Discover the program of the 18 seminars sessions:


  • Monday 3rd May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Esteban Buch: "Música y política: los poderes del sonido"

Opening by Christophe Prochasson, President of EHESS, and Sabina Loriga, Vice-President of international affairs

Main language: Spanish

Languages available for discussion : Spanish, English, French

By discussing case studies from different genres and historial contexts, we seek to analyse a recurrent series of temporal forms: repetition, stasis, contrast, climax. The general idea is to bring together two fields, the relations between music and politics, focusing on State music and the issue of resistance, on one side; the sonic history of sexuality, including the role of music pleasures in social interactions, on the other. Whether we speak of sex or of violence, of enjoyment or of repression, of the beautiful or of the sublime, these temporal forms are shared by sonic phenomena, including musical representations, and by the individuals’ experience, which they influence through a pragmatics of the emotions.


  • Tuesday 4th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Françoise Daucé and Isabelle Thireau: "Publicness, media and collective action in Russia and in China"

Moderated by Alain Blum

Main language: English

Languages available for discussion : English, French

The aim of these presentations, and of the seminar in which they take place, is to contribute to the intelligibility of Russian and Chinese societies, both of which belong to imperial spaces shaped by the experience of communism. We propose a joint dialogue - and not a term-by-term comparison - to researchers working on China and Russia, a dialogue that draws on both historiographical materials and field surveys, on current observations and retrospective accounts.

How can people make themselves heard in Russia today? How can they talk about collective difficulties while avoiding the conflictual nature of politics? The presentation will focus on the conversion of some journalists from political to social journalism. It will show their growing interest in ordinary stories collected from people in difficulty. Their reliance on personal narratives offers them support to question more general realities, and even to inform the "officials" about the social difficulties in the country. The presentation will be based on interviews with journalists as well as on observations from the Takie dela (These things) website, which, between information and charity, proposes to put "people at the heart of journalism".

How can people act together in China today? How can they identify and defend a common good and, to do so, overcome the institutional divisions between the local and the national, between "ordinary citizens" and those "within the system"? How can they legitimize the actions undertaken by giving them the appropriate degree of publicity, i.e. by making an unanticipated use of the official equivalence posited between visibility, reality and legitimacy?  How can they eventually push local leaders to act by confronting them with obligations stemming from the selection and re-interpretation process of scattered and often contradictory official commitments? The answers to these questions involve a complex use of different types of media, websites and social networks, which we will describe and analyze, based on a survey conducted in the city of Tianjin.


  • Wednesday 5th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Thomas Piketty: "Inequality Regimes: A Global History"

Moderated by Romain Huret

Main language: English

Languages available for discussion : English, French

The study of inequality regimes, i.e. of the institutionnal devices and intellectual schmes aiming to reproduce and justify the structure of inequality within a given society, belongs both to the field of economic and social history and to the field of political economy. At the frontier between these two fields, my teachings and seminars attempt to propose an introduction to this field of study, and to put an historical and comparative perspective of longue durée the analysis of the diversity of current inequality regimes, especially in their hyper-capitalist, social-national, post-communist and post-colonial dimensions.


  • Thursday 6th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Roberto Casati and Jean-Pierre Nadal: "Climate Change/Changing Behaviors"

Moderated by Frédéric Brahami

Main language: English

Languages available for discussion : English, French

Climate change prevention and mitigation require behavioral change or reconfiguration of behaviors and policies. The goal of this seminar is to establish a transformational contact between expertise in geoscience and biological sciences and expertise in behavioral and cognitive sciences on environmental issues. The seminar:

1) Draws from the life sciences and geosciences to understand what has an impact on climate change (i.e., the causal chains);

2) Draws from economics to understand how to regulate and incentivize citizens and firms to go towards what has a positive impact; and

3) Draws from the cognitive science to understand the psychological and social side of the needed change (how to understand and change individuals' and groups' behavior).


