The Center of Interdisciplinary Researches in Human and Social Sciences of Montpellier (C.R.I.S.e.S. or to simpify C.R.I.S.E.S.), EA 4424, is an interdisciplinary team, structured around three poles (long-time ancient and middle-aged societies, long-time modern and contemporary societies, anthropology and philosophical reflexivity) that explores the notion of tension within continuity and rupture.
This team is gathered around three axes: Identity Crisis – Dynamic of social spaces – Revolution of knowledge. It gathers and works together, so that it mutually enlightens, hundreds of researchers and researcher-professors specialized in every branch of human and social sciences: history, art history, archaeology, ancient and modern language and literature, applied arts, law, political science, economy, information and communication, ethnology, psychoanalysis, education and sciences, philosophy, and theology.
The acronym CRISES means a specific scientific interest in everything linked to the perturbations, breach of balances, in brief periods of crisis within themselves; it is also the emblem of the critical approach of the researcher regarding human and social sciences, discerning continuities and ruptures in the study of societies throughout its complexity. Carried out upon long-term societies from Antiquity to nowadays and crossing the visions of different disciplines, this research is made with the conscience of the risks inherent in the unstable nature of knowledge; this non-stability seems to us propitious to the exploration of new tracks.
The website of CRISES, that is becoming effective, has three functions:
A virtual home of all researchers and PhD candidates that belong to the team, it permits the spread of information between them and to break the barrier that could deconstruct disciplines as well as the parallel interdisciplinary groups.
It displays the team and promotes the members, their works, and personal, or collective, publications, seminars and symposiums, the abilities of research in Montpellier, the resources of laboratories and libraries.
An instrument accessible to the international community of researchers in human and social sciences as well as the public that could be interested to this kind of studies and their results, it is devoted to provide them (and has already begun to do so) bibliographies, databases, and “online” publications.
The word crisis derives from the Latin crisis, itself rooted from the ancient Greek krisis that derives from an Indo-European root and means to sort, i.e. to separate two sets of items taken together, for instance, wheat from the chaff, and from there came also the idea of judgment. Therefore, the crisis is, basically, the action “to sift through” –related term-, to distinguish in order to separate. Words like criteria and critique came from the same etymology.
The French etymology “crisis” refers to the ancient languages to the name of an action: the crisis is therefore the contrary of a slow evolution. Consequently, one of the objectives will be for us to try to distinguish a slow process from a more brutal split, since the rhythm of historical time takes multiple variations.
In a chronological perspective, this operation of distinction becomes, in some cases, a situation of rupture, sorely leading to a new state. For instance, in a military or medical context, what will be measured is the conception of the critical moment and of the conflict. In other cases, the study will need to define or re-define the criteria of the analysis and then, of knowledge.
The crisis is not only a permanent state of our societies; it characterizes also the state of conceptual tools necessary to apprehend our items, which suggest the three following ideas:
1. It can be considered that the crisis shapes and ferments the social and cultural metamorphosis of our societies and its main effect is the deconstruction as well as the permanent reconstruction (or recomposition) of beliefs, judgments, convictions, etc.
2. From a methodological point of view, the notion of the Crisis has to be a focus of interdisciplinary questioning: when, how, in which theoretical contexts crisis has been perceived and analyzed during centuries? Has this perception always been the same or has it evolved while following the constitution or reconstitution of different knowledge?
3. Therefore, this interrogation implies a movement of reflexivity of this knowledge constituted on them. The point is to study the crises of the representation that both manifest themselves in human and social sciences, in art history or in philosophy. All the disciplines gathered around C.R.I.S.E.S. thus contribute to a better intelligibility of the present and past.
Within this framework, our research is not only based on an actual pluridisciplinarity but also on comparison and scale games. At the same time, the pluridisciplinary approach as it is conceived within C.R.I.S.E.S., is enriched from the deepening of the disciplines gathered around the three poles. This approach is organized around three chosen axes whereby questionings intertwine insofar as they establish a research environment both original and efficient.