Outline of the Programme

The history of the peoples who, from Eastern Manchuria to Southern Tibet, border the Han territory is usually only addressed in Chinese sources when these peoples ruled a part of the Chinese realm. Otherwise, the role of these peoples seems to be limited to that of uninteresting Barbarians whose existence is mentioned only to present them as troublemakers harassing the Middle Empire, or as more or less submissive vassals whose docility one tries to ensure by giving their ruler a, at least nominally, imperial princess.

Yet Manchus, Jurchens, Khitans, Mongols, Uyghurs, Turks, Tanguts and Tibetans inflected to various degrees, sometimes radically, the course of Chinese history. Through their own cultural identity, in particular through the creation of very interesting scripts – some of which are still being deciphered – they made an important and irreplaceable contribution to the cultural abundance of East Asia. It is often overlooked that the reason why Peking is the capital of China today is in fact because the Khitan made it one of their capitals, and then the Jurchen their main capital. We notice with some astonishment that in the mid-eleventh century, the Daoist inner alchemy treatises that reached the Khitan court were not coming from the Song Empire, where they were abundant, but from the Kashgar Kingdom, a place where one would not expect to find this kind of texts.

The present programme aims to coordinate studies on these people – who often considered themselves to be at the center of the world – from the perspective of their relationship with China and their contribution to various fields of Chinese history. It provides scholars and PhD candidates with a frame that stimulates scientific personal or collective works and workshops, invitations of foreign colleagues and students initiatives. The programme consists of four thematic parts 1. Khitans 2. Tungusic Peoples 3. Turks, Mongols and peoples of Central Asia. 4. Tibetans. Each part associates members of the CRCAO and foreign correspondents with whom we keep in regular contact.



China Inner Asia Altaic peoples



Pierre Marsone (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

CRCAO members

Full members
Pierre Marsone (École Pratique des Hautes Études)
Charles Ramble (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Associated members
Annie Chan (Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München)
Emanuela Garatti (Ruhr-Universität Bochum)
Étienne de la Vaissière (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences)

Doctoral students
Alice Crowther (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

Outside Participants

Li Peng (Neimenggu Minzu Daxue, Tongliao)
Nikolaï Kradin (Academy of Sciences of Russia, Vladivostok)
Sun Bojun (Academy of Social Sciences of China, Beijing)
Jean-Claude Ginhoux (auditor EPHE, PSL)
Gu Songjie (Zhongyang Minzu Daxue, Beijing)
Tatiana A. Pang (Institut des Manuscrits orientaux, Saint-Pétersbourg)
Rong Xinjiang (Beijing Daxue)