Making and walking the history of Nanterre’s university

Making and walking the history of Nanterre’s university

With the cluster’s own dynamics and lines of inquiry as a starting point, this project proposes to form a collective of academics, researchers, administrative personnel, university students, and municipal and associated partners to provide the voices of the history of Nanterre’s university (campus, institution, intellectual history) and its relationship to the region. Simultaneously, this requires, prior to the research, the invention of both the mediation along an urban circuit and ad hoc mobile, digital systems.

Attuned to the problematic elements of a history of the present (issues of oral history, of access to diffused archival sources, and of the role of the historical actors themselves in the writing of this history), this interdisciplinary project draws from a common research protocol: common survey guide, at least partial, studies on the appropriations of the past at each stage of the project; critical approach to the history in the making, notably via a monthly workshop and a blog; annual report…. For its first year, the project coincides with the university’s fiftieth anniversary.

Responsables du projet

Frédéric DUFAUX , Université Paris Nanterre

Virginie MILLIOT , University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense

Partenaires au sein du labex

  • La contemporaine | library, archives, museum of contemporary societies
  • Laboratory of Ethnology and Comparative Sociology (LESC) - UMR 7186

Autres partenaires associés

Mosaïques - Laboratoire LAVUE

Archives, University of Paris Nanterre

Radio AZ

Société d'histoire de Nanterre

Economic Institutions and Historical Dynamics (IDHE)

Masters programme urbain studies University Paris Nanterre

Economic Institutions and Historical Dynamics (IDHE)

Durée du projet

3 years



European Heritage Days 2016 - Circuit "From the university campus to the Petit Nanterre district"
jep_2016_-_parcours_1_web.pdf ( pdf - 5.92 Mo )

European Heritage Days 2016 - Circuit "The history of the campus of Nanterre"
jep_2016_-_parcours_2_web.pdf ( pdf - 4.66 Mo )

European Heritage Days 2016 - Circuit "Nanterre, a playground for the State urban planning?"
jep_2016_-_parcours_3_web.pdf ( pdf - 2.52 Mo )

European Heritage Days 2016 - Circuit "From the university to the "Parc du Chemin de l'Île" via the paper mills"
jep_2016_-_parcours_4_web.pdf ( pdf - 3.35 Mo )

Programme of day #1 - May 22nd "50 years of Psychology and Sciences of Education in Nanterre"
le_programme_des_50_ans.doc ( doc - 34 Ko )

Programme of day #2 - May 23rd "50 years of Ethnology in Nanterre"
programme-23-mai-2014_ter.pdf ( pdf - 14.97 Ko )

Poster of day #2 - May 23rd "50 years of Ethnology in Nanterre"
affiche_50_ans_pgrm.pdf ( pdf - 838.62 Ko )

Circuit 1 : A campus next to slums: birth of a university on the fringe of the blue-collar city (1964-2014)

Circuit guided by Victor Collet, researcher, Université Paris Nanterre

Circuit 2 : From the former city center to the university : industrial and military history (1914-2014)

Circuit guided by Robert Cornaille, President of the Société d'Histoire de Nanterre and Alain Bocquet

Circuit 3 : From the revolutionary university to the towers of La Défense : walking throught the urban upheavals (1964-2014)

Circuit guided by Victor Collet, researcher, and Frédéric Dufaux, Senior lecturer, université Paris Nanterre


This circuits are conceived in the framework of the project "Making and walking the history of Nanterre's university".

Déplier Replier


Titre:  Research director, CNRS
Institution:  LESC

Co-responsable du projet:  À la naissance de l'ethnologie française : les missions ethnographiques en Afrique subsaharienne (1928-1939)


Sophie Blanchy is doing research in Comoros archipelago and in Madagascar Island. She studied and valued Henri Pobéguin’s photographic collection, which was constituted in the Comoros in 1897 (glass plates, Library of St Maur des Fossés, digitized in MAE, available exhibition, published book). She used these well captioned photos in her ethnographical inquiries (on line publication). She also studied the archives of Lars Vig, Lutheran Norwegian missionary and ethnographer who lived in Madagascar at the end of the XIXè century. His archives concern the practices and the religious representations (published papers).


See her presentation on the LESC website

Déplier Replier

Virginie MILLIOT

Titre:  Assistant professor (anthropology)
Institution:  University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense , Laboratoire d'Ethnologie et de Sociologie Comparative (LESC)

Co-responsable du projet:  Making and walking the history of Nanterre’s university

Page Perso:  Virginie Milliot's webpage on the Lesc website (


Virginie Milliot’s research deals with processes of social and cultural emergence, of which cities are the crucible, as well as with policies of recognition and institutionalisation, of which these dynamics are the subjet.

She is the author of a doctoral thesis on the “indigenisation” of hip hop in France. This research analyses the reclaiming and reinterpretation of this symbolic form in the context of working-class suburbs and the effects of the recognition policy implemented by municipal political actors in the 1990s. She shows the links that exist between the popular culture of the fragile lives of the young people in these neighbourhoods and the artistic conventions of street hip-hop. Then she analyses the development of this movement within urban networks and the transformation of these forms of expression from the street to the stage.