Seminar “Reflection on Crises” – 2020-2021

Current Issues. Reflection on Crises

A seminar organized by CEFRES

Organizers: Jérôme Heurtaux (CEFRES) and Maria Kokkinou (postdoctoral researcher, CEFRES / Charles University)
When: Spring Semester, Wednesdays, 12:30 – 13:50
Where: Online, upon registration. Please contact the organizers: maria.kokkinou(@)
Language: French

Join Zoom Meeting here.

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?

Programme of the semester : 

Wednesday, February 17th, 11h00 -12h20
Academic freedom in danger
Jérôme Heurtaux, University Paris-Dauphine / CEFRES

Wednesday, February 24th, 12h30-13h50
Secularisms in crise(s) : Turkey and France in parallel ?
Honoré Banidje, CEFRES

Wednesday, March 3th, 12h30-13h50
« An extraordinary thrill » : reflexions from the first letter of « Crisis of the Mind » (1919) by Paul Valéry
Benedetta  Zaccarello, ITEM (Institut des Textes et Manuscrits Modernes, CNRS/ENS), philosopher

Wednesday, March 10th, 12h30-13h50
Crises and migrations : the case of post-sovietics Greeks
Dimitris Kataiftsis, Paris IV, l’Université de Macedoine de Thessalonique

Wednesday, March 17th, 12h30-13h50
Treating historical traumas between psychic breakdowns and institutional failure
Marine Mazel, psychologist and psychoanalyst.

Wednesday, March 24th, 12h30-13h50
Suicide as a crise from the example of volonteer dead  of the greek conscripts
Angeliki Drongiti

Wednesday, March 31th, 12h30-13h50
To be in the steppes in times of crisis: back to the experience of shared confinement with a Buryat family
Veronique Gruca (CEFRES)

Wednesday, April 7th, 12h30-13h50
Covid 19, management and industrial organisations: perception of the crisis by Central European managers and executives
Vincent Montenero, MIAS (Prague)

Wednesday, April 14th, 12h30-13h50
The program will soon be published

Wednesday, April 21th, 12h30-13h50
Identities in crises and ‘total institutions’: the case of imprisonment in 18th century
Falk Bretschneider, EHESS 

Wednesday, April 28th, 12h30-13h50
How “migratory crises” challenges anthropology
Maria Kokkinou, CEFRES
Charlotte Grégoreski, IIAC-EHEES, University of Chile

Wednesday, May 5th, 12h30-13h50
Crisis of the foundations: foundation of the crisis?
Yoann Morvan (CRFJ)



  • 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.

To the programme of last semester (10/2020 – 1/2021)

French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences – Prague