Arts & Societies


Research and seminars

The Arts and Societies seminar seeks to position the History of the Visual Arts within the vast landscape of the Humanities, as well as understanding the ancient and contemporary world. It strives to disseminate ongoing research by asking new questions in line current concerns. Thus, the subjects of study are never isolated from the political stakes involved.

Within the Sciences Po Center for History, Laurence Bertrand Dorléac and Thibault Boulvain are spearheading these investigations through a seminar open to Sciences Po students, researchers from universities and museums, students of the École du Louvre, as well as independent auditors.The seminar has been devoted to the following subjects: The Economies of Art (2009-2010), The Passion for Equality (2011-2012), Wars and Peace (2013-2014), and Things (since 2015).

The seminar has centered around the following subjects: The Economies of Art (2009-2010), The Passion for Equality (2011-2012), Wars and Peace (2013-2014), and Things (2015-2022).


The Lettre du séminaire, an online electronic review, publishes the talks given at the seminar in French and English, disseminating research both in France and abroad.  Around 130 Lettres have already been published, and they are sent systematically to more than 6,500 correspondents around the world: university and research institutions, museums, and researchers.

Arts & Societies, through the Presses du réel and the “Oeuvres en société” series, also contributes to the publication of innovative books and doctoral theses, as well as anthologies and translations of key works in art history.


The Fondation de France was an active benefactor of the activities of Arts & Societies : the seminars, the publication of both its bilingual Lettre and of books, as well as scholarships granted to young researchers.

Olivier Berggruen was an active benefactor of the workshop that took place at the Foundation Hartung-Bergman, as well as the resulting billingual publication.

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