History Amongst the Chairs at the Collège de France

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The important paper that Pierre Bourdieu has submitted to us is extremely interesting.1 Indeed, while I hope that this paper will not create a precedent, the traditional method by which one or more of us introduce one or other candidate for a Chair, followed by an election in favour of a known colleague and/or a recognised personality, seems to me to be far from optimal. Nonetheless, Pierre Bourdieu, as a sociologist, having taken the effort to examine the field of the historian, and this effort having been extremely enriching for me, I can only be struck tautologically by the quality of his contribution: I wish to respond and to discuss it in detail, and follow our colleague’s and my own train of thought with regard to the introduction of candidates. Perhaps tomorrow at the Collège we shall have, not only, as in this case, history seen by a sociologist, but nuclear physics seen by a biologist or mathematics examined from the Chair of one of our colleagues in medicine. Let there be no doubt that then we would also have, as is the case here, something very exciting for us all. Even so, I must repeat that this method is not the one that I prefer for allocating Chairs and choosing new colleagues.

Theoria

A Journal of Social and Political Theory

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