CFA – TANDEM Program, CNRS / AV ČR 2022-2024

This year, the French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences in Prague (CEFRES, USR CNRS 3138), CNRS, and the Czech Academy of Sciences (AV ČR) are launching the third call for applications for the “TANDEM” incubator program. “TANDEM” is a program of the CEFRES Platform and endeavors to excellency in social sciences and humanities.

The aim of the TANDEM program is to associate two researchers, one from the AV ČR, one from the CNRS (French National Research Center), around a joint research project leading to the submission of an ERC project (Synergy grant, but also Starting, Consolidator, or Advanced grant).

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CFA – 2021 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: 31 March 2021
Duration: 1 September 2021 – 31 August 2022

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.

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CFA: Executive Assistant of CEFRES

Deadline for applications: 20th December 2020, 5 pm
Fixed-term contract (1 year) with the possibility of extension
Full time (37 hours per week)
Start date: 1st February 2021
Place of work: CEFRES, Na Florenci 3, Prague 1
Gross salary: 32 315,- CZK

The Executive Assistant will assist CEFRES Director in the performance of his office.

Job description
  • Participation in the organization of CEFRES scientific activities in cooperation with Czech and foreign partners;
  • Help with the running of the daily operations of CEFRES (correspondence, accounting, etc.);
  • Administration of electronic communication networks (CEFRES website, newsletter, Carnet de recherche blog, Facebook, etc.);
  • Translation of texts (Czech-French/French-Czech);
  • Providing administrative support to CEFRES and its academic partners;
  • Participation in the management of CEFRES interns;
  • External visitor reception.
Requirements
  • Master degree in humanities or social sciences;
  • Experience with administration related to the organization of scientific activities and projects in the Czech Republic;
  • Knowledge of the Czech higher education system and its institutions;
  • Responsibility, diligence, curiosity, accuracy, excellent written skills;
  • Native language Czech or Slovak, excellent knowledge of French and English;
  • Computer skills (MS Office, website administration, etc.).

Applications (cover letter and CV) to be sent to Jérôme Heurtaux, CEFRES Director (jerome.heurtaux@cefres.cz) by 20th December 2020. The pre-selected candidates will be invited to an interview.

De-imperial Europe: a resentful confederation of vanquished peoples? Raw and lapsed memories of post-imperial minorities

A project carried out within the framework of the TANDEM program, developed by the Czech Academy of Sciences, Charles University and CEFRES/CNRS united within the Platform for Cooperation and Excellence in Humanities and Social Sciences.

This project proposes a pioneering study of the ghostly, material and symbolic memorial landscapes of defeated minorities who have been displaced and dispersed after the successive collapse of imperial and multinational entities during the 20th century, followed by the Cold War reconfiguration of countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and later on, due to the fall of the communist regimes. We define defeated minorities as populations who have been identified or associated with the aforementioned political formations and considered at best as accomplices, and at worst as responsible for their political systems of domination and/or dictatorship.

The territorial, social and human dismantlement of these entities often led the former imperial powers to either deny or ignore the loss and defeat or to disguise them as a victory in order to build and strengthen national identity, leaving the former minorities to carry the burden of still present troublesome pasts. Based on different modalities and temporalities, the ethnic minorities such as the Sudeten and Bukovina Germans or the Europeans of Algeria, among others, are considered to be “the losers of history”, and they perceive themselves as being “fooled” by history. Their cultures and pasts, at the same time local, transnational and/or cross-border, are neither truly integrated into a national framework nor outside of it. They are put in a purgatory of stories and narratives of different communities among which they once lived and are currently living.

Given the dissolution of social and human spaces, we can therefore think that the memories of these minority people could no longer be anchored in places and linked to their historical context. However, although their relationships and identifications with these now-extinct spaces vary, many of them preserved the memory of such spaces and have sometimes transformed them into “cultural homelands” (Trier, 1996; Voutira, 2012), cultivating a “retrotopic” attitude (Bauman, 2019) and alternative forms of History (Baussant, 2019). What is more, their diverse pasts and traces are nowadays invested in different ways in societies of departure and in host societies, by various social actors in the public sphere. They are even revalued in a nostalgic mode of consumption, and sometimes provide the materials for “pedagogies of resentment”.