  • Monday 10th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Geneviève Pruvost and Stéphane Tonnelat: "Ethnographie des alternatives"

Moderated by Céline Béraud

Main language: French

Languages available for discussion : French, English

How can we conduct ethnographic fieldwork to closely study alternative political experiments, with an emphasis on environmental and social issues? We will work on several possible ways to narrate the field. How to document accurately and ethically fieldwork that require an engagement from the researcher? Can we include cooperative, non-academic and collective ethnography in our research? How do we work with people who do not want to be an object of study? How can we incorporate animals, plants  and landscapes in our descriptions? How can we recognize and care for them?


  • Tuesday 11th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Gisèle Sapiro: "Engagement and disengagement: the intellectual and artistic professions, between responsibility and disinterestedness"

Séance animée par Sebastian Veg

Main language: English

Languages available for discussion : English, French

This seminar proposes an overview of the main questioning and achievements of the sociology of intellectuals, while making some suggestions on its contribution to the sociology of knowledge and to intellectual history. The intellectual and artistic professions will first be approached as a social group or category. We will attempt to identify their common features despite differences of status, especially the principles of autonomy, disinterestedness and responsibility. Drawing on Bourdieu’s field theory, we will then turn to the conditions of production and circulation of ideas, works and knowledge, at local, national and transnational scale. Finally, we will examine modes of intervention of intellectuals beyond their areas of specialties. Whereas historical and sociological approaches of public intellectuals have focused more on the content of their interventions, we will propose to analyze the forms these interventions take. As it will appear, the idealtypical forms of intervention correspond to indigenous models of engagement: “the prince’s advisor”, the “public intellectual”, the “avant-garde”, “organic intellectuals” (Gramsci), the expert, the “specific intellectual” (Foucault), the “collective intellectual” (Bourdieu).


  • Wednesday 12th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Pascal Engel: "Values and norms: friends or foes?"

Moderated by Jérôme Dokic

Main language: English

Languages available for discussion : English, French

We are governed by norms, and we often violate them. We respect values, and  sometimes fail to do so. But is it the same? We find norms stringent, but we also suspect values to hide forms of conservatism. Before asking these questions, we should understand better in what in their respective fields their normative import consists in , both in the practical and in the theoretical domain.


  • Monday 17th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Catherine König-Pralong : "Modernités transatlantiques. L’histoire de la philosophie entre Europe et USA au XIXe siècle"

Moderated by Antoine Lilti

Main language: French

Languages available for discussion : English, French, German, Italian

Americanization of the European university, Europeanization of the American society, remanence of an archaic or native society in the USA? Around 1910, Max Weber was unable to decide. In the 19th century, philosophers, psychologists and sociologists—natives or immigrants—, introduced the history of philosophy into the American colleges, learned societies, and universities. Mirroring the European nations and their learned colonization of the past, this science challenged the (very diverse) conceptions of the American “mind”.


  • Tuesday 18th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Beatriz Fernández: "Métropoles et capitales : trajectoires locales dans un monde global"

Moderated by Marie-Vic Ozouf Marignier

Main language: French

Languages available for discussion : Spanish, English, French

In the last few decades, media and research have focused on global city-regions and great metropolitan areas. In most cases, they are portrayed as the place of economic growth. These narratives and research have greatly influenced urban policy and planning. The opposition between growing metropolitan areas and shrinking remote areas is rarely questioned.

Yet, global city-regions are not only areas of rising inequalities, but also places where urban growth and shrinkage coexist. Based on municipal data in Greater Paris and other global city-regions, this seminar aims to question great metropolitan areas as a space of homogeneous growth. Examining the links between the different parts of global city-regions will allow us to think of great metropolitan areas as places where growth and shrinkage are inextricably connected.


