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Christophe Prochasson from EHESS visits IHSS of Peking University

OCT . 16 2019
Peking University, October 14, 2019: Professor Christophe Prochasson, president of School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (French: École des hautes études en sciences sociales) visited Peking University from September 17 to 22. During the visit, Prochasson gave two lectures, and a keynote speech. Moreover, he had an in-depth discussion with Professor Deng Xiaonan, director of IHSS, about bilateral cooperation.

On September 18, Professor Prochasson gave his first lecture, with a focus on the introduction of Charles Andler. Professor Prochasson observed that, Charles Andler was one of the major figures among French intelligentsia during the First World War. Giving an account of Andler’s background, Professor Prochasson pointed out that German-French language shift contributed to Andler’s ambivalent feelings toward Germany: on the one hand, Andler defied Marx; on the other hand, he followed Nietzsche. Andler’s socialist ideas were based on two main premises: one is judiciary and law, and the other is morality.

Professor Prochasson giving a lecture

On September 19, Professor Prochasson visited IHSS and met the members of IHSS council. Executive Deputy Director Qu Jingdong extended warm welcome to Professor Prochasson and introduced the ideas and aspirations of IHSS in detail. Qu also emphasized the priorities of IHSS concerning interdisciplinary exchanges. Professor Prochasson concurred with the ideas of IHSS, and further stressed the significance of knowing different research methodologies of diverse disciplines. He found it inspiring that EHESS and IHSS have much in common: both have similar academic ideas, both are international institutes, and both put great emphasis on the impact of internationalization. Both sides expressed wishes to deepen exchanges on pivotal issues such as civilization.

On September 20, the 3rd anniversary of IHSS, Professor Prochasson talked about Henri de Saint-Simon and the drastic change of ideas in Europe. Professor Prochasson argued that Henri de Saint-Simon became a socialist only later in his life. Henri de Saint-Simon was not only an activist in French revolution, but also an economic speculator. Professor Prochasson believed Henri de Saint-Simon had an equivocal attitudes toward French revolution.

EHESS is an institute that enrolls graduate students only, with many renowned scholars and brilliant students in social sciences. It was also the center for many momentous intellectual movements in the 20th century. EHESS has a long history of cooperation with PKU’s Department of History, and has gradually developed collaboration with IHSS in recent years.

Written by: Yang Hongyun
Edited by: Hu Rong
Source: PKU News (Chinese)