Research teams

Co-directors: Marie-Anne Paveau and Marie Redon

Group 1 is devoted to the forms of exclusion of people and things in societies. Built around the notions of margin, inequality and vulnerability, it brings together geographers, linguists, literature and English Studies specialists around projects that always combine field studies, case studies or corpus studies with epistemological, theoretical and methodological reflection. The work is organised into three thematic subgroups.

1. The margins: forms and representations. This grouping federates research on the epistemology of the margin/margins, a plural, polysemic and dynamic notion which must be situated in its different contexts. The members of this group maintain an in-depth reflection on the notion, on the use of the term, on its different meanings and evolutions, both in terms of their objects of research (from urban derogatory spaces to places of disease via the digital informal) and their scientific practices.

2. Unequal dynamics . Like the margins, inequalities do not have an objective existence but are constructs because their evidence and history must be questioned. Researchers in the group therefore study inequalities by paying attention to their mode of existence and their formulation, under various aspects: economic inequalities, gender and age inequalities, and species inequalities.

3. Vulnerabilities: facets and processes. From the perspective of speech, we study the figure of the vulnerable speaker who has been deprived of his or her speech or interpretative capacity: the so-called ‘voiceless’ speaker who is given a spokesperson or made incapable of formulating taboo experiences. However, the question of vulnerabilities obviously has a spatial dimension which refers to the traditional question of risk, as well as a social dimension: in the face of crises, not all people are similarly exposed. The vulnerability of societies and people is also part of migratory flows that can be analysed at source, in territories that are sensitive to social and environmental risks, and can also be investigated through concepts such as environmental justice or food justice.

Co-directors: Sabrina Juillet and Michel Molin

Placed under the figure of Hypatia, the female embodiment of a curious and tolerant intelligence, and in the continuity of the work of the former group 4 – but with even more marked transdisciplinary ambitions – the group 2 of Pléiade welcomes researchers whose work questions three key concepts in their national, international and global dimensions: Circulation, Mobility, Heritage.

Group 2 gathers disciplinary fields as diverse as the study of civilizations, arts and societies, history, geography, anthropology, literatures and their different categories of expression (languages, nations, genres, private forum) on unifying themes which had sometimes already been chosen by the former group 4 (Blockages and obstacles to circulation, Listing). The researchers of the group unite in their collective work their own epistemological approach and offer new reading grids while producing new theoretical tools. Five departments bring together the themes on which they are working. Non-exhaustive but evolving, they show the diversity of the issues considered in the group.

Transfers, Adaptations and Translations. This first theme concerns literary and artistic creation from the angle of its circulation, not only of people – authors and artists – but also of ideas, information, texts, methods, models, trends, images, artistic techniques and genres (painting, architecture, etc.). They are literary (novel, poetry, theatre, children’s literature), choreographic and musical, and are considered in their diachronic and synchronic dimensions. Their processes of tradition and translation of literary works are analyzed in particular.

Traveling, Exile and Borders. This theme is more factual and takes into account the practical and material, as well as the social and legal conditions of the mobility of people, their movements, whether they be voluntary or forced: travel, vagrancy, exile, migrations, expulsions, deportations, all set in different chronological or geographical areas. This poses the problem of the relationship of newcomers with the natives (the status and visibility of each regarding the other from Antiquity to the present day, in Europe, in the United States and elsewhere). The mobility of people, always to be reinserted of course in a practical, social and legal context, leads to the circulation and dissemination of ideas, knowledge, technologies, values, religions.

Global and connected studies. A few perspectives are considered: writing History in the present time, from Antiquity to the present day, from the margins (considered in all minority groups), now using the new vectors of memory of some media and social networks; the colonialism / post-colonialism dialectics which starts from the relations between the colonizers and the colonized then between former colonized countries and former colonizing countries. A first project concerns the speech of the slave as a subject of stories but also as an author of autobiographical writings and memories allowing to apprehend the way the slave is seen and considered as much by others as by himself.

