Blanc SHS 3 - Blanc - SHS 3 - Cultures, arts, civilisations

The making of history as it tells itself – Histinéraires

Submission summary

The project “La fabrique de l’histoire telle qu’elle se raconte” (the making of History as it tells itself), also known as HISTINÉRAIRES, , has for object the study of the “mémoires de synthèse des activités scientifiques” of the habilitation (HDR) to supervise research submitted in history departments since the early 90s’ to 2010. This yet unexploited material, different from the “travail inédit” which is often published and from the article collection, has become a treasure trove of information about the contemporary historical community. Its examination will enable the establishment of a new sociology of the profession as well as a renewal of contemporary French historiography and its developments, no longer based on the writings of a few well known historians but rooted in a generation’s research paths.

It roots from the growing importance of reflexivity among the historian community and relies on the findings of sociology and the history of sciences.
The first objective of the project will be to sketch a group portrait of the present-day researchers in history through an analysis of the institutional and intellectual paths.

Among the institutional aspects, will be accounted for: the academic path, the time spent teaching in the secondary cycle, the place where the viva was held, the age and gender of the candidate, the members of the jury, the future of the candidate…
For the intellectual aspects, data on the volume of production at the time of the viva, the theoretical references made (to social sciences or philosophy), the connections with foreign historiography, the evolution of themes and approaches of research, the inscription into a specific field (cultural history, economical history, social history…), the participation to current historiographical debates, the involvement in community life (answers to the “social demands”, diffusion of knowledge) will be collected.
This information will be treated through cartographic and quantitative tools, enabling the establishment of geographical mappings of research and its structuring networks.

The second part of the project will investigate how historians interpret their exercise of synthetizing their scientific activities. Whereas some chose to provide a long resume of their accomplishments, others analyzed their personal relationship to the histories they make by sometimes integrating Pierre Nora’s auto-reflexive problematic, which started with his Essais d’ego-histoire. This investigation will reveal the evolution of a still roughly defined exercise. As with the historiographical and/or epistemological debates, the treatment of the data will mostly be qualitative while integrating discourse analyses.

This corpus will first be completed and enlightened by oral interviews of HDR tutors, and with a study of its genesis, on April 5th 1988 with the decree on the habilitation to supervise research.

The global aim of the project will be to establisha groundbreakingcartography of the community, which would rely on the writings of its members. It is a project of a historiography from below, to use a common term nowadays. From this point of view, the writings’ subjectivity present through the academic canvas, far from being a handicap, will inform research on various institutional and intellectual strategies in action.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Patrick GARCIA (Délégation Régionale Ouest et Nord)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IHTP Institut d'Histoire du Temps Présent
CNRS DR12_TELEMME Temps, Espaces, Langages, Europe méridionale, Méditerranée
CGC Centre Georges Chevrier
IHTP Délégation Régionale Ouest et Nord
LARHRA Laboratoire de Recherche Historique Rhöne-Alpes

Help of the ANR 201,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: January 2014 - 42 Months

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