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Institute for the Arts and Creation

Mathias Vicherat: "Interchanges between artistic practices and human sciences are fruitful."

The Institute for the Arts and Creation is a unique initiative that emerged from Sciences Po’s historic commitment to embedding the arts within a curriculum focusing on the humanities and social sciences, and of fostering dialogue between all three disciplines. The institute was opened in March 2023.

We believe that sensory experiences can encourage boldness and to think differently about the challenges of our contemporary societies. We aim to strengthen the connections between arts, humanities and social sciences through new courses and new chairs that complement our writer in residence chair.

Cinema, visual arts, dance and music will now also receive their own series of lectures and workshops with artists. Some events will be open to a wider public at Sciences Po, which is committed to the civil society.

Watch the launching ceremony of the Institute (in French) with our artists-in-residence: Claire Denis, film director, Jean de Loisy, exhibition curator, Mohamed Mbougar-Sarr, writer and Benjamin Millepied, star dancer and choreographer.

Section #overview


Three main objectives:  

  • EDUCATION: diversification and experimentation. The Institute’s mission is innovating in artistic methods, developing creative skills and bridging disciplines.
  • RESEARCH: building bridges between research in humanities and social science and the arts.
  • CIVIC ENGAGEMENT: raising awareness of the arts, sharing teaching resources with external teaching communities, and urban outreach.

Initiatives within and outside Sciences Po

  • Help and support for high schools participating in the Equal Opportunities Programme (CEP), particularly with their preparation for the image analysis exercise of the admissions procedure, but also through events at which they can meet artists. 
  • Developing civic engagement linked to art; for example through reading and writing workshops in hospitals for care staff, patients and their families.  
  • Strengthening university partnerships, as is already the case with Harvard around the relationship between arts and humanities and social sciences. 
  • Inviting participation from school students belonging to artistic associations and alumni groups, who will work with different initiatives. 
  • Building a network of students recognised as “high level artists” across universities in France, and strengthening links with other student artists at Sciences Po.

A series of publicly available recordings and podcasts will help to ensure the Institute’s actions and resources are shared and distributed widely.

Section #chairs

Artists in Residence Chairs

Music And Dance Chair

The Institute for the Arts and Creation aims to cultivate a space for reflection through music and dance.  To achieve that aim, a Chair dedicated to those arts has been created, and will be alternately filled by a musician and a dancer and/or choreographer.

The first Sciences Po Music and Dance Chair is Benjamin Millepied, a dancer, choreographer and director of his own dance company. Millepied’s talents have already been on display at the School of America Ballet, the New York City Ballet, and the Paris Opera. On 28 September 2022, the artist was invited by Sciences Po's School of Management and Impact to give a very memorable masterclass entitled "Space and Creation".

Watch the participatory choreography that Benjamin Millepied performed with our students:

Cinema Chair

Each year a representative of the world of cinematography is chosen as the Cinema Chair. Each representative leads masterclasses during which they present their work, invite other leading figures of their choice, and encourage reflection on creativity and its representation. 

Claire Denis, the director of ChocolatBoth Sides of the Blade, and Stars at Noon, will be Sciences Po’s first Cinema Chair.  

Claire Denis 4 masterclasses in 2023:

  • An inaugural masterclass moderated by Jean-Michel Frodon, film critic and lecturer at the SPEAP Master's programme, followed the screening of her film White Material on 23 February. Watch the replay in French.
  • A discussion between Claire Denis and filmmaker Alice Diop. Watch the replay in French.
  • A discussion between Claire Denis and Agnès Godard, director of photography and regular collaborator of the filmmaker. Watch the replay in French.
  • A discussion between Claire Denis and Carlo Chatrian, director of the Berlinale festival. 

Visual Arts Chair And “Through The Artists’ Eye” Conference Series

Each year a common theme connects four key events, hosted by Jean de Loisy. De Loisy is known for his major exhibitions and his radio show on France Culture, as well as for having led important institutions including the Palais de Tokyo and the Beaux-Arts de Paris.

