Spatial Humanities

Open to :
  • Applicants holding an undergraduate degree (Bachelor)
  • EU/EEA students
  • Non-european students
Language poficency requirements :
  • French: B2

    The Spatial Humanities program is a course in the Social Sciences Master’s.

    The "spatial turn"

    Influenced by Henri Lefebvre's pioneering works, the contemporary social sciences have been experimenting since the 1980s with the concept of a «spatial turn" (Soja, 1996) that leads us to question the way in which space, in all its variations and concepts, intervenes in the emergence, structuring and intelligibility of social phenomena (Barney & Santa, 2009; Jacob, 2014).

    This "spatial turn" of course concerns geography (Lussault, 2007) but also history (Torre, 2008), sociology (Löw, 2001), anthropology (Segaud, 2010), literature, philosophy and postcolonial studies. It brings us to question complex social phenomena using multidisciplinary, theoretically informed approaches, which aim to substitute the illusion that transforms the place or space in substance; an analysis of the "Effects of Places" (Bourdieu, 1993).

    The "spatial turn" uses spatial concepts (the territory, place, border, center, periphery, urban, scale, map, network, local and global) to deploy the forms taken by social institutions and individual practices. Produced by societies, internalized by individuals, space is a privileged entry point to understand the mechanisms of power, the segmentations of the world between humans and non-humans, collective claims, development practices, the structuring of knowledge, and the contemporary ways of being in the world.

    Quality training in geography

    The Spatial humanities course offers high level training on the theoretical stakes of the "spatial turn" by valuing the constitutive interdisciplinarity of the Master’s in Social sciences. The teachers for this program work both at the Université Lyon 2 and the ENS de Lyon.

    • Analytical methods that make it possible to construct facts in a rigorous way: ranging from spatial methods developed by geography to methods shared by other social sciences (qualitative and quantitative methods).
    • A fruitful dialogue between theory and practice, to show that the "spatial turning" doesn’t just help us understand contemporary societies better but also to put forward informed action.

    In this context, students will be encouraged to approach personal research subjects with real social significance, and to reflect on how their work could have a broader professional span outside the field of research education. 

    Part of the program taught in French / English

    100% of this program is in French.

    Career opportunities after this course

    • Research, secondary and higher education
    • Senior managers in the French public administration as well as French and European companies on French mainland and overseas

    Continue your studies

    Information about PhD