All posts by Clara Royer

CFA: 2018 CEFRES Platform Award

for Best Article (published in English or in French) in Social Sciences and Humanities

Deadline for applications: 30 April 2018
Prize Amount: 213 CZK (i.e. 9.261 CZK)
Official Award Ceremony:  20 June 2018
Language of application: English

This award is included within the Jacques Derrida Award organized by the French Embassy in the Czech Republic and Mgr. Karel Janeček, PhD., MBA, which rewards the best PhD research work in social sciences and humanities in the Czech Republic.

Born from the desire to support young researchers from the Czech Republic who endeavour to embed their research within the European and international networks, this initiative from the CEFRES Platform aims to award an article in social sciences and humanities published in a high-level peer-reviewed academic journal.

Since 2014, CEFRES Platform gathers the French Research Center in Social Sciences in Prague, the Czech Academy of Sciences and Charles University in Prague.

Young researchers from all disciplines in social sciences and humanities from the Czech Republic may apply to the CEFRES Platform special award, whatever the topic of their research may be. Applications must be sent directly by young researchers themselves to the following address:

Eligibility Criteria 

  • to be a Czech or Slovak PhD student or doctor who defended the PhD thesis at the earliest in 2011 in a university of the Czech Republic (so-called “cotutelle” PhDs are eligible)
  • to submit to the award competition an article in English or in French published in a peer-reviewed academic journal recognized by such databases as Web of Science, Scopus, or by the European Reference Index for the Humanities and Social Sciences (ERIH plus)
  • to have published the afore mentioned article between 2016 and 2018 (articles accepted for publication will be excluded, the award being renewed yearly)
  • to submit one article only: applications including two or more articles will be excluded from the competition

Application Package

The following information completed:

  • Name and Surname:
  • Date and place of birth:
  • Personal email:
  • Personal phone number:
  • Personal address:
  • Professional email:
  • Professional phone number:
  • Professional address:
  • Subject of Thesis:
  • Date of (past or forthcoming) defence:
  • Year and Faculty of registration:
  • PhD supervisor(s):
  • Discipline(s):

The application should also include:

  1. An academic curriculum vitae, including a list of publications
  2. An off-print of the submitted article for the Prize. NB: only one article will be considered; applications including two articles will be excluded
  3. The complete bibliographical references and a short summary of the submitted article in English or French. Please specify which database mentions the journal (Web of Science, Scopus, or ERIH plus)
  4. A letter explaining the originality and prospects of the research involved in the article

An interdisciplinary jury presided over by the director of CEFRES and representatives from the CEFRES Platform will select the laureate. The laureate will be notified by 6 June 2018 and will have to be available for the award ceremony.

Supported by Mgr. Karel Janeček, MBA, PhD., the award will be given at Palais Buquoy, the seat of the French Embassy in the Czech Republic on 20 June 2018 along with the other scientific awards of the French Embassy.

To apply to the Jacques Derrida Award, see the conditions here!

Debating the Norms of Scientific Writing

International Workshop for Young Researchers

Dates and place: 23rd-24th of May 2018, Prague
Deadline for proposals: 2 April 2018
Organizer: Julien Wacquez (EHESS, CESPRA, CEFRES)
Language: English

This workshop is open to young researchers (PhD students and Post-Doc) from diverse disciplines from France and from Visegrád countries as well as the CEFRES team. Please send a short CV, title and 300 word-long abstract to Julien Wacquez:

Day 1 (Wednesday, May 23) will bring together researchers from France and from Visegrád countries to tackle these questions and identify by which ways the norms of writing are negotiated. Do those debates about the forms of scientific writing impact our way of writing or of doing science?

Day 2 (Thursday morning, May 24) will be devoted to the question of how we encounter and solve writing problems in the course of our investigations. Professors and young researchers will be invited to share their own writing experiences.

Confirmed lecturer: Jean-Louis Fabiani (EHESS, CESPRA & CEU)


Scholars coming from various disciplines in the social sciences have questioned the limits of scientific writing. Some of them, readers of both scientific and literary works, felt somewhat uneasy as to the capacity of scientific writing to give an accurate account of reality, especially when compared with literature. This anxiety drove them to reflect upon the heuristic value of scientific writing, and to assess its functions, impacts, advantages and downsides compared to literary writing. In doing so, social scientists were led to interrogate their own practices of writing, to find new stylistic approaches that break away from the norms of their discipline, and to justify their choices. These questions have been at the centre of many discussions and debates.

