Call for papers: Pierre Renouvin, Jean-Baptiste Duroselle (1917-2017). The Building of an academic field, the History of International Relations

French version

International History Conference. Paris, June 8-10, 2017.

Deadline : 1st June 2016

Co-organizers: L. Badel (Professor, Panthéon Sorbonne University), R. Frank (Professor Emeritus, Panthéon Sorbonne University), A. Marès (Professor, Panthéon Sorbonne University), G.-H. Soutou (Professor Emeritus, Académie des sciences morales et politiques), M. Vaïsse (Professor Emeritus, Institut d’études politiques, Paris).

Supported by the Labex EHNE, the BDIC and the Mission du Centenaire

As is well known, the First World War influenced the lives of Pierre Renouvin and Jean-Baptiste Duroselle. It left its mark on their personal, institutional and academic lives. Aged twenty four, the former was seriously injured at the Chemin des Dames in 1917. The latter was born in that very year and would be « haunted » his whole life long by the memory of the Grande Guerre des Français to which he devoted his last book in 1994. A generation separates them but both their names are brought together on the title page of the book Introduction à l’histoire des relations internationales published in1964. This book is dedicated to a field, which, as with other humanities and social sciences, was born from the intellectual turmoil that marked the First World War. Neither intended to be a mausoleum in memory of both French historians, nor an hagiographic account of a specific French historical « school », this conference aims to situate the intellectual and academic career of these two historians within the intellectual debates. It will focus on the birth and the development of an academic area: the History of International Relations.The methodical building of this new academic area will be thoroughly examined, in particular through its interaction with other fields of the human and social sciences.

The careers of P. Renouvin and J.-B. Duroselle cannot be isolated from their social and political environment. Far from being confined to an ivory tower, they took part in the intellectual battles which left their mark on these decades (such as the criticism from Lucien Febvre or Marcel Merle). Deeply rooted within a French and Francophone field, they built transnational academic and political networks, which extended beyond France and Europe. Historians firmly engaged in the debates of their time (the responsibility of Germany in the outbreak of the First World War; the Cold War; European construction), they practised an instant history, at the heart of the institutional struggles in France or worked to resolve them. Thus in order to understand fully their distinctiveness these two historians need to be studied in the context in which they lived, worked and taught. Having principally devoted their research and reflexions to Europe and its peoples, they did not however neglect other continents. Academics, but teachers first of all, they taught whole generations in France and abroad who were indelibly marked by their lectures. As researchers, they opened up research paths that their students have followed and deepened. Members of the intellectual establishment of their time, both men accumulated honours and responsibilities: their political networks will be brought to light.

At the beginning of a twenty-first century marked by the flourishing of global history, this conference will be the place for a free and specific debate on the character, subjects, sources and particular approaches of international history. This conference aims to offer a comparative and transnational approach of their itineraries, combining a thematic and a biographical approach. We particularly welcome papers from foreign historians and scholars from other academic fields.

Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to :

The wars and their influence upon:

  • academic careers
  • institutional careers
  • public and private writings
  • the place of the military and strategic questions in their work

The institutionalization of international relations, a mark of the new influence of the United States?

  • Diplomatic history and history of international relations
  • reforms, new academic fields and academic chairs
  • key role of American foundations (Carnegie, Rockfeller, Ford); Swiss and Italian collaboration
  • The United States in the writings of P. Renouvin and J.-B. Duroselle

Sources, publishing and teamwork

  • Sources
  • The Documents diplomatiques français
  • Documentation as a source of action (Commission des archives diplomatiques)

Translation, transmission and reception

The construction of an academic field: the history of international relations

  • The building of a library: la Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine
  • The publications: la Revue d’histoire de la Guerre mondiale, L’Année politique, Relations internationales
  • The establishment of an academic chair
  • Topics of degree courses
  • Masters and followers (Tuesday evening workshop of J.-B. Duroselle)
  • The birth of the CERI (Fondation nationale des Sciences politiques)
  • The institutional consecration : the académiciens des Sciences morales et politiques

Europe and the world

  • The ”Asia” of Pierre Renouvin
  • “Europe” as seen by P. Renouvin and J.B. Duroselle
  • The United States of J.-B. Duroselle

Public action of both French scholars

  • Academic and institutional struggles
  • Pierre Renouvin during the Second World War
  • Jean-Baptiste Duroselle during the Second World War
  • Catholic and Christian-Democrat networks of Jean-Baptiste Duroselle
  • Renouvin, the Dean and the creation of research centers at the Sorbonne
  • The University of Vincennes and Jean-Baptiste Duroselle
  • The ‘Europeist’ action of Jean-Baptiste Duroselle
  • May 1968

These topics are not restrictive and each submission will be considered carefully.

The conference languages will be English and French

Regardless of language, all proposals will receive due consideration.

The deadline for paper proposals is: 1 June 2016

Please send your proposal (abstract in English or French of no more than 500 words and short CV) to Andrea Martignoni:

Scientific Advisory Board of the Conference

Laurence Badel (professor, Panthéon Sorbonne University), Andrew Barros (professor, Université du Québec à Montréal), Eric Bussière (director, UMR Sorbonne-IRICE), Antoine Fleury (professor emeritus, Geneva University), Robert Frank (professor emeritus, Panthéon Sorbonne University), John Keiger (professor, Cambridge University), Peter Jackson (professor, Glasgow University), Thomas Maissen (director, Deutsches Historisches Institut, Paris), Antoine Marès (professor, Panthéon Sorbonne University), Antoine Prost (president, scientific board of the Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine, Paris), Matthias Schulz (professor, Geneva University), Georges-Henri Soutou (professor emeritus, Académie des sciences morales et politiques, Paris), Arnold Suppan (professor, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien), Valérie Tesnière (director, Bibliothèque de documentation internationale contemporaine, Paris), Maurice Vaïsse (professor emeritus, Institut d’études politiques, Paris), Antonio Varsori (professor, Padova University), Andreas Wirsching (director, Institut für Zeitgeschichte, München).

Cite this blog post
aihce (2016, January 28). Call for papers: Pierre Renouvin, Jean-Baptiste Duroselle (1917-2017). The Building of an academic field, the History of International Relations. IACHE. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

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