[INDOLOGY] Re: Professor-researcher recruitment campaign EPHE

Lyne Bansat-Boudon Lyne.Bansat-Boudon at ephe.psl.eu
Fri Feb 19 19:18:18 UTC 2021

Dear colleagues,

Allow me to be in the discussion. I find it quite legitimate that the EPHE, as a French « Grand Etablissement », on the model of the «  Collège de France », considers as a prerequisite a « good active mastery of French language ». University is not meant for the comfort of the Professors but that of the students. In France, a French speaking country, if I have to recall what is sheer obviousness, classes are delivered in French.

On the basis of their outstanding skills and talents, the EPHE gladly welcomes scholars who are not native French speakers, but a minimal mastery of French is expected, which is meant to serve also the comfort of the teachers themselves. Matthew Kapstein and Jan Houben, both Directeurs d’études in the EPHE,  would certainly agree with my assertion, as well as the many Italian researchers working in different French academic institutions, including the EPHE.

And shall I remind you that some countries, if they do not officially require a good mastery of their own language (which is not very difficult for many of them, since both the applicant and the members of the election committee are English speakers), do apply the rule of « National Preference » (as is the case in Canada, for instance), which is not at all in use in French Universities, which consistently  privilege scientific excellence, whatever the nationality?

Best wishes,

Lyne Bansat-Boudon

[cid:8E90FAFD-609F-4D7A-9393-D17E94D59596 at home]

Le 18 févr. 2021 à 23:53, Jan E.M. Houben <jemhouben at gmail.com<mailto:jemhouben at gmail.com>> a écrit :

sans accepter la diversité régionale, culturelle et linguistique, la science et l'érudition perdraient pourtant une grande partie de la richesse qui leur appartenait traditionnellement ...
(= without accepting regional, cultural and linguistic diversity, science and scholarship would nevertheless lose much of the richness which has been traditionally theirs ...)

On Thu, 18 Feb 2021 at 17:54, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com<mailto:wujastyk at gmail.com>> wrote:

On Mon, 15 Feb 2021 at 04:49, Jan E.M. Houben <jemhouben at gmail.com<mailto:jemhouben at gmail.com>> wrote:
Dear All,
The professor-researcher recruitment campaign 2021 at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE) is open.
This time, none of the open positions are directly "indological" but some of the positions in Sciences historiques et philologiques or Sciences religieuses *could* in theory accommodate indological (indological-linguistic) or buddhological applications.
Please explore at
A good active mastery of French is of course a prerequisite.

"of course"?  No, this is not obvious or normal.  Many countries hire professors on the understanding that if they don't know the indigenous language they will commit to learning it within the first two years of tenure.  As far as I am aware, that is normal international practice.


Jan E.M. Houben
Directeur d'Études, Professor of South Asian History and Philology
Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite
École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE, Paris Sciences et Lettres)
Sciences historiques et philologiques
Groupe de recherches en études indiennes (EA 2120)
johannes.houben [at] ephe.psl.eu<mailto:johannes.houben at ephe.psl.eu>
LabEx Hastec OS 2021 -- L'Inde Classique augmentée: construction, transmission
et transformations d'un savoir scientifique
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