: Klog Editions. ISBN 978-2-9539459-7-3.
  • —— (2014). "Postface, La trace: propositions anthropologiques et ontologiques. Le rôle de la trace dans l'interprétation du monde par l'Homme". In Idjeraoui-Ravez, Linda; Pelissier, Nicolas. Quand les traces communiquent (in French). L'Harmattan. pp. 219–240. ISBN 978-2-343-04640-2.
  • ——, ed. (2017). L'Homme-Trace - Des traces du corps au corps-trace (in French). CNRS Editions. ISBN 978-2-271-11417-4.

In English (translations from French)[edit]

  • —— (2013). "Human-Trace" and "Sign-Traces": Two New French Paradigms Put To The Test. Translated by Kraftowitz, Laura. Rouen: Klog Editions.


  • Galinon-Mélénec, Béatrice; Martin-Juchat, Fabienne, eds. (2008). Le corps communicant - Le XXIe siècle, civilisation du corps? (in French). L'Harmattan. ISBN 978-2-296-04597-2.
  • Galinon-Mélénec, Béatrice; Zlitni-Sami, eds. (2013). Traces numériques - De la production à l'interprétation (in French). CNRS Editions. ISBN 978-2-271-07239-9.
  • Galinon-Mélénec, Béatrice; Liénard Fabien, Zlitni Sami, eds. (2015). L'Homme-trace - Inscriptions corporelles et techniques (in French). CNRS Editions. ISBN 978-2-271-08324-1.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Laboratoire IDEES". UMR CNRS IDEES (in French).
  2. ^ "GALINON-MELENEC Béatrice". Dicen IdF (in French). 10 October 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Portal:Complex Systems Digital Campus/E-Laboratory on human trace". Portal. 1 September 2015. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  4. ^ "1 - 1992 Communication et sentiment d'appartenance". OpenEdition Journals (in French). 1 November 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ "HISTORIQUE ET RAMIFICATIONS - CDHET (2016 à …)". Welcome to nginx! (in French). 6 February 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Actualités" (in French). 21 July 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Complexité de la notion de trace". Gripic (in French). 25 February 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ Galinon-Mélénec, Béatrice, ed. (2017). L'Homme-Trace - Des traces du corps au corps-trace (in French). CNRS Editions. ISBN 978-2-271-11417-4.
  9. ^ Galinon-Mélénec, Béatrice, ed. (2011). L'Homme Trace - Perspectives Anthropologiques des Traces Contemporaines (in French). CNRS Editions. ISBN 978-2271-07139-2.
  10. ^ "Ressource en auto-formation : Conférence mondiale de l'UNITWIN UNESCO sur les systèmes complexes - Le paradigme de l'"Homme-Trace"". Le portail du numérique dans l'enseignement supérieur.
  11. ^ Galinon-Mélénec, Béatrice, ed. (2017). L'Homme-Trace - Des traces du corps au corps-trace (in French). CNRS Editions. ISBN 978-2-271-11417-4.
  12. ^ Google Scholar
  13. ^ Academia.edu

Further reading[edit]

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