Seminar on Readings in the Social Sciences

The seminar on Readings in the Social Sciences is animated by members of the École française de Rome (EFR) on a different theme each year. Deliberately broad, the topic chosen makes it possible to approach each month one aspect of the general problems facing the social sciences. Depending on the session, either the specific incidences of this problem in history or in archaeology are addressed (two of the disciplines the most represented at the EFR), or the participants venture into specialist areas of the social sciences which are less familiar to them

Each session is organized around a selection of texts of methodological or epistemological importance. Exchanges are conducted in a collegial and informal atmosphere, in which discussions play an important role. Occasionally external researchers are invited (French, Italian or of other nationalities) whose work is particularly relevant to that year’s theme.

These seminars are presented in a research notebook – – on the following website:

The theme of the seminar on Readings in the Social Sciences for the year 2019-2020 is L’erreur / L’errore. It is coordinated by Bertrand Augier, Angela Cossu and Séverin Duc , members of the EFR.

The sessions are open and organized alternately in different premises of the EFR (the seminar room, the conference hall or the archaeological laboratory.

Further information on the calendar of the sessions →

See the details of the forthcoming sessions →


The following are the subjects which have been successively addressed since the creation of the seminar in 2002

2020-2021 : Le don à l'epreuve des sciences sociales

2019-2020 : L’erreur

2018-2019: Fragments, Fragmentations

2017-2018: To compare, comparison, comparatism

2016–2017: Fiction

2015–2016: Preconceived opinions about things

2014–2015: Antonio Gramcsi, the laboratory of a work

2013–2014: Lost in translation: translating/interpeting

2012–2013: What has become of sovereignty?

2011–2012: What is the role of norms?

2010–2011: The public: space, sphere, opinion  

2009–2010:  Identity

2008–2009: Thinking about conflict

2007–2008: Individuals and structures

2006–2007: History and human sciences facing relativism

2005–2006: The use and abuse of sources    

2004–2005: Institutions

2003–2004: Individual, person, subject 

2002–2003: The social sciences called into question: cross-readings by Ian Hacking