How to explain these phenomena? Is it because of their ideological power that the traces, vivid memories and imaginations of these pasts still constitute active social forces both inside and beyond the national frameworks? Do they persist in complex, sometimes connected forms, which are often on the fringe or the edge of historical interpretations, in and through the landscapes, narratives, habits, languages, practices and surroundings? Or is it because that “the earth, in its depth, does not forget” (Benvenisti, 2000: 6)? These “postsigns of memory” which evoke vanished landscapes reveal the lasting impact of the pasts on the present of these defeated minorities on various material and social spaces of the European countries and beyond them, as if “the landscape is the work of spirit” and that “its decor is constructed as much from strata of memories as from layers of rocks” (Schama, 1995:7; Halbwachs).

This project, thus, does not aim to reconstruct the history of defeated minorities or to compare them from a historical perspective. It intends to offer a new critical perspective on the multiple persistent forms of European (post)imperial pasts along the old extra- and intra-European borders and on their diverse and sometimes connected uses. It focuses in particular on their uses in the debates on the enlargement of the EU: be it the instrumentalization of Sudeten Germans or the Italian question of the esuli (refugees/migrants of Yugoslavia) that conditioned the entry of  Slovenia into the EU.

In order to do this, this study’s aim is to describe the effects of these pasts on the present, their complex and ambiguous forms of presence and absence, exclusion and inclusion in the territories where these populations disappeared and in those where they transported and sometimes transposed their heritage(s) and imaginations in a symbolic and material way. The project is based on a choice of different cases – Germans expelled from East Prussia and Silesia, Italians from former Yugoslavia, “foreign” or “local” minorities of Egypt, Portuguese of Angola and Mozambique-, and deeply rooted in ethnographic fieldwork. It will cross the memories of the displaced people in an unprecedented way and of those who lived or continued to live in the cultural and physical spaces after them, offering mirror images or images that are shifted, distorted or blind.

Through a body of various collective practices (commemorations, creation of community museums, websites, preservation of places, recreation of symbolic geographies anchored in these material spaces etc.) and of narratives, the idea is to reveal the stratified and multifaceted cartography of places, stories and memories, by relying on the transversality of cases, the mirroring of points of view, the collection of ethnographic data and the production of databases. Such work will also serve as an empirical basis for a reflection on the norms of heritagization around these pasts. It will analyze what is valorized, what is not intentionally valorized, and what is left in ruins and why.

Initiated by Michèle Baussant, anthropologist and research director at CNRS, this Tandem project is also carried out, on the Czech side, by Johana Wyss, anthropologist and researcher at the Czech Academy of Sciences. Maria Kokkinou, anthropologist and postdoctoral fellow at CEFRES and Charles University is a member of the Tandem team as well.

Seminar “Reflection on crises” – 2020

Current Issues. Reflection on Crises

A seminar of the Institute for International Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague, and CEFRES

Organizers: Jérôme Heurtaux (CEFRES) and Maria Kokkinou (postdoctoral researcher, CEFRES / Charles University)
When: Fall Semester, Wednesdays, 12:30 – 1:50 pm
Where: Online, upon registration. Please contact the organizers: maria.kokkinou(@)cefres.cz.
Language: French

Seminar presentation:

The crisis has the wind in its sails: due to the appearance and extensive spread of Covid-19 in 2020, this concept has regained a world-wide attention, not observed since the financial crisis of 2009. Apart from these spectacular moments of global turmoil, we can no longer count the events or phenomena that are described as crises.

A concept inextricably linked to modernity, a “crisis” (pre)occupies our societies in all its dimensions. The polysemic uses of the term and its very topicality prompt us to revisit this concept, its different meanings and uses. This seminar course is devoted to this task. It will involve the intervention of researchers from various disciplines – political sociology, history, art history, anthropology, philosophy, etc.

What realities are qualified as “crises” and in which ways are they critical? What is a crisis and how to explain its emergence? How does a crisis unfold, what are its effects and consequences? Why do crises give rise to conflicts of interpretation over their meaning? Is the notion of crisis a central operator of our modernity and a key to understanding the challenges that contemporary societies face?

