Université de Strasbourg

Frédéric Colin

Marc Bloch Chair (2022-2024)

Frédéric Colin

Frédéric Colin received his PhD in 1996 from the Free University of Brussels (ULB, Belgium) and his habilitation to conduct research in 2006 from the Marc Bloch University (Strasbourg, France). He received the Marguerite Bervoets prize (Commission de l'enseignement de l'ULB, 1990), the travel grant competition (Ministry of Education, Research and Training of the French-speaking Community of Belgium, 1993) and the prize for the annual competition of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Letters of Belgium (1994). He was, successively, an aspirant and then research fellow of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) from 1992-1998, and foreign scientific member of the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) in Cairo, Egypt, from 1996-1998. He subsequently moved to the University of Strasbourg, where he lectured in Greek history (1998-2006) and Egyptology (2006-2007), before being appointed as professor of Egyptology, director of the Institute of Egyptology, and curator of the Egyptian collection at the University of Strasbourg (since 2007). Frédéric Colin was also director of the IFAO archaeological mission in the Bahariya oasis (Egypt, 1997-2014), junior member of the Institut universitaire de France (2002-2007) and director of the joint research unit Archaeology and Ancient History: Mediterranean-Europe (ArcHiMedE) from 2013-2017. He has been principal investigator of a series of interdisciplinary projects in the Humanities and Social Sciences / Natural Sciences.

Frédéric Colin carries out research in archaeology (excavations in the Bahariya oasis, in Fayoum and in the Assasif valley, museological studies on the Egyptian collections housed in Strasbourg, innovation in digital archaeology), philology (editing texts, particularly in demotic writing, but also in the other Egyptian writings) and history (Egypt in the 2nd and 1st millennia)

Frédéric ColinHis scientific career has been guided by several forms of interdisciplinarity. "Internal" interdisciplinarity within the historical sciences, between Greek history, multilingual papyrology and Egyptology, to contribute to the history of the culturally mixed society of Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. "Internal" interdisciplinarity again, between archaeology and philology: the simultaneous interpretation of a text and of e.g. a sedimentary facies in a stratigraphy makes it possible, in certain favourable situations, to resolve a historiographical question that has long remained unanswered. "External" interdisciplinarity between the historical sciences and the sciences of the Earth and the Universe: without doubt the most disorienting interaction, because there are real cultural and social differences between researchers of natural phenomena and those of cultural phenomena. With a little mediation, the modes of reasoning between these two poles can be made intelligible to the partners. What is more complicated, and stimulating, is the conventional dimension accompanying the act of research: in what language does one publish? How does one construct the outline of an article? Does the form of academic writing need to be worked on as much as the content? What is a prestigious journal? How do you prove a case? What is the mark of a true scientific contribution?

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Inaugural lecture

Professor Colin delivered his Inaugural Lecture as Marc Bloch Chair on 1 June 2023, entitled “From sandy Bahariya to the gilded court of Thebes: An interdisciplinary pathway in Egyptology”. Read more about the topic of the lecture, or watch the video (in French):

The Marc Bloch Chair

The Marc Bloch Chair in the social sciences and humanities was created in 2022, as one of three temporary chair positions with a duration of two years, for Strasbourg-based researchers who have made an exceptional contribution to their field. The Chair is named in honour of Marc Bloch (1886-1944), a French historian who was a professor of medieval history at the University of Strasbourg from 1921-1936. Co-founder of the historical journal “Annales”, he was known for his work on comparative and economic history, and his interest in interdisciplinarity.

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