This seminar’s name is an attempt to underline its purposeful lightness: we wish for all participants to have the freedom to express themselves fully – and even to say things that might appear fanciful or extravagant – while retaining the formal and intellectual constraints of a developing thesis. In a friendly and informal context, it is an attempt to favor original and experimental ways of thinking about our subjects, in reference to the well-known definition of Oulipians as “Rats who build the labyrinth from which they will try to escape.” Finally, the diversity of subjects that will be presented and discussed will, hopefully, lead us to the beauty of ” the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella.”

Our aim is to present papers that are as open and diverse as possible and that highlight the problems, experiences, and practices related to research. We are interested in the construction and development of knowledge, and not something that is already perfectly formed. This is why we welcome presentations of research projects and thesis chapters, but also discussions on new primary sources, research methodology or the particular uses of broad concepts in our work. This website will serve to distribute and highlight the main points of the discussions during the meetings – which are open to all students and non-tenured researchers.

The seminar of young researchers of the IHMC (Institute of Modern and Contemporary History) will take place every second Friday, from 10 to 12 am, in room Info 1 of the École normale superieure. Each meeting will have a broad theme, and three young researchers will present their work in about 20 minutes, followed by a 20-minute discussion. At least two of the presentations will be made by Phd candidates from the IHMC, but in the spirit of openness, the third may be made by a member of another lab, a historian of an earlier period, or a researcher in another discipline. We invite all those present for a shared lunch following the seminar, so that we might continue discussions in a friendly and good-humored atmosphere.



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