Scientific programmes of the École française de Rome for the period 2017 - 2021

Research areas

The research projects in partnership with the École française de Rome for the period 2017-2021 are part of the four thematic areas defined by the Scientific Council:

  • Spaces and exchanges
  • Standards and societies
  • Religions and the divine
  • Arts and knowledge

These areas will form the foundations of the research activities of the École française de Rome for the next five years.

Below you will find the projects carried out by the scientific staff and researchers of the EFR, which are supported by the research departments as well as in partnership with other research institutions.





Spaces and exchanges

This theme includes research programmes about territories and their settlement in Italy and the Mediterranean area, with a particular focus on how they established, at different levels, the relationships between one another, the phenomena of exchange and frontiers. It also includes research on trade, distribution and mobility, internally as well as between territories.


Standards and Societies

This research programme, focusing on Italian and Mediterranean societies, looks at institutions that serve to produce and inculcate standards, (family, school, administrations, moral authorities, churches, legislators, parties and movements ...) , and the means by which the different components within societies make them accept or impose them, explicitly or implicitly, for example by discursive processes (rhetoric, arts, traditions) or social, legal or disciplinary constraints (prohibitions, sanctions, punishment, violence, censorship). There are also projects that question the "application" of the standard, ie how it is perceived and experienced, which implies a particular attention to the relationships of domination, gender, the construction of public space and the different processes of acceptance, internalization, differentiation, reinterpretation, circumvention or transgression.


Religions and the divine

This theme brings together, in line with research that has contributed to the reputation of the EFR since the nineteenth century, but also in response to contemporary questions, the projects dealing with the analysis of religious facts and the relationship with the divine, of ancient and contemporary societies, both in their physical actions and in their representations.

The researchers linked to the School have become more interested in attitudes of societies in the face of death in recent years. This theme encourages this approach which seeks to highlight the organization of funerary spaces and their articulation with other urban or suburban spaces, the right to burial and the management of mortality crises, by merging the research results from history, archaeology, law and social sciences.
Italy, through its influence in this area, the Mediterranean, which encounters various religious universes, offers a privileged field for analysis over the long term of the contacts between different religions and the phenomena of religious boundaries, the links between religions and states and the question of secularism, and finally all the practices and rites and the places in which they are held.

Arts and knowledge

This theme focuses on artisanal, artistic, intellectual and scientific productions through a cultural, economic and social history of Italy and the Western Mediterranean. The projects selected for this research area use the various tools and methodologies of archaeology, philology and historical and social sciences, to illuminate the conditions of development and production, the uses and distribution of works and knowledge according to actors, environments, tools and practices over a long period.


Page translated from French, first publication 2019/12/20, last update 2020/04/02


Laboratoire International Associé (LIA)