Vientiane

The Vientiane Centre, Laos

Vientiane Centre

Head: Yves Goudineau
Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, FEML
1 rue Sisangvone - Unit 6
Bane Naxay
BP 3248
Vientiane, Laos
Tel.: + 856 21 41 46 20
Fax: + 856 21 41 39 52
yves.goudineau@efeo.net

In 1951 the Laotian government entrusted the EFEO with the mission to preserve and restore its historical monuments and to manage the nation's museums. At the same time, the EFEO was authorized to carry out archaeological excavations. The School's official presence in Laos led to the arrival of the art historian and philologist Henri Deydier, the ethnologist Charles Archaimbault - renowned for his comparative work on Laotian principalities, and Pierre-Bernard Lafont, who resided at the Centre until 1966. Earlier in the 20th century, Henri Parmentier conducted the first research on the religious architecture of Laos and the Khmer temple Vat Phu, while Madeleine Colani carried out a pioneering investigation of a proto-historic site, the Plain of Jars. A new cooperation agreement, reached in 1993, with the Laotian Ministry of Information and Culture enabled the EFEO to open a Franco-Laotian Centre for Buddhist and Historical Studies in Vientiane.

Current research at the EFEO Centre in Vientiane is primarily conducted in historical studies based on philology and epigraphy; however, the Centre also undertakes work in disciplines such as ethnology, art history and archaeology. The sum of this activity contributes to a wider program of multidisciplinary research on Buddhist societies spanning Asia, from India to China.

Laos, a landlocked country relatively little affected by its rapidly changing surroundings, offers researchers exceptional conditions for on-site investigation.

Current research program:

  • General epigraphic inventory and publication of Laotian inscriptions
  • Study of Laotian religious literature
  • Material and artistic culture of Laotian Buddhism (archaeology, iconography)
  • Comparative ethnology of Austro-Asiatic minority societies

The Vientiane Center includes a library for the humanities and social sciences -- the only research library in Laos. Since 2007 its publication office has edited a series titled Texts and documents on Laos. The Centre also provides facilities for French and European scholars, as well as doctoral students and EFEO fellowship holders.

EFEO News
New publication
14 December 2017
Arts Asiatiques 72 (2017)


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International Workshop on Chinese Local History and Local Society, 14th and 15th December
Paris, France,

Thursday, December 14 and Friday, December 15, Michela Bussotti (EFEO) and Joseph McDermott (University of Cambridge) organize an international workshop on the study of society and local history that finalize the project FOES (Families, Organizations and Economies: inside and beyond local history in China, XV-XX century - projet exploratoire PSL) thanks to the support of PSL, EFEO and CECMC (UMR CCJ).

Programme (PDF)

Maison de l'Asie, 1st floor Salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson - 75116 Paris

Contact: Michela Bussotti
New publication
06 December 2017
Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie 25 (2016)

Daoist Lives, Community and Place

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Release of the photographic collection of Pierre Pichard

999 photographs by the architect Pierre Pichard, former member of the EFEO, are now on line on the photo library website. These pictures were taken between 1987 and 2004 during missions in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and South Korea.
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Paris EFEO Seminar

On Monday 13th November Ryosuke Furui (Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo) is speaking on "Changing Structure of Political Powers in South Asia: Bengal from the Fifth to the Thirteenth Century"

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Free admission)
Maison de l'Asie, First floor salon, 22 avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
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