  • Wednesday 19th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Anne Lafont, Jean-Frédéric Schaub, and Silvia Sebastiani : "Race in Early Modern times: Social processes, Categorizations, Ideologies of Exclusion"

Moderated by Caroline Callard

Main languages: French, English, Spanish

Languages available for discussion : Spanish, English, French Italian, Portuguese

Our seminar’s principal aim is to explore the issue of the racialization of Western societies and their colonies in its historical depth. We invite students to relate phenomena that might be familiar to them but that they do not always connect. While focusing on the early modern period (15th-18th centuries), we are in constant dialogue with contemporary historiography, without neglecting the tensions running through our own societies. To do so, we combine three complementary ways of studying societies: the history of politics, the history of knowledge and art history.


  • Thursday 20th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Jean-Bernard Ouédraogo and Monique Sicard: "Pour une génétique et une anthropologie des images"

Moderated by Brigitte Derlon

Main language: French

Languages available for discussion : English, French

The social sciences are wary of images suspected of being too steeped in aestheticism and subjectivity, characteristics thought to distance them from scientific rigor. Building on the example of photography, the session will be devoted to a discussion of the heuristic functions of the image. Photography as an artifact is made up of specific categories of thought and modes of knowledge which help to broaden our understanding of social dynamics. With this is mind, we must still also identify the limits of photographic practices to better highlight their performance in terms of research. The genetic approach to photography examines the processes of photographic creation by considering the trajectory of pre-image, the social situation of the author and the historical identity of the practices used in the making of this object. Accordingly, the analysis will underline the relevance of an anthropological understanding of contemporary photographic practices as indicators of the social world. Thus, photography, which is a continuous mirror of the social, reveals new dimensions, heretofore invisible, of the life of individuals in society. During this session, we will lay out the theoretical foundations of this genetic approach which will be extended, examining concrete contexts in Europe and Africa, by an anthropology of photographic practices that it entails.


  • Friday 21st May(15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Arnaud Esquerre: "Langage et censure"

Moderated by Patrice Maniglier

Main language: French

Languages available for discussion : English, French

The seminar focuses on censorship, whether it is assumed by a state or religious institution, whether it is expressed in the form of an accusation, or, since the 2000s, whether it is justified as a business practice aimed at 'moderating' messages posted online. These forms of censorship can be distinguished by asking what they suppress, i.e. by distinguishing between the suppression of part or all of a message in a shared space of expression, and the suppression of access to the content for part or all of an audience having access to this shared space of expression. The focus will be on cinema on the one hand, and on the other hand on online messages left by Internet users to comment on current events, present or past.

  • Tuesday 25th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Andrea Benvenuto et Olivier Schetrit: "Los Estudios Sordos de una orilla al otro del Atlántico: aportes y desafíos"

Moderated by Rafael Mandressi

Main languages: Spanish, French sign languages

Languages available for discussion : Spanish, French sign languages

For centuries, deafness, the deaf and sign language have given rise to a wide variety of discourses, starting from theology down to the humanities and the social sciences. But it is only since the 1970s that deaf studies have carved a niche for themselves in the the academic world. Deaf Studies are an interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on deaf people and sign languages from a linguistic and socio-anthropological perspective. The innovative character of Deaf Studies lies not so much in their objects, but in their institutionalisation within Academia with their very own discursive and institutional dispositifs. Driven by the momentum of the "Studies" movement (Black Studies, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies) in building their theoretical framework, Deaf Studies fundamentally hinge on the deaf's point of view and on their actual participation in research. If this field has strongly contributed to overturning the paradigm of deafness as a deficit and in need of repairing for that of a community of language and culture, the main challenge of Deaf Studies today is to broaden their scope to take into account the multiple experiences of deaf life and integrate the theoretical contributions from other geographical, cultural and linguistic areas than the  Anglo and European ones that have been fueling the production of Deaf Studies so far.