For instance, some researchers emphasize the narrative dimension of all scientific texts, thus interrogating scientific discourse’s claim to offer an exhaustive description of reality (Greimas 1976; Latour & Woolgar 1979; White 1973 and 1980). Others consider the ethnographic text as a work of literary fiction, while challenging the illusion that language is a sheer neutral, technical instrument able to convey factual statements (Geertz 1973; Clifford and Marcus 1986; Adam et al. 1990). Some social scientists recognize the capacity of literary works to deliver a scientific type of knowledge (in sociology, see Dubois 1997 and 2007; Bidou-Zachariasen 1997). In parallel, several studies show the heuristic value of the use of fictional writing in the context of scientific enquiry (Debaene 2010; Aït-Touati 2011). Other scholars highlight the surprising fact that certain literary works seem more “convincing and relevant” on a scientific level than some scientific texts which they consider to be “average” and “out of sync” with reality (Bensa and Pouillon 2012).

One of the recurring questions raised by this corpus of studies concerns the referential value of the scientific text, which leads us to reconsider its status and credibility. All these debates focus on problems of categorization (what the “scientific” is and what the “literary” is, what the “real” is and what the “fictional” is) and representation (revealing the scientists’ desire to speak “the truth,” and to reject a mere “semblance of truth.”)

Some researchers experiment with “narrative” or “literary” forms in their scientific writing, be it in the context of history (White 1992; Jablonka 2014), sociology (Laé 2016), anthropology (Tsao 2011), or philosophy (Cassou-Noguès 2010). Others argue for a blurring of the lines between science and literature (Descombes 1987; Macé 2016). Conversely, these experiments have been criticized, either by those who wish to preserve the specificity of the “scientific style,” or by those who wish to emphasize crucial differences in methodology and scriptural practices between literary investigation and scientific enquiry (Ginzburg 1992; Céfaï 2014; Schaeffer 2016).

Such debates on the forms of scientific writing will be at the core of our workshop. Our aim is to probe these writing experiments, and to study how they express, justify, problematize, and renegotiate the normative rhetoric of disciplines.

The question is not to assess which form of writing is most suitable to scientific discourse and to the pursuit of truth. We encourage the contributors to adopt an interdisciplinary stance in order to study the discourses of social scientists who endeavour to redefine and/or to blur the limits between literature and scientific writing. What is their writing strategy in view of producing knowledge? How do they intend to convince their readers? How do they define “scientific realism” and “literary realism” (to quote Boltanski 2012)? How do these notions circulate within the social sciences?

These questions may be approached from various angles and disciplines — including, but not limited to:

  • from a socio-historical point of view, focusing on the identity of the researchers taking part in these debates, their position and trajectory within the academic field, that of their publishers; on the way such debates arise and inform each other; on the lineages to which they are connected, those that they cross or intersect;
  • from a sociological perspective relying on textual semantics, studying the composition of these scientists’ texts; the type of knowledge which they intend to produce; the narratives that infuse them; their intertextuality (quotations, references, shared themes); the ways in which texts incorporate non-textual elements and drive the reader’s attention;
  • through an analysis of writing as a practice, including components such as proofreading, peer reviewing, reevaluation, rewriting, negotiations with peers, publishers or journal’s editorial boards — all that which reveals how the norms of writing emerge and are negotiated in situ.

Illustration: Edgar Degas, Portrait d’Edmond Duranty (1879)