In 2023, the programme theme is “The Relationship Crisis”. Philosopher Frédéric Gros, Professor of Political Humanities, will expand on the discourse between art and philosophy. The first artists to be invited are Tino Sehgal, Edith Dekyndt, Tomas Saraceno, and Kapwani Kiwanga.

The “Through the Artists’ Eye” series is supported by the Fondation Jean-François et Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre.  

Writer-In-Residence Chair

The creation of the Writer-in-Residence Chair and the Writing and Rhetoric Centre in 2019 confirmed the fundamental place of writing in teaching methods at Sciences Po. Every semester, a writer is in residence at Sciences Po. This writer is invited to teach two creative writing courses, to lead masterclasses, to take part in events at the Writing and Rhetoric Centre and to bring the Centre to life outside our walls.

Watch the official handover from Karine Tuil (resident writer, fall 2023) to Yanick Haenel (resident writer, spring 2024), in French:

The Writing and Rhetoric Centre runs 25 classes for students at all stages of their degrees at Sciences Po. The cross-cutting workshops aim to develop three key areas : argumentation, public speaking, and creative writing. 

The Writing and Rhetoric Centre and the Writer-in-Residence Chair are supported by the  Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca (fr.) and by Céline Fribourg, Sophie Midy, Karen and Michel Reybier.

Section #teaching


SPEAP : an experimental teaching programme

Bruno Latour created SPEAP (Sciences Po School of Political Arts) in 2010. It was delivered through the School of Public Affairs from 2016 to 2023.

SPEAP is the first programme to combine the creative arts and social sciences. The aim is to give social science specialists, but also public- and private-sector practitioners, exposure to the characteristics and methods of artistic training and, conversely, to offer artists advanced training in the social sciences.

In the autumn semester of 2023, SPEAP is joining the Institute for the Arts and Creation. This is a certificate programme*.

* This certificate programme does not lead to a degree, it does not certify the acquisition of specific competencies, and does not lead to the award of ECTS credits.

What does SPEAP offer?

The idea of this programme is to offer a set of educational and professional experiences spanning the social sciences and the creative arts, approached not in parallel but together. 

With SPEAP, Sciences Po proposes a new way of working that combines the arts, social sciences and politics. The programme invites participants to apply their knowledge and methods to real-life societal issues. The challenge is to explore new forms of representation for controversial political, economic, ecological and/or scientific questions.

The conceptual framework is based on the social sciences and humanities (philosophy, sociology, history, science studies). The programme combines a theory course with a pragmatism-inspired course, consisting of group work and workshops on real-world projects focused on a specific problem. The teaching of scientific, artistic and digital methods is central to the pedagogical approach. 

The professional tools derive from the latest research in digital methods, brought to the programme by instructors from the Sciences Po Medialab: controversy mapping, digital visualisation tools, and design methods. This digital toolkit is complemented by research methods from the social sciences and the political arts — project-based organisation in which artists and social scientists work together to analyse concrete social and political problems — and training in the tools of artistic production: films, performances, websites and so on.

Who is the SPEAP programme for?

It is aimed in particular at young professionals (with at least 4 years’ professional experience) who want to:

  1. Further their knowledge in the field of political innovation.
  2. Take advantage of a hands-on course that fosters a multi-disciplinary approach to public affairs issues.
  3. Capitalise on an exceptional experimental environment to create new forms of representation of public affairs and reinvent the relationship between the various social actors.

Programme content

The programme runs for one academic year. To be compatible with working life, the modules are delivered in one full day of teaching per week on average, supplemented by three weeks of intensive teaching.

  • One core course, 4 hours per week: “Political arts”, taught by Jean-Michel Frodon and Frédérique Aït-Touati.
  • One practical workshop, 4 hours per week, to apply the knowledge and tools presented in the theory course to concrete cases (in the form of practical exercises on public affairs issues, and solutions to real-world problems submitted by commissioning partners).
  • One core academic training (CAT) course from the following two:
    • (1)  Planet Earth, a habitable planet;(
    • 2)  Anthropology of disasters.
  • Three intensive weeks spread over the year.

