History

Statue

The Indochina Years

The École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), or French School of Asian Studies, was founded in 1898 in Saigon as the Mission archéologique d'Indo-Chine. The institution was created on the joint initiative of the Oriental Studies section in the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres and the colonial government of what was then French Indochina, the former envisaging scholars working onsite in Asia - along patterns already established by the French institutes in Athens, Rome, and Cairo - whereas the latter aimed to establish an authority that would be responsible for the inventory and preservation of the cultural heritage of Indochina.

In 1900 the Mission archéologique was renamed École française d'Extrême-Orient, and in 1902 the School headquarters were removed to Hanoi, with its main missions defined as archaeological exploration, collection of manuscripts, preservation of monuments, inventorying of ethnic groups, linguistic studies, and the study of the history of all Asian civilizations from India to Japan. To this end an ambitious academic programme, a library and a museum - which has since become the Vietnamese National Historical Museum - were put in place at the headquarters. Other museums followed: at Da Nang, Saigon, Hue, Phnom Penh, Battambang, and elsewhere. In 1907 the EFEO was assigned responsibility for the conservation of the Angkor archaeological site. This early phase of EFEO's work is still renowned for the contributions of many distinguished Orientalists: Paul Pelliot, Henri Maspero, and Paul Demiéville in Chinese studies; Louis Finot and George Cœdès in Indochinese epigraphy; Henri Parmentier in archaeology, Paul Mus in the history of religion, among many others.

The School's development after 1945

After 1945 a new period opened for the EFEO. Despite the war, and thanks to a real desire for scholarly cooperation with the newly independent states in the area, its members continued their work in continental Southeast Asia: ethnology, Buddhist studies, studies of language, literature, and above all archaeology, with huge reconstruction sites among the monuments of Angkor using the newly developed method of anastylosis. In 1957 the School was obliged to leave Hanoi, and finally, in 1975, Phnom Penh. During this troubled period the EFEO dedicated itself to widening its range of activities and developing new scholarly collaborations. In India, a permanent center was opened in Pondicherry in 1955 to carry out studies in Shivaite literature and the history of the art of the southern part of the subcontinent; later a branch of this center was opened in Pune. During the late 1950's a center was established in Jakarta for archaeologists and specialists in religious epigraphy. In Japan in 1968 the Hobogirin Institute in Kyoto brought together specialists in Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, and, a few years later, a center was established in Chiang Mai for the study of the Buddhism of Southeast Asia. Distinguished scholars from this period include, among others, Jean Filliozat in Indian studies, Rolf A. Stein in Chinese and Tibetan studies, Bernard Philippe Groslier in the archaeology of Angkor, Charles Archaimbault in Laotian ethnology, and Maurice Durand in Vietnamese studies.

The EFEO in the 21st century

The end of the war and return to a degree of stability in Southeast Asia allowed the EFEO to reestablish itself in the region, in response to requests by several local academic and political authorities. The Ecole first returned to Cambodia in 1990, after the restitution of its former real estate in Siem Reap and the revival of archaeological and conservation work at Angkor. Three years later came the opening of a new Centre in Vientiane, followed by Hanoi where the EFEO acquired a new building and library and engaged once again in research and publication in the fields of history, anthropology and epipraphy. This return to the institution's roots did not slow the opening of new horizons, both geographical and thematic: new Centres were opened in partneship with local institutions in Kuala Lumpur (National Museum), Hong Kong (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Taipei (Academia Sinica), Tokyo (Toyo Bunko), Seoul (University of Korea), and finally Beijing (Chinese Academy of Sciences); in terms of research priorities, the period saw a marked opening to the Social Sciences and contemporary Asia: study of Indian commercial networks, the modern and contemporary demography of highland continental Southeast Asia, ehtnic conflict and issues of national and regional integration of minorities, the dynamics of religion in the contemporary societies of China, Thailand and Indonesia, the politics of national heritage conservation. At the beginning of the 21st century the EFEO participates actively in the digital transformation of humanities research and the growing internationalisation of Asian studies, and occupies a central position in the network of high-level academic partnerships in Asia and Europe developed since 2007 under the European Consortium for Asian Field Study initiative (ECAF).