Program:

Wednesday, September 30th, 12:30 – 1:50
Introduction to the seminar
Maria Kokkinou, CEFRES / IMS FSV UK
Jérôme Heurtaux, Paris-Dauphine Université / CEFRES

Wednesday, October 7th, 12:30-1:50
Revolutions, Political Crises and Regime Changes
Jérôme Heurtaux, Paris-Dauphine Université / CEFRES

Wednesday, October 14th, 12:30-1:50
Economic Crisis and Political Changes in Greece in the 2010s
Dimitrios Kosmopoulos, Université Paris-Dauphine

Wednesday, October 21st, 12:30-1:50
Populism in Power and the Crisis of Democracy in Brazil
Felipe Fernandes, EHESS / CEFRES

Wednesday, November 4th, 12:30-1:50
1958, 1968 and 2002: Political Crises in France
Jérôme Heurtaux, Paris-Dauphine Université / CEFRES

Wednesday, November 11th, 12:30-1:50
Representing the Living World: Collapse of Ecosystems and Reconfiguration of Knowledge
Chiara Mengozzi, FF UK / CEFRES
Julien Wacquez, CEFRES

Wednesday, November 18th, 12:30-1:50
Denouncing the Economic Crisis through Photography
Fedora Parkmann, Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences / CEFRES

Wednesday, November 25th, 12:30-1:50
The making of crises in history: the case of inflation
Mátyás Erdélyi, CEFRES / UK

Wednesday, December 2nd, 12:30-1:50
“Here is a place that has left its place”: Memories of the Vanquished, Traces of Crises and Decolonial Wars
Michèle Baussant, CNRS / CEFRES

Wednesday, December 9th, 12:30-1:50
Crisis of Reading or Media Revolution?
Claire Madl, CEFRES

Wednesday, December 16th, 12:30-1:50
“Migration Crises” in the Light of History and Anthropology
Maria Kokkinou, CEFRES / IMS FSV UK
Florence Vychytil, EHESS/ CEFRES

Wednesday, January 6th, 12:30 – 1:50
Presentation of the Students’ work

Evaluation:

Students read one text per week, sent in advance by the lecturer. They prepare a 5-page essay in French on a “crisis” not addressed during the class, based on at least three sources (1 academic and 2 non-academic ones).
The assignment must be turned in by January 4th 2021 and presented orally on January 6th during the last session (5 minutes each).

Bibliography:

  • Arendt, Hannah, La crise de la culture, Paris, Gallimard, 1991.
  • Dobry, Michel, Sociologie des crises politiques, Paris, Presses de Sciences po, 1986.
  • Gaïti, Brigitte, « Les incertitudes des origines. Mai 1958 et la Ve République », Politix, n° 47, 1999, p. 27-62.
  • Gobille, Boris, « L’événement Mai 68. Pour une sociohistoire du temps court », Annales HSS, mars-avril 2008, n° 2, p. 321-349.
  • Grossman, Evelyne, La créativité de la crise, Paris, Minuit, 2020.
  • Heurtaux, Jérôme, Pologne 1989. Comment le communisme s’est effondré, Paris, Codex, 2019.
  • Lacroix, Bernard, « La ‘crise de la démocratie représentative en France’. Eléments pour une discussion sociologique du problème », Scalpel, vol. 1, 1994, p. 6-29.
  • Morin, Edgar, « Pour une crisologie », Communications, n° 91, 2012.
  • Politix, « Protagonisme et crises politiques », n° 112, vol. 8, 2015.
  • Revault d’Allonnes, Myriam, « Comment la crise vient à la philosophie », Esprit, n° 3, mars-avril 2012/3.
  • Revault d’Allonnes, Myriam, « Hannah Arendt penseur de la crise », Etudes, n° 4153, 2011.
  • Revault d’Allonnes, Myriam, La Crise sans fin : essai sur l’expérience moderne du temps, Paris, Seuil, 2012.
  • Ricoeur, Paul, « La crise : un phénomène spécifiquement moderne », Revue de théologie et de philosophie, n° 120, 1988.

French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences – Prague