Selective Bibliography
  • ADAM Jean-Michel, BOREL Marie-Jeanne, CALAME Claude, KILANI Mondher 1990: Le Discours anthropologique, Paris, Méridien, Klincksieck.
  • AÏT-TOUATI Frédérique 2011: Contes de la Lune, Paris, Gallimard, nrf essais.
  • BAZERMAN Charles 1988: Shaping Written Knowledge, Madison, The University of Wisconsin Press.
  • BENSA Alban & POUILLON François (eds.) 2012: Terrains d’écrivains, Toulouse, Anarchasis, coll. Essais.
  • BIDOU-ZACHARIASEN Catherine 1997: Proust sociologue, Paris, Descartes et Cie, coll. Essais.
  • BOLTANSKI Luc 2012: Énigmes et Complots, Paris, Gallimard, collection nrf.
  • CASSOU-NOGUÈS Pierre 2010: Mon Zombie et moi. La philosophie comme fiction, Paris, Seuil, coll. L’Ordre Philosophique.
  • CHARTIER Roger 1996: On the Edge of the Cliff: History, Language and Practices, The John Hopkins University Press.
  • CÉFAÏ Daniel 2014: « L’Enquête ethnographique comme écriture, l’écriture ethnographique comme enquête », in Melliti Imed (dir.), Écrire en sciences sociales.
  • CLIFFORD James & MARCUS E. George (eds.) 1986: Writing Culture, Berkeley, University of Berkeley Press.
  • DEBAENE Vincent 2010: L’Adieu au voyage, Paris, Gallimard, coll. Bibliothèque des sciences humaines.
  • DECOMBES Vincent 1987: Proust : Philosophie du roman, Paris, Minuits, coll. Critique.
  • DUBOIS Jacques 1997: Pour Albertine : Proust et le sens du social, Paris, Seuil, coll. « Liber ».
  • DUBOIS, Jacques 2007: Stendhal: Une Sociologie romanesque, Paris, La Découverte, coll. Texte à l’appui.
  • FABIANI Jean-Louis 2015: La Sociologie comme elle s’écrit, Paris, EHESS, coll. Cas de Figure.
  • FRIEDLÄNDER Saul (ed.) 1992: Probing the Limits of Representation: Nazism and the “Final Solution”, Cambridge, Harvard University Press.
  • GREIMAS Algirdas J. 1976: Sémiotique et science sociale, Seuil.
  • JABLONKA Ivan 2014: L’Histoire est une littérature contemporaine, Paris, Seuil.
  • LAÉ Jean-François 2016: « Ferme ta caisse », Récit publié dans Sociologie et Sociétés, numéro : Sociologie narrative: le pouvoir du récit, Montréal, Volume 48, numéro 2, automne.
  • LATOUR Bruno & WOOLGAR Steve 1979: Laboratory Life, Sage Publication.
  • LORIGA Sabina 2010: Le Petit X. De la biographie à l’histoire, Paris, Le Seuil.
  • SCHAEFFER Jean-Marie 2016: “Langue, récit, vérité et fiction. Quelques réflexions sur le tournant linguistique en sciences sociales”, in Antoine Lilti, Sabina Loriga, Jean-Frédéric Schaub et Silvia Sebastiani (eds.), L’Expérience historiographique. Autour de Jacques Revel, Paris, Éditions de l’EHESS, pp. 221-236.
  • TSAO Eugenia 2011: “Walking the Walk: On the epistemological merits of literary ethnography”, Anthropology and Humanism, 36, (2), pp. 178-192.
  • WHITE Hayden 1973: Metahistory, The John Hopkins University Press.
  • WHITE Hayden 1980: “The Value of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality”, in Critical Inquiry, Vol. 7, No. 1, On Narrative, pp. 5-27.

2018 Young Researcher Fellowships at CEFRES (France & Visegrad Countries)

Call for application for 2nd year and above PhD students from France and the Visegrad countries 

Deadline for submission: 16 March 2018 (5 PM)
Duration: September 1st 2018 – August 31st 2019

CEFRES offers year-long fellowships at the center to 2nd year and above PhD students from France, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. Fellows’ research should contribute to one of CEFRES’s research areas. The amount of the fellowship is 20 000 CZK per month during 12 months. Good command of English is mandatory, command of French is appreciated. The selected PhD fellows will join CEFRES team and take part in the center’s scientific life.

Continue reading 2018 Young Researcher Fellowships at CEFRES (France & Visegrad Countries)

CEFRES 2018 Platform PhD Fellowships

Call for applications for 2nd year and above PhD students at the Charles University or the Czech Academy of Sciences

Deadline for submission: 16 March 2018 (5 PM)
Duration: September 1st 2018 – August 31st 2019

In the frame of its Platform, CEFRES offers a year-long fellowship to PhD students enrolled at the Charles University and/or working as fellows at the Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic. Fellows’ research should contribute to one of CEFRES’s research areas. The amount of the fellowship is 10 000 CZK per month during 12 months. Good command of English is mandatory, command of French is appreciated. The selected PhD fellows will join CEFRES team and take part in the center’s scientific life. Continue reading CEFRES 2018 Platform PhD Fellowships

When All Roads Led to Paris. Artistic Exchanges Between France and Central Europe in the 19th Century

