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The “South and East Asia” emphasis of the EHESS Social Sciences Master’s programme



The countries of South and East Asia are now decidedly in the limelight. Their demographic weight, their growth rates, the immensity of their domestic markets, their scientific potential—all this places them among the great world powers. The EHESS gives pride of place to social sciences research on this part of the world. Indeed, for over thirty years, the encounter between fields and cultural areas has been one of the main thrusts of the École’s research policy, because of the lines of thought it intended to pursue in PhD preparation and research development.

The creation of centers focused on Asian cultural areas was one of the first steps in this direction. These centers, which federate faculty members from the EHESS, the CNRS and other academic institutions, have reached a degree of experience that is recognized by the main national authorities in charge of evaluating scientific research. The teams that they include have also been able to propose collaborative and original courses of study, initially designed for 1st-year PhD students. The dispersal and fragmentation of the teaching currently available in France on the main cultural areas of South and East Asia also called for a program that was both coherent and coordinated.

The multidisciplinary vocation of the AMO (Asie Méridionale et Orientale—South and East Asia) emphasis now provides students with the possibility of pursuing, building and developing know-how on objects that are continually updated. In this spirit, the program the emphasis sketches out offers individualized coursework and personalized advisorship. Previously, no organization of higher education in France proposed a comparable program, which provides training where each identified cultural area is approached through a method and a construction process specific to each field. At a time when Asian issues are becoming recognized as more and relevant and foreshadow the future weight Asia will have on the international scene, the expertise provided by social sciences fields facilitate reflection that is able to link what has been inherited from the past and current questions to problems involved in future developments. The pedagogical offerings presented here strive to achieve this aim.

The emphasis is intended to introduce students to social sciences research on South and East Asia overall, while at the same time advising them on a more specialized course of study. It thus includes two types of specialization: one privileging a cultural area—South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Japan—, the other focused one of the following field-specific clusters:

- social anthropology and ethnology

- history and civilizations

- sociology

- comparative development research

- geography

- language sciences

- philosophy

In this cross-fertilization between fundamental fields and cultural areas, the emphasis therefore intends to propose training which is propaedeutic to research in the social sciences, and can thus supplement the choice of a particular cultural universe with an array of methods and instruments of analysis that are specific to each field. It provides both key knowledge of the various areas of the major civilizations involved and an original awareness of the comparative questions they raise.


Information and orientation


Ninga Ahmed Affandi

54 boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris

Office A810
tel : 01 49 54 26 22

Pedagogical directors

South Asia specialization (advisors)

AYMES Marc History CNRS (CR, HDR)
DRIEU Cloé History CNRS (CR)
DUDOIGNON Stéphane History CNRS (CR)
FOURNIAU Vincent History EHESS (DE)
GIOMI Fabio History CNRS (CR)

More information on the Master AMO website

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Campus Condorcet / EHESS
2, cours des Humanités
93322 Aubervilliers Cedex
✆ : 01 88 12 04 11

Alexandra CARVALHO

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