Symposia proceedings


The Department of Research and Teaching at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac offers several international symposia every year since its opening in 2006. Find here the proceedings of the symposia.

These collective publications restore the debates. The proceedings are composed of articles selected by the department team, in consultation with the scientific directors of each of the events.

The prehistory of others: archaeological and anthropological perspectives

For long, in conventional representations, prehistory was that of Western Europe, characterized by lithic industries and emblematic decorated caves. In contrast, non-Western societies, in particular societies called “primitive”, are understood as being timeless, frozen in the moment of their discovery.

How does anthropology take into account the past of the "tribal" societies it studies? How do these societies represent their past and how can archaeology provide them with temporal depth? In what historical and archaeological perspectives can we place them? How, in return, can the anthropology and archaeology of non-European societies contribute renewed perspectives on "Western" archaeology?

Archaeologists and anthropologists compare their views on non-Western cultures and present here recent advances in the field of research, placing the emphasis on the prehistory of these societies.

Practical Information

  • Published Thursday, August 30, 2012 under the direction of Nathan Schlanger and Anne-Christine Taylor, co-publication of INRAP-La Découverte-Musée du quai Branly, 2012.
  • 384 p. Paperback: € 28
  • ISBN 978 2 7071 7406 2
  • Nathan Schlanger, archaeologist and historian of the Social Sciences, was responsible for the Research and International Development mission at INRAP from 2005 to 2011.
  • Anne-Christine Taylor, Anthropologist and Specialist in Amazonian societies, is the Director of Research at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac.

Black Literatures

  • 29 and 30 January 2010
  • BNF and the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

The symposium offers a tour of contemporary “Black Literatures”.

However, as indicated by the plural and the quotation marks, such a project necessarily implies the need to question ourselves on the reality and even the relevance of this category in the field of contemporary literature. The category “black literatures” is the product of a singular history…

Read the proceedings of the "Black Literatures" symposiums

Performance, art and anthropology

  • 11- 12 march 2009
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss Theater

This colloquium offers a cross-disciplinary analysis of the rituals resulting from traditional societies and performances produced by contemporary artists.

The event will employ contributions from two scientific cultures: on one hand anthropology, heir to a long-standing debate on the question of ritual, and on the other art history, a discipline directly concerned by artistic performances, but also curious about non-western traditions...

Read the minutes of the “Performance, art and anthropology" colloquium

Art History and Anthropology

Co-publication of the INHA and the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

This symposium proposes to review the relationships between the history of art and anthropology after the opening of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac in Paris (June, 2006). The method chosen is to invite historians of art and anthropologists to reflect together in the same symposium on works of art and their methodologies for addressing them...

Read the proceedings of the Symposium on the History of Art and Anthropology

Proceedings of the inaugural meetings at the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

  • Supervised by Bruno Latour
  • June 20-21, 2006

The musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac opened its doors in June 2006. On this occasion, renowned personalities from the entire world gathered together around tables to conduct a fundamental reflection on the future of such an institution.
Who owns the objects? What is the place of contemporary art in a museum devoted essentially to traditional art; is the museum a lay area or can it claim to be sacred area? What kind of discourse should be held on the works of art? How should the problem of authenticity be addressed? How should intangible heritage be displayed? Which audiences are being addressed? What is the role of international cooperation?

These are some of the many issues to which researchers, artists, curators, philosophers and writers have attempted to respond, with this wish, shared by everyone, that the mission of the musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac be to open out onto the world, to develop exchanges with the countries of origin of the collections and to enrich themselves on the basis of this permanent dialogue.


On June 21, 2006, artists, researchers, curators and writers came from around the world to celebrate the opening of the museum and outline together how to participate in its development.

Collection Babel • 448 pages • 10,50 €
Co-publication of musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac and Actes Sud
dissemination Actes Sud


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