Matrimonialisation. Group 2 aims to integrate its work into the issues of the territory where the University of Paris Sorbonne Nord is located, the northern Parisian suburbs. Today, it is experiencing a phenomenon of heritage consciousness which pushes us to re-examine the different cultural, linguistic, material and monumental aspects of the concept of this heritage and its societal and identity issues. It also takes into account its political and economic aspects, including the perspectives of minorities and of excluded or discriminated people, who may feel rejected and pushed to the margins.

Landscape and cultures. From a study of the representation of nature in art, our aim is to approach the construction or reconfiguration of landscapes, both real and imaginary, through land use planning as well as through art, by confronting the sometimes contradictory requirements of conservation and “modernization”. The theme therefore addresses ecological issues such as the consequences of climate change or natural disasters on landscapes.

This research is carried out in collaboration with the other groups of Pléiade or research centres of Sorbonne Paris Nord University, but also within a vast network of partnerships in Ile-de-France (Campus Condorcet), as well as in national and international ones.

Co-directors : Anne-Emmanuelle Demartini and Nicolas Le Roux

Group 3 brings together researchers interested in politics in the broad sense, whether it be political regimes and administrations, the symbolic and religious foundations of power, economic organizations and social hierarchies. It also includes the history of the body and subjectivities. Through the diversity of periods, disciplines and spaces represented, Group 3 thus constitutes a place of original reflection on the modalities of reproduction and incorporation of social orders, and on the permanent tensions and disputes that affect them. The collective work of the group is based on a seminar whose current theme is “debating”: debates and controversies as topic of research, debates within the social and historical sciences, debates carried by the contemporary social space.

Co-directors: Christèle Couleau et Valérie Stiénon

Group 4 emerged from a dual research impetus: on the one hand, to explore the forms of representation in their widest reaches (in diverse cultural areas, through multiple media and across disciplinary fields, including emerging forms); and on the other hand, to make sense of this constellation by defining concepts and discerning areas of exchange, crystallization, and hybridization.

In order to achieve these goals it focuses on the following five themes.

Interactions between the arts, visual culture, and intersemioticity. We approach visual culture both as the expression of specific arts (cinema, performing arts, iconographic apparatuses, photography, comics), and as a set of semiotic codes operating in various cultural areas (European, American, Asian or Arabic cultures for example) and straddling different fields of knowledge (history, science, literature).

Forms of language. We study linguistic structures in their written and oral forms, including the description of meaning, considering the various discursive and interactional contexts. In addition to such studies conducted from a synchronic perspective, we analyze historical developments through the phenomena of linguistic borrowing, grammaticalization, and innovation. We also explore the dynamics of linguistic creativity (language of the Internet, fiction, song, poetry transformed by the sonnet or the slam, etc.).

Literature, intermediality, digital writing. We regard French-language literature in its diversity and complexity including its most contemporary dimensions (digital works). The various ways in which it interacts with other creative practices (transmediality, rewriting, adaptation) and is determined by media and generic conventions, are also explored. The resulting plurimediality traces the variations and extensions of the works on different devices (digital books, video games, transmedia fictional worlds, etc.).

Radicalities and emerging forms. New spaces of expression and creation are emerging (linguistic innovations, artistic performances, artists’ collaborations), which require specific attention, namely regarding the relationship between political convictions and literature (militant poetry, political theatre, challenges to mainstream culture – including underground culture and the punk movement –  and cultural reclamation). Particular attention is given to creation and representation from and of the margins (suburbs, margins of the world, and metropolitan peripheries).

Genres and theories. This section focuses on genres in their typological and epistemological dimensions (discursive, literary, or textual). We scrutinize new methods invented to analyze literary works including contemporary approaches to traditional theory, conceptual innovation, and literary works which generate their own theory, the hybrid status of the critic-writer, and the growing interactions between high and low culture.



April 2021