Deadline for applications: 18 March 2018
Organizers: Kristýna Hochmuth (ÚDU FF UK, NG) and Adéla Klinerová (ÚDU FF UK, EPHE, CEFRES)
When & Where: 26-27 June 2018, AV ČR, Národní 1009/3, Prague 1, room 205
Languages: French and English

Practical Details

This workshop, organized by CEFRES, the Institute of Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences (ÚDU AV ČR), the National Gallery in Prague (NG) and the Institute of Art History of the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University (ÚDU FF UK) is open to PhD students, post doctoral students and young researchers. Our discussions will be initiated by a keynote speech by professor Marek Zgórniak, Institute of Art History, Jagiellonian University, Kraków. A complementary program will be open to active participants and public. Travel and accommodation costs will not be covered. On the other hand, we will help with hotel bookings in Prague.

Please send both organizers your paper proposal up to 3,600 characters, in French or English, by 18 March 2018, within the fulfilled application form. The selection committee will contact selected candidates by 20 April 2018. Papers should be no longer than 25 minutes and will be followed by a discussion. A publication is planned.

Download the application form here


The workshop focuses on the question of artistic exchange between France and Central Europe (viewed broadly as the region from Germany to Russia) during the 19th century (1789–1914). Back then, Paris was regarded as one of Europe’s most important cultural hubs, and that was also the reason why so many Central European artists wished to visit it. In Central Europe, France had a reputation of a prosperous and culturally progressive country and Paris was the scene of splendid architectural wonders (such as the newly raised Opera Building). At the same time–and more to the point–France was also becoming the birthplace of new and innovative artistic styles.

The goal of the workshop is to look at French art history from the viewpoint of the cultural transfer theory. It will touch upon various aspects of the spreading of French culture and art (painting, sculpture, architecture, applied arts) but also the fields of museology and cultural heritage protection.

First, as we examine the French cultural milieu, we need to identify the phenomena that caught the interest of foreign artistic communities and triggered cultural exchanges, which consequently led to the circulation of models, knowledge, ideas, patterns, forms, or to the appropriation of institutional structures.
Furthermore, we need to study the network of social connections that enabled this kind of artistic exchange in the first place–locations, individuals, or institutions playing the role of intermediaries. In this context, we shall emphasize the roles played by studios, museums, art colonies, papers and journals, social clubs, salons, and intellectual circles in general. Mediators often included art dealers, patrons, gallery owners, as well as art critics and scholars.
Lastly, the receptions, appropriations, and reinterpretations within the receiving culture must be looked into. In each particular case, we need to take into consideration the economical and political situation of the country in question, the degree of openness towards cosmopolitan practices, the emphasis put on the national identity, and finally, the nature of the local institutional frameworks.
In many aspects, 19th century witnessed the emergence of new institutions–such as museums, art galleries, cultural and professional clubs, and art journals–as well as the growth of the art market and the gradual institutionalization of historical monument protection. At the same time, the 19th century was a time of significant transformations; a time when European cities went through radical metamorphosis, which, among other things, turned large urban areas into construction sites. The architecture was to respond to the new needs of the population. Furthermore, the traditional patrons of art and architecture–the European aristocracy–were now in this aspect joined by the newly emerged bourgeoisie. Lastly, it should be pointed out that in the context of cultural exchange, there’s always a duality between inclination towards local traditions and desire for innovative impulses coming from outside.

The contributions may explore one of the following topics:

Art education: The problem of art education is twofold. On the one hand, a certain degree of familiarity with the history of French art and art education, especially with regard to European Academies, could be acquired, but at the same time, we would rather focus on the appeal of French education, especially when it comes to the Academie des beaux-arts or private Paris studios. This is why we are interested in a sociological analysis of the students of these establishments, as well as their day-to-day operations. What might be considered helpful are the various educational aids, such as publications, templates, or models.

Artistic migration: Artistic migration plays an important role in the process of cultural exchange. Apart from education (which we have already mentioned), it was fueled by other phenomena, like foreign commissions, major exhibition projects (such as the World’s Fairs), influence of the major artists, scholars and other specialists, or the contemporary artistic tendencies. There are different types of artistic migration, from short-term trips through longer sojourns up to permanent residency in the foreign country. The contributions should assess the evidence of said migrations, such as travel journals, letters, sketch books or exhibition catalogues.

