The Institute for Research on the Renaissance, the Neo-Classical Age and the Enlightenment
(IRCL, UMR 5186)







Conferences and seminars







Welcome to our Institute



The Institute for Research on the Renaissance, the Neo-classical Age and the Enlightenment is a joint research centre (UMR 5186) of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3. It is located on the Site Saint Charles.


The research activities of the IRCL cover the European early modernity from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment: genealogies and contemporary issues


The IRCL explores three fields of research :

  • Field 1 : Cultural environments in mutation (XVIth-XVIIIth centuries)
  • Field 2 : Traditions, their circulation, transmission and translation in Europe (XVIth-XVIIIth centuries)
  • Field 3 : Contemporary approaches to early modernity in a globalized world

and organizes two interdisciplinary seminars:

  • Seminar 1 : New approaches of periodization in cultural history
  • Seminar 2 : Digital strategies : new tools, new methods and new objects


Since July 1, 2009, the centre is jointly run by Nathalie VIENNE-GUERRIN, Professor of Shakespeare and English Renaissance Studies (Director), and Jean-Pierre SCHANDELER, Research Fellow at the CNRS and a specialist of the French Enlightenment (Deputy Director).


The Institute counts some thirty University lecturers and professors, three CNRS research fellows, one CNRS research assistant and three members of support staff (librarian, administration, communication and business managers). Some thirty doctoral students are registered at the IRCL and engaged in a wide range of postgraduate research. The research activities of the IRCL cover the construction and emergence of modern thought, in the fields of knowledge, aesthetics and the history of the book. The common denominator behind the work we do is that we try never to dissociate the various components of our activities, be they circumscribed in time (Renaissance, Classical Age and Enlightenment) or space (France and Britain), disciplinary (literature, arts, civilization, history of ideas) or thematic. Our commitment instead is to build bridges and explore areas of contact between these various fields.

The IRCL seeks to foster high-quality, specialized research by creating a space which encourages the fruitful interactions of its members' respective fields of investigation. Far from endangering the specialisation that is necessary in all scientific activity, the cross-boundary explorations carried out within our team contribute to enrich the specific activities of its members, however specialised.


“This is an excellent team, tightly knit and active, whose proven scholars are engaged in numerous innovative national and international projects. The IRCL’s dynamic and diversified research policy covers a period that ranges from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century, with a resolutely interdisciplinary emphasis. Thanks to its output, dynamism, collegiate organisation and flexible structure, the IRCL occupies a rather unique position in the field of French scholarship and enjoys international recognition.” (Evaluation Report of the AERES, Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education, 2014)

Access the full evaluation report (in French) of the AERES, Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education, 2014




News & Events










French version


News & Events

Facing Europe in Crisis: Shakespeare's World and present challenges



Doctorat conjoint Européen

Migration and Modernity: Historical and Cultural Challenges















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