Programme Research Themes:

1. Study of Historical Texts

This research theme is dedicated to historical works and will aim to bring out their specificities, the questions they raise and their respective structure. Of course the project does not hope to cover all the historical texts of the period under study, but to concentrate on some works that we propose to analyse together, according to the programme members’ expertise and according to the perspectives that we will define on an ad hoc basis.

2. Texts on the Writing of History

This research theme is dedicated to historians and the methods of writing history. We propose to translate and study the “historiographical paratexts”, that is to say the autobiographies, the prefaces and postfaces written by historians, as well as all texts (such as for example memoires concerning throne presentations or imperial edicts) that will enable us to better understand the methods, concerns and intentions of historians from the Classical period, and perhaps slightly beyond it, in order to include the works of Sima Guang, which our dear colleague the late François Martin translated and studied.

3. Genres and Influences

With this third research theme, we hope to further explore the plurality of writings in ancient and classical historiography, articulating amongst other genres: narrative, judgement, documentation and description. Il will provide us with a special space to examine the overlap, continuation and influences between historiography and other writing practices such as the composition of collections of edifying biographies and anecdotes.


Within the framework of this program, several workshops and symposiums have already been organized:

  • Workshop “Genres de l’Historiographie”, Université Paris Diderot, 25 February 2017.
  • International symposium: “Fan Ye’s History of the Later Han” (internet site of the conference), Collège de France, 13 September 2017.
    Two other scientific events are scheduled for the coming year (2020):
  • International symposium: Lives and power in the Records of the historian: The destinies of the biographical genre, Collège de France, 2-3 April 2020, postponed to autumn 2021.
  • Project of panel on the genre of historical lun 論 in the next EACS Conference (Leipzig, August 2021).


  • Damien Chaussende & Daniel P. Morgan (dir.), The Treatises of the Suishu, Springer, 2019.
  • Hans van Ess & Béatrice L’Haridon (dir.), Special Section on the Hou Hanshu, in Monumenta Serica 67.1 (2019).




Damien Chaussende (CNRS)
Béatrice L’Haridon (Université Paris Cité)

CRCAO members

Full members
Damien Chaussende (CNRS)
Béatrice L’Haridon (Université Paris Cité)
Sylvie Hureau (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Alexis Lycas (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Daniel Patrick Morgan (CNRS)

Associated members
Julie Gary-Bonte (Independent)

Research support
Garance Chao Zhang (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Outside Participants

Chen Jianmei (Zhejiang University)
Grégoire Espesset (Groupe Société, Religions, Laïcité)
Hans van Ess (Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität)
Michael Nylan (University of California, Berkeley)