Style and artistic expression: Which innovative methods sparked the interest in French cultural scene? How exactly did the subsequent cultural exchange influence the art in the Central European countries? How were these echoes of the French art viewed in France itself? What was their meaning? How did this phenomenon change as new generations took over?

Topography of cultural transfers: Another important task is to model the geographical trajectories of cultural transfers, especially in respect to the major European cultural metropolises. Paris, Vienna, Berlin, or Munich can be considered both cultural centers and important transportation and information hubs.

Selective bibliography:

  • BIRKE Ernst: Frankreich und Ostmitteleuropa im 19. Jahrhunderts. Köln/Graz 1960.
  • CHARLE Christophe: La Dérégulation culturelle. Essai d’histoire des cultures en Europe au XIXe siècle, Paris 2015.
  • CHARLE Christophe (ed.): Le temps des capitales culturelles. XVIIIe-XXe siècles, Seyssel (Ain) 2009.
  • ESPAGNE Michel, WERNER Michaël (eds.): Transferts. Les relations interculturelles dans l’espace franco-allemand (XVIIIe et XIXe siècle), Paris 1988.
  • FERENČUHOVÁ Bohumila (ed.): La France et l’Europe centrale. Les relations entre la France et l’Europe centrale en 1867-1914. Impacts et images réciproques, Bratislava 1995.
  • FERENČUHOVÁ Bohumila, GEORGET Jean-Louis (eds.): Politické a kultúrne transfery medzi Francúzskom, Nemeckom a strednou Európou (1840-1945). Prípad Slovenska, Bratislava 2010.
  • HUEMER Christian: Paris – Vienna. Modern art markets and the transmission of culture, 1873–1939, Dissertation, City University of New York 2013.
  • HORSKÁ Pavla: Prague – Paris, Praha 1990.
  • HORSKÁ Pavla: Sladká Francie, Praha 1996.
  • MARÈS Antoine (ed.): La France et l’Europe centrale. Médiateurs et médiations, Paris 2015.
  • NERLICH France: La Peinture française en Allemagne, 1815-1870, Paris 2010.
  • NERLICH France, BONNET Alain (eds.): Apprendre à peindre. Les ateliers privés à Paris, 1780-1863, conference proceedings (Tours juin 2011), Tours 2013.
  • NERLICH France, SAVOY Bénédicte et al. (eds): Pariser Lehrjahre. Ein Lexikon zur Ausbildung deutscher Maler in der französischen Hauptstadt, Bd II, 1844-1870, Berlin/ Boston 2015.
  • SAVICKÝ Nikolaj: Francouzské moderní umění a česká politika v letech 1900-1939, Praha 2011.
  • ZGÓRNIAK Marek: Wokół neorenesansu w architekturze XIX wieku, Kraków 1987, reprint Kraków 2013.
  • ZGÓRNIAK Marek: Polscy uczniowie Académie Julian do roku 1919 / Polish students at the Académie Julian until 1919, in: RIHA Journal, August 2012.

Illustration: Viktor Barvitius, Place de la Concorde in Paris, study, detail, 1866, NG Prague

Introduction to Post-Colonial Theories and Literatures: Francophones Perspectives

A course at the Department of Roman Studies of the Faculty of Arts, Charles University

Time and venue: Every Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:00 pm, room 217, FF UK, nam. Jan Palacha 2
LecturersChiara Mengozzi, Ph.D. and Mgr. Vojtěch Šarše
Language: French


The “post” in postcolonial not only alludes to the era following decolonization, but hints first and foremost to the set of practices of resisting colonialism, colonialist ideologies and contemporary forms of domination and subjugation. Our course aims at understanding the political, cultural and linguistic problems framed by European colonization and its legacies. Based on the reading of iconic theoretical texts of the postcolonial thought (by Césaire, Fanon, Saïd, Spivak, Mbembe, Bhabha, Thiong’o) and on the textual analysis of a few French and Francophone literary works (from Africa and the Caribbean), the course will revisit the literary canon through the lenses of power relationships between individuals, languages and cultures. It will highlight the stylistic and topical features of novels written by authors from the ex-French colonies and the Overseas Territories such as: the relationship to French language, exclusion/inclusion, feeling of in-betweenness, national allegories, master-slave dialectic, or the rewriting of history.

Continue reading Introduction to Post-Colonial Theories and Literatures: Francophones Perspectives