• Digital
  • Energy, Ecology, Environment
  • Social - Societal - Solidarity Innovation

Center for Cultural History of Contemporary Societies (CHCSC)

Research unit


The Center for Cultural History of Contemporary Societies (CHCSC) was created in 1992 and in 1994 it was awarded the hosting team status (EA 2448).
The only history laboratory in France whose sole mission is research in contemporary cultural history (from the end of the 18th century until today), CHCSC understands culture as the whole of collective representations specific to a society and cultural history as the social history of representations.
With a multidisciplinarity emphasis, it federates all its members around the concept of cultural history and intends to continue to play a major role in the study and practice of this concept, both at University Paris-Saclay as well as national and internationally.


  • Mrs Anne-Claude AMBROISE-RENDU

Innovation themes

Map and access

47, boulevard Vauban

Our research areas


The CHCSC laboratory has four main lines of research:

1) Creation and cultural and artistic practices
- Writing, publishing and printed matter
- Arts, music and shows

2) Media, images and communication
- Cultural history of the media
- Creation, mediation and reception of knowledge

3) Cultural heritage
- History and valuation of heritages
- Heritage and environment

4) Circulation, transfer and globalization
- Dynamics of cultural areas
- Construction of an Atlantic area: Europe / Americas / Africa

Applications sectors

  • Other business
  • Art / Culture
  • Tourism / Accommodation / Catering
  • Media / Communication / Publishing / Events

Total number of employees

Total number of employees : 91
Number of researchers : 41
Number of doctoral students : 47

Equipment(s) open to collaboration

3D camera (Huma3D project) [with the DYPAC laboratory]


Our results

Projects examples

- ANR Transatlantic Cultures, Dictionary of Transatlantic Cultural History.
The project aims to create a digital encyclopaedia on transatlantic circulations: an innovative scientific and technological tool, published in four languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese), to analyze the dynamics of the Atlantic area and understand its role in the process of contemporary globalization. (duration of the project: 2015-2020)

- Beethoven's Fidelio. Transfers, circulations, appropriations, 1798-XXI century
This research training project, conducted with the Georg Simmel Center at EHESS and with German and Swiss partners, aims to address Beethoven's unique opera, which has been envisaged from its beginnings to the present day, in order to reflect on the triple angle of transfers, circulations and appropriations. (duration of the project: 2016-2018)

- ANR DEF 19 (Dictionary of French publishers of the 19th century)
The project, carried out in partnership with the BnF, the National Archives and the University Paris-Nanterre, aims to produce a reference tool on the world of publishers from 1800 to 1914 in all the French departments. It will consist of creating a dictionary in the form of a book, an online and collaborative searchable database and a research notebook, designed as tools for exchange with the research community (duration of the 2014-2019 project)

- RwandaMAP2020
The project aims to establish an international research network on the traces (archival, patrimonial and memorial) of the genocide of the Tutsi of Rwanda in order to take up a series of challenges (loss, degradation or destruction of certain traces, profusion of data archives and scientific works, an abundance of testimonies and stories of various natures) making the creation of deep and lasting collective dynamics of enrichment of knowledge on genocide essential (starting in 2018).

- Living Stories, CHCSC's Educational Research Series
This project aims to make research and its methods accessible to the general public and to the students at the end of their first cycle by proposing each year two themes that belong to the interdisciplinary field of cultural history, through audiovisual modules.

- ANR NAT-CAT Environmental changes and their categories of analysis (2011-2015)
This project aims to question the categories that inform our perceptions of environmental changes as dynamics that distribute continuities and discontinuities between man and his environment. The main objective is therefore to overcome the dualism between environmental change and social and cultural change, which informs Western ontologies, understanding how it is produced, in that way, can be recomposed.

- OFabulis (2013-2014)
The OFabulis project aims to experiment with the potential of real-time 3D coupled with an adventure game and multi-user role for the enhancement of cultural heritage, especially with an audience accustomed to this type of game, but not to visit the monuments. It is therefore a question of putting the innovations of online role-playing games, alternate reality games and adventure games at the service of heritage, by taking advantage of recent technological innovations enabling a small team to create 3D virtual worlds.

Industrial and scientific relations

Scientific collaborations

The CHCSC, in particular via the LaBex Patrima and the MSH Paris-Saclay, collaborates with:

Local level: Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines Theater, Port-Royal des Champs, Montansier Theater of Versailles, Versailles School of Architecture, Cultural Affairs Department of the City of Versailles.

Regional level: National Archives, National Library of France, Orsay Museum, INA, Philharmonie de Paris, Opera Comique, musée du quai Branly, CNC, Louvre Museum, CRCC, C2RMF.

- TRANSFOPRESS: Transnational Network for the Study of the Press in Foreign Languages (XVIII-XX Century) / Transnational Network for the Study of Foreign Language Press (XVIIIth-XXth Century). The international network of Transfopress researchers, created in 2012, aims to promote a totally neglected material heritage object, both in France and in almost every other country in the world: the press published in languages other than the national language(s).
- METIS network, European network of cultural history: created in 2016 by the CHCSC with the Centro Interuniversitario di Storia Culturale of the University of Padua and the Center for Historical Sciences of Culture (SHC) of the University of Lausanne. These three interdisciplinary laboratories share teaching and research projects that are part of cultural history. See https://wp.unil.ch/metis

Private collaborations

Limonade & co http://www.limonadeandco.fr/
Emissive http://www.emissive.fr/
Peech Studio https://www.peechstudio.com/


Establishments of affiliation