  • Wednesday 26th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Juliette Rennes: "Approches critiques des catégories d'âge"

Moderated by Nathalie Bajos

Main language: French

Languages available for discussion : English, French

This seminar session proposes to sociologically unpack the category of age in order to better understand age-based injustices. When we talk about discrimination, inequality, stereotypes or domination based on "age", we are not always talking about the same dimensions of age (we can refer to chronological age, age status, bodily aging...). How can we distinguish these different dimensions of age and understand their relationship with other categories of classification and hierarchization of individuals, especially gender and social status?


  • Thursday 27th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Eloi Ficquet : "Describing the situations and facts of the war in Tigray, Ethiopia, since November 2020, between historical anthropology and digital ethnography"

Moderated by Yohann Aucante

Main language: English

Languages available for discussion : English, French, Amharic

Aksum is the holy city of Ethiopian Christians, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept according to the medieval founding story of the royal dynasty. In November 2020, on the day of the great annual festival of Zion (one of the biblical names for Jerusalem), several hundred people were massacred in different parts of the city and its surroundings. This massacre was held in silence for three months, until independent investigations confirmed it. Amongst a multitude of attacks on civilians, the certification, qualification and responsibility of which are debated, this event is representative of the extreme level of violence of the conflict raging in the Ethiopian region of Tigray. On the basis of the emblematic case of Aksum, this seminar session will question the available information on the course of this war, in particular the unprecedented nature of the attacks against religious and historical sites. Between the two approaches of historical anthropology and digital ethnography, particular attention will be given to the conditions of production, circulation and interpretation of information, which have produced two parallel and irreconcilable versions of the events.


  • Thursday 27th May (17:00-19:00, UTC+1)

Yohann Aucante: "Comparing social protection reforms: an international perspective before and after the Covid-19 pandemic"

Moderated by Eloi Ficquet

Main language: English

Languages available for discussion : English, French

The main focus of this seminar is to study the dominant trends in social protection reforms across different regions of the world. Comparative studies in this field are heavily biased in favour of a selection of Western countries. The objective is to enlarge the horizon by considering the local and global dynamics that affect social protection and health care systems, the actors at play, the diverse impact of globalisation, with a particular focus on the current pandemic crisis and its significant effects on all levels.
  • Friday 28th May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Julia Christ and Dominique Linhardt: "Libertés et solidarités dans l’État moderne"

Moderated by Bruno Karsenti

Main language: French

Languages available for discussion : English, French, German

The pandemic that we are currently passing through reveals once again the split relationship that our societies maintain with the State. On the one hand, the State is called upon to organize the common life in order to ensure its continuity. But, on the other hand, the State faces the criticism of reducing individual and collective freedoms and repressing horizontal solidarity. This seminar aims at shifting this problematic by indexing the actual benefit of freedoms to the degree of socialization of the State. Taking note of the already effective reality of what must be conceived as a continuous process allows us to re-examine the State as the very expression of solidarity. Taking the measure of its incompleteness allows us to reformulate the experience of the lack of liberties and solidarity and the practical consequences that follow from it.


  • Monday 31st May (15:00-17:00, UTC+1)

Falk Bretschneider and Natalia Muchnik: "Historia de la reclusión (siglos XVI al XXI)", "Histoire des enfermements (XVIe-XXIe siècles)"

Moderated by Antonella Romano

Main language: French, Spanish

Languages available for discussion : Spanish, French, English, German

For years, researchers placed the birth of the prison in the 19th century, conceiving it as a coherent system of discourse, buildings and methods of treatment. But the history of the prison has its roots in a much more distant past. Our seminar is interested in the practices, techniques and spaces of confinement since Early Modern Times: in Western monasteries whose rules and spatial structures inform modern confinement, in urban goals where prisoners for debt, heterodox people, prostitutes and ordinary offenders mix, or in the multifunctional establishments such as the Dutch Tuchthuizen or the German Zuchthäuser. The aim is to grasp the dynamics that unfold over time in this vast field of practices, spaces and uses, through the experience of those who inhabit these closed worlds and in their links with the society that surrounds them and has generated them.