The scientific programme

Consistent with and complementarity to the action programme, especially in terms of dissemination and popularization of scientific research and results, the scientific programme of the UPL Community is divided into 3 main parts, split into 7 structured and innovative multidisciplinary research themes. These bring together not only teaches-researchers from both universities but also staff from associate members, in a federative and collaborative fashion.

The scientific program combine several approaches of different disciplines determined through a positive and collaborative process: a collective reflexion bringing together members of both universities and associated members.

The scientific strength of both universities, the strength of their research proposals and activities, have been defined and by the researchers themselves then become the themes of the UPL Community scientific programme. The chosen method, which is well-established, fits with the scientific and epistemological conventions of both founding universities. It is characterized by disciplinary de-compartmentalization, a multidisciplinary approach, and innovation.

Key Priorities of the Scientific Programme

The 3 key priorities of the scientific programme are organized into collaborative projects, put together by the members of both universities. Each priority is characterized by:

  • A group of long-term projects, constituting a pluri-/trans-/interdisciplinary programme of action
  • An innovative dimension, investing in new research fields, or even new disciplinary fields
  • An international scope, valuing our well-established partnerships as much as possible, and developing the UPL Community’s international network

Priority 1: Tomorrow’s society: sustainability, societal innovation, human emancipation

The main aim is to work on research, training and activities in 5 fields:

  • Sustainable development and energy transition
  • Social innovation in all its dimensions, including the field of social and solidarity economy and the challenges of local development
  • Human development with regard to social integration and psychological, physiological and the behavioural autonomy of individuals
  • Our societies’ digital future and modes of human communication.
  • These 4 previous fields will be linked to several actions in favour of the development of entrepreneurship culture, especially in the field of social and solidarity economy

Priority 2: Law: justice and injustice

This theme unites a range of multidisciplinary research, focused around social justice and based on societal engagement, taking into account all dimensions of society (politic, spatial, economic, legal, historic, cultural). Collectively, it is concerned with “rights” on a global and local scale.

This priority integrates research into the subject of accessibility to healthcare, justice, employment, public places and knowledge.

Therefore, it also deals with questions of discrimination, minority groups in general, and particularly gender inequality. The question of societal sustainability is also a part of this, as it is inseparable from the question of rights. Special attention will be given to the impact that these have on new territorial configurations.

Priority 3: Creation, from past to future: art, heritage and humanities

This issue can be subdivided into two major concepts: The “sciences of creation” on one hand, and the processes of “heritigisation”, conservation and dissemination on the other.

Humanities and artistic creation, in a digital era, are at the heart of this important subject that will enable digital development to flourish throughout the UPL Community (creation, corpus, archives, diffusion, critical studies).

The Research Themes of the Scientific Programme

Research theme No. 1: Archives  and heritage

Involving, among others, the “Maison René-Ginouvès” and the Contemporary International Library (Bibliothèque Documentaire Internationale et Contemporaine de Nanterre (BDIC)), the research theme "Archives and heritage" seeks to investigate the issue of public expectations  regarding changes in the heritage conservation brought about by the digital revolution.

Research theme No. 2: Art and creation

Building on two LabEx projects (Arts H2H and Les Passés dans le présent) and the IDEFI CréaTIC project, this research theme in the artistic domain is divided in three strands. The first seeks to explore issues related to the artistic dissemination, mediology and arts and crafts.

In close partnership with the ethnomusicology research centre (Cente de Recherche en Ethnomusicologie), the second strand deals with the issue of music and “sound ecology”, and the interaction with its environment: physical space, milieu, listener.

The third strand consists of a study of new critical writings, investigating the traditional opposition between theoretical and historiographical approaches. 

Research theme No. 3: Spatial justice, social justice

Mobilizing research units involved in law, sociology or political sciences, this research theme intends to explore in greater depth 6 issues concerning the notion of spatial justice. The 6 issues are the following: what is spatial justice?; space, justice and globalisation; space, justice, identities and domination; environmental justice and environmental injustice; spatial justice and segregation; can we define a fair territorial policy?

Research theme No. 4: Sustainable development and energy transition

This research theme is founded on intrinsic questions to sustainable development, such as the management of natural resources, the uncertainty of decision making, and the developmental path. Those issues will be explored firstly with a territorial and secondly with an economical perspective.

Research theme No. 5: Health and disability

This ambitious research theme encompasses 11 projects dealing with the subject of disability. Touching on social and behavioural, but also medical aspects, this theme will mobilize research units outside the UPL Community. The following issues will be studied: vocal and motor ability of infants, links between mental wellbeing and disability, mental reactions to experienced disability, social practices and attitudes towards disability, and school and educational practices in terms of disability.

Research theme No. 6: Language, meaning, communication and the body

This research theme approaches the subject of language acquisition, and the cognitive abilities that it mobilizes.

3 notions will be explored within this framework: language, learning, and body.

Research theme No. 7: Gender, equality and otherness

The aim of this research theme is to gather several subsections of gender studies in order to construct and articulate more precise definitions of equality and otherness. This research theme is divided in 5 major issues:

  • Gender epistemology, feminist theory, homosexuality, and women’s representation
  • Body, gender, nation, and post-colonialism
  • Human rights, standards and gender in Europe: feminists approaches within law and the political sciences
  • Ethical gender and philosophy: new perspectives on ecofeminism
  • Research, action, equality and university
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