CfP: The “Vichy parenthesis’’ ? Trajectories of academics and disciplinary reconfigurations during the Occupation and the immediate post-war period

This thematic issue aims to bring together contributions from specialists in the history of law, social sciences, economics, and exact sciences in order to complete or to question the historiography devoted to academic disciplines, universities, or scientific institutions during the Occupation of France and the immediate post-war period. Since the 1990s and the 2000s, global studies have been devoted to universities under the Vichy regime [Gueslin 1996], as well as to the purge of academics [Singer 1997] and [Rouquet 2010]. Monographs have also been devoted to universities or Grandes Écoles during the Second World War, as shown by the examples of the École polytechnique [Baruch, Guigeno 2000], the École normale supérieure [Israël 2005], the Reichsuniversität Strassburg and the University of Strasbourg which was transferred to Clermont-Ferrand since September 1939 [Crawford and Olff-Nathan 2005], [Baechler, Irgesheim, Racine 2005] and [Möller 2020]. The historiography on academic disciplines under the double constraint of the Vichy regime and the occupying power has also been significantly enriched in recent years, as evidenced by [Chandivert 2016], [Eckes 2018], [Gouarné 2019] as well as [Brisset and Fèvre 2021].

On a methodological level, the proposed submissions will adopt or combine various scales of observation and analysis. Some of them will focus on individual trajectories considered from an academic and a political point of view. They will then highlight and attempt to understand in all their complexity the behaviors adopted by scholars and academics confronted with changing conditions of constraint between the fall of 1940 and the summer of 1944. On this scale of observation, the reflections developed by historians such as Pierre Laborie, François Marcot and Jacqueline Sainclivier on individual and collective behaviors under the Occupation of France could prove to be very valuable. Other contributions will aim at reconstructing networks of actors sharing the same scientific program or participating in a common enterprise shaped by the economic and political powers of Vichy or by the Occupation authorities. Others will focus more globally on scientific institutions or academic disciplines whose reconfigurations during the Occupation and the immediate post-war period will be identified and explained. The contributions thus gathered will also aim at highlighting continuities and ruptures on an institutional, disciplinary or scientific level, by adopting a broader periodization – for instance from the 1930s to the 1950s. A marked interest will then be given to the purge of scholars and academics, by trying to measure its short and long term effects on the collective representations linked to the period of the Occupation.


Christian Baechler, François Igersheim, et Pierre Racine (éditeurs), Les Reichsuniversitäten de Strasbourg et de Poznan et les résistances universitaires 1941-1944, Strasbourg, Presses universitaires de Strasbourg, 2005.

Marc-Olivier Baruch et Vincent Guigeno (éditeurs), Le choix des X : L’École polytechnique et les polytechniciens 1939-1945, Paris, éditions Fayard, 2000.

Nicolas Brisset et Raphaël Fèvre, « Les économistes face à l’État français. François Perroux et la reconfiguration de la discipline économique sous Vichy », à paraître dans Politix.

Arnauld Chandivert, « Sciences sociales, Résistance et ``mystique provinciale’’ à Toulouse sous le gouvernement de Vichy. Complexité et ambivalence des engagements (1930-1950) », Revue d’histoire des sciences humaines, 28, 2016, p. 225-252.  

Elisabeth Crawford et Josiane Olff-Nathan (éditeurs), La science sous influence : l’Université de Strasbourg, enjeu des conflits franco-allemands 1872-1945, Strasbourg, éditions La Nuée Bleue, 2005.

Christophe Eckes, « Organiser le recrutement de recenseurs français pour le Zentralblatt à l’automne 1940 : une étude sur les premiers liens entre Harald Geppert, Helmut Hasse et Gaston Julia sous l’Occupation, Revue d’histoire des mathématiques, 24 (2018), p. 259-329.

Isabelle Gouarné, Les Sciences sociales face à Vichy. Le colloque « Travail et Techniques » de 1941, Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2019.

Stéphane Israël, Les études et la guerre : les normaliens dans la tourmente, Paris, Éditions de la rue d’Ulm, 2005.

Pierre Laborie, Penser l’événement 1940-1945, Paris, éditions Gallimard, 2018.

Pierre Laborie et François Marcot (éditeurs), Les comportements collectifs en France et dans l’Europe allemande, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2015.

François Marcot et Didier Musiedlak (éditeurs), Les résistances miroir des régimes d’oppression, Allemagne, France Italie, Besançon, Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2006.

Rainer Möhler, Die Reichsuniversität Strassburg 1940-1944 : Eine nationalsozialistische Musteruniversität zwischen Wissenschaft, Volkstumpolitik und Vebrechen, Stuttgart, Kohlhammer, 2020.

François Rouquet, « Mon cher Collègue et Ami », l’épuration des universitaires (1940-1953), Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2010.   

Claude Singer, L’Université libérée, l’Université épurée, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1997.

Manuscripts should be submitted in French, English, or German, and prepared for anonymous peer review.

Abstracts in French and English of 200-300 words in length should be included.

Articles should not exceed 50,000 characters (spaces, list of references and footnotes included).

Please send submissions to:

Guidelines for authors are to be found on the journal’s website: