Theme 3: More complete presentation

Theme 3 “Culture and Heritage”

Directors: Dominique Moncond’huy & Frédéric Chauvaud

As part of the wide field of Humanities, this axis offers a better understanding of Western societies’ culture, from Antiquity till now, through the processing and analysis of tangible and intangible heritage data. It is meant to operate transdisciplinary connections with other social sciences and more distant disciplines (computer sciences, digital imaging, medicine, palaeontology etc.); it maintains professional connections in several ways with cultural industries and citizen contemporary concerns. We organize annual days that unite all researchers involved (e.g. description in June 2015). It develops around four themes:


  • “Collections and Cabinets of curiosities” (dir. V. Meyer and D. Moncond’huy). Gathering historians, art historians and literary researchers (with the assistance of musicologists), this theme intends to cross-reference the approaches of professors-researchers who, each in their specific field, encounter problems related to yesterday and today collections. Since 2014, they have made of the catalogue their object of study (two study days in 2014 and 2015; another in 2016 and one day at the INHA in 2015). Besides research on various funds, works are also conducted on Cabinets of curiosities (dedicated website:, on Of Unicorn and Bezoar exhibition (catalogue published by Gourcuff-Gradenigo) at the Museum of Sainte-Croix (Poitiers), project on the weapons in Cabinets (in partnership with the CESR, Tours) and on engravings (in partnership especially with INHA). Study days and publications (group work, critical editions) punctuate the research progress.
  • “Impairment, disability, violence: the body to the test” (dir. F. Chauvaud.). Bringing together historians, psychologists, lawyers, literary researchers etc., this approach intends to favour works on the body, both in the long term as in the most immediate actuality. For example, it addresses sexual and physical violence in comics, contemporary surveys, judicial literature or archives. Works in progress concern the body, whether impaired, disabled or victimhood. Among the achievements and announced events: a huge volume on the poisoned body (Garnier Classic); an important conference held during the National Assembly on sexual and gendered violence against women (PUR, in press); another demonstration will also end in a book on a new approach to body and failure, particularly on issues related to faulty body, exhibited body, rejected body or ashamed body. Other projects: works on the weak and disabled body, the bodies of victims, on rapists too, not to mention the bodies of children. The conclusions of these works – including information and prevention dimension which prove important – will be presented in Poitiers, Niort, Angouleme and La Rochelle. They benefit from the support or cooperation of many regional and institutional partners.
  • “From data to speeches: Humanities facing the signs and their notation” (dir. S. Finding). Gathering teachers and researchers from several disciplines (linguists, civilisationnistes, literary researchers, historians, musicologists etc.), this theme deals with the question of the sign and its writing. The confrontation with different funds, archives and documents of different nature induces a shared reflection on the nature, perception and uses of these specific data. Among the main areas of analysis: Epigraphy in Greek and Latin Antiquity; Music in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (particularly around the issue of sheet music); the Spanish literature fund of Poitiers Library (project in partnership with the National Library of Madrid); Brazilian peddling literature; regional archives on men and contemporary political movements; economic policy, forced labour in the Anglo-Saxon world. These works are conducted with the support of many international partnerships.
  • “Today signs for a yesterday reality: virtual restoration of antique environments” (dir. N. Dieudonné-Glad). Involving a close collaboration with computer scientists and architects, this project conducted by historians and archaeologists is fully turned to virtual restitution and therefore combines scientific approach and the solving of various technical problems, to better achieve a valuation potentially turned to the broadest public. Based on virtual imaging, practical and experimental research faces issues such as enlightment; it is aim to validate scientific hypotheses as much as to produce a cultural vehicle to facilitate the understanding of the remains by the general public (e.g. by looking at the field of serious games).


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