Participants work on group projects addressing real-world issues, which are commissioned by institutions, companies, non-profit organisations or individuals. 

The projects are complemented by internal debates and collective discussions, as well as external activities on related themes.

The programme culminates in an end-of-year presentation before a panel comprised of instructors, experts and commissioning partners, which is a mandatory requirement for the award of the certificate. 


Selection is conducted in two stages:

  • Eligibility stage with an application review.
  • Admission stage with an interview.

The application consists of the following:

  • A CV (in French); 
  • A covering letter (in French);
  • A portfolio.
  • Treatment of a set theme.
  • One or two professional references.

We also recommend that you provide: 

  • Official academic transcripts for all prior higher education and (unofficial) translations if these are not in English or French.
  • Proof of French language proficiency (DELF or DALF) if you have not passed the baccalauréat or completed at least two years of study in French.

Applications should be submitted by email (speap.eap@sciencespo.fr). Once we have checked that your application is complete, we will send you an acknowledgement of receipt.

Applications are examined and assessed by a selection panel. Eligible candidates are then invited to an oral admissions interview. 

Tuition fees for the programme are €10,000.

Applications for 2023 are closed.

The provisional schedule for the 2024 admissions procedure is as follows:

Application deadline: 12 April 2024

  • Eligibility: May 2024
  • Admission: June 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

SPEAP leads to the award of a certificate confirming that the holder has completed a training programme approved by Sciences Po.

It is not equivalent to the first or the second year of a Master’s programme, and does not earn ECTS credits.

Professional references are letters of recommendation and should be submitted in PDF format. Each reference must include the name, position, and telephone number or e-mail address of the person making the recommendation, and must be signed by that person.

The goal of a portfolio is to present your background and showcase your work, so it can include written material, videos, recordings, a dissertation, and so on. The format is unrestricted but it is normally sent as a PDF, and may include links to a personal website.

SPEAP classes are taught in French, so a thorough command of the language is essential. Please note, however, that proof of proficiency is recommended but not compulsory. 

This programme is aimed at young professionals (with a minimum of 4 years’ professional experience) from a variety of backgrounds—artists, architects, designers, academics, senior civil servants, business executives, researchers, administrators, public figures, etc.—who want to develop their professional skills, round out their academic training or change career paths.

Although SPEAP is aimed particularly at young professionals, there is no age limit for applicants.

Section #research


The Institute for the Arts and Creation works alongside other researchers from Sciences Po, in particular the Political Humanities Society. 

This society is made up of researchers from all disciplines at Sciences Po, who have in common the use of art as a ressource in their research and teaching work - whether by drawing on a particular artwork, or by working with artists to develop theories.

Grounded in the idea of politics as an emotional experience, which can be shared through cultures and spaces, this approach calls on the imagination - through the art of fiction, imagery and stories. The power of conviction, visual intensity, and the stylistic weight of an artwork are all used to stimulate the imagination of students, encouraging them to become more civically engaged. In particular, this society offers an innovative programme of academic interdisciplinarity.

The Political Humanities Society has a dual strategic focus:

  • Fostering dialogue between all branches of the social sciences at Sciences Po, to ensure knowledge is shared without turning in circles.
  • Intergenerational interdisciplinary collective research, a path made up of constant back-and-forth.

Writing residency: an immersive experience

Une étudiante participe à l'atelier d'écriture à l'IMEC (crédits : Sciences Po)

From Monday, 16 May to Friday 20 May, 2022, the CWR offered an original pedagogical project, thanks to the support of the Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca, in the form of a week-long writing residence at the Institute for Contemporary Publishing Archives (Institut mémoires de l’édition contemporaine, or IMEC) at the Ardenne Abbey.

Find out more.

Writing and Rhetoric Centre

Sciences Po’s Writing and Rhetoric Centre help students develop and enrich their written and oral expression in order to improve their skills in public speaking.

Find out more