EFEO News
Travel subventions for the conference ''New Perspectives in Chinese History''
Paris, France, 26 August 2019
As part of the organisation of the conference "New Perspectives in Chinese History" to be held from 16 to 18 October 2019 in Paris, five travel subventions for students (from Master 2 to PhD candidates, eventually to post-doctoral scholars) engaged in research on the history of modern China (Ming, Qing, Minguo periods) and enrolled in an European institution will be offered to attend this conference.

Details and information.
New Publications
Paris, France,

Bulletin de l'École française d'Extrême-Orient 104 (2018)

Cahiers d'Extrême-Asie, vol. 27 (2018) : Buddhism and the Military in Tibet during the Ganden Phodrang Period (1642-1959)

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Dossier Angkor in Archeologia
France,

Find the "Angkor, the latest discoveries" dossier to which several EFEO researchers contributed in Archéologia, issue 578, July/August 2019, p. 30-47.
IATS2019 Tibetology Congress
Paris, France, 08 July 2019
Fabienne Jagou, alongside Matthew Kapstein (EPHE), Françoise Pommaret (CRCAO), Françoise Robin (INALCO) and Nicolas Sihlé (CEH), are organising the IATS2019-Paris Tibetology Congress as part of the International Association of Tibetan Studies (IATS). This congress, in which the EFEO is a partner, brings together more than 650 researchers from all over the world and will take place from July 8 to 13, 2019, in Paris, at INALCO.

Programme
Visit to Toyo bunko
Tokyo, Japan, 08 July 2019
Christophe Marquet, Director, was received with François Lachaud, head of the EFEO Center in Tokyo, by the management of Toyo bunko.
Exhibition ''Les voyages de Jacques Bacot et la naissance des ├ętudes tib├ętaines modernes en France'' [Jacques Bacot's travels and the birth of modern Tibetan studies in France]
Paris, France, 05 July 2019
A new photographic exhibition is being held at the EFEO (1st floor) on the theme "Les voyages de Jacques Bacot et la naissance des études tibétaines modernes en France" [Jacques Bacot's travels and the birth of modern Tibetan studies in France] until September 30, 2019.
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Visit of H.R.H. Princess Sirindhorn
Bangkok, Thailand, 04 July 2019
On July 5, 2018, at the annual conference of the Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre (SAC), Khunying Khaisri Sri-Aroon invited Her Royal Highness Princess Sirindhorn to visit the offices that the EFEO has occupied since the SAC was created in 1997.Jacques Leider thanked H.R.H. Princess Sirindhorn for the hospitality extended to the EFEO and emphasized the excellent working atmosphere that prevails among all the Centre's researchers.
Legend: From left to right: Surakarn Thoesomboon (secretary of the EFEO Center), Jacques Leider (head of the EFEO Center), Khun Pirapon Pisnupong (Director of the SAC), HRH Princess Sirindhorn and Khunying Khaisri Sri-Aroon (Secretary General of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation).
The EFEO is seeking to recruit three PhD Candidates (F/M)
Paris, France, 01 July 2019
Three positions are open for PhD research to be carried out in the framework of the DHARMA Project. The PhD candidates will conduct full-time doctoral research in Southeast Asian epigraphy.
See the profil.
Visit of the President of the Republic
Kyoto, Japan, 27 June 2019
As part of the official trip to Japan of the President of the Republic, Mr. Emmanuel Macron,  Martin Nogueira Ramos, head of the Kyoto EFEO Centre, spoke during the visit to the Kôdaiji Monastery, a major place of Zen Buddhism (Rinzai). This visit provided an opportunity for exchanges on the EFEO's scientific action and partnerships in Japan.

© Photograph by Hayashi Takahiro
Round table discussion
Paris, France, 24 June 2019
As part of the research on Dunhuang conducted by the CRCAO (UMR 8155) and the EFEO, GUO Junye and DANG Yanni (Dunhuang Academy) will lead a run a panel on :- "The Cult of Arhats in Dunhuang during the Medieval Period" (Dang Yanni)- "The Statuary on the Central Altar of Mogao Cave 161" (Guo Junye).

From 2pm to 4pm, Collège de France, 49bis avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, 75012, Paris.