CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition


Our journal explores the realm of affects and sensibilities, a burgeoning field of research with dedicated centers and publications around the world. It aims to federate research on the topic across the social sciences, comparing methods, rereading “classics,” and experimenting with new modes of expression (photography, graphic novels, etc.). By expanding its critical repertoire, the journal seeks to find new ways of imagining and shaping the world.


The social sciences must approach the question of sensibilities not merely as an object of study, but as a way of knowing. Examining social practices of perception, exploring affective bonds and emotional regulation, questioning tastes—these are all ways to apprehend present and past societies without restricting oneself to politics, the economy, society, science, or the arts and everything in between.

It does not suffice to denounce the rationalist bias of the social sciences, their neglect of passions, feelings, and the bodily automatisms, and their tendency to view human actions and interactions merely as rational calculations.

Nor is it enough to show how sensibilities—ethical, aesthetic, or affective—constantly underpin these actions and interactions. One must also grasp how the ways in which we see, feel, and are moved towards or away from things are themselves acquired and “acquiring” practices enmeshed in relations of power.

Finally, we must also understand how in a given society, amidst certain people, and in specific conditions, sensibilities come to define the ways in which human activity is experienced, organized, discussed, and justified collectively. For in doing so, we unravel how sensibilities intervene, as a practical sense and way of knowing, in the construction of the world.


Our vision is not a scientific manifesto. It answers to two imperatives. The first is to comprehend the accrued importance of affects in our present-day societies, be it in the governing and policing of emotions in public, the necessity of moving someone in order to convince them, or that of feeling in order to understand them. In this respect, it behooves the social sciences to embrace and to subject to critical examination the field of sensibilities.

By embracing this challenge, we also confront a second imperative: that of reexamining the question of sensibilities within the tradition of critical theory itself, to reassess ideas about the civilizing process, the social logics of habitus, or the constitution of the self among others.


Sensibilités: Histoire, critique & sciences sociales opens a space at (and for) the intersection of different forms of knowledge. This is a forum for scholarship across the disciplines, but also for comparing methods, for revisiting and “reflexing,” for experimenting with narrative modes and other aesthetic sensibilities. In facilitating these dialogues and exchanges, the journal provides itself with the means to think, say, and imagine the world otherwise.


Issues are thematic and organized into four sections:

Each issue includes four or five “research” articles by specialists of the particular theme in question. These are original, peer-reviewed articles, up to 50,000 characters-long. Only this section of the journal is available online on The remaining sections are only available in hard copy.

This section is a space for experimentation, with four or five creative contributions. It is open to all forms of writing: graphic novels, photography, documentary research, fiction, etc. Articles in this section may be:

  • - a writing experience in which formal and argumentative characteristics challenge accepted views of the world (including academic ones);
  • - the exposition of an original or experimental approach to modes of perception and appreciation;
  • - a revisiting of a forgotten text or exploring of an original source.

This section is a space for critical discussion. The debate puts two or more scholars in dialogue around a detailed analysis of a text or controversy relating to the issue’s theme. It provides a space for the confrontation and exchange of ideas, to revisit past controversies, challenge theories and methods, or expand on an “experience” in the issue.

This section is a space for introspection and self-reflection in which social scientists reflect on their writing practice. In each issue, a scholar welcomes us into their workshop, to explore their practices and rhythms of writing, the rituals, sources, turns of phrase, word choices, use of images, tables, and footnotes, etc., and reflect on how writing influences their thought process. These articles are roughly 20,000 characters-long and are richly illustrated with images of working drafts, manuscripts, and other documents.

Editorial Board

Editorial committee

The journal Sensibilités was conceived and founded by Quentin Deluermoz, Christophe Granger, Hervé Mazurel, and Clémentine Vidal-Naquet. It is currently edited by Quentin Deluermoz, Thomas Dodman, Anouche Kunth, Hervé Mazurel, and Clémentine Vidal-Naquet.

Editorial board

  • Stéphane Audouin-Rouzeau (EHESS)
  • Ludivine Bantigny (Université de Rouen)
  • Alban Bensa (EHESS)
  • Romain Bertrand (FNSP)
  • Patrick Boucheron (Collège de France)
  • Thomas Bouchet (Université de Lausanne)
  • Peter Burke (Cambridge University)
  • Bruno Cabanes (Ohio State University)
  • Roger Chartier (Collège de France)
  • Olivier Christin (Université de Neuchâtel/EPHE)
  • Déborah Cohen (Université de Rouen)
  • Alain Corbin (Paris 1)
  • Georges Didi-Huberman (EHESS)
  • Florence Dupont (Université Paris-Diderot)
  • Arlette Farge (CNRS/EHESS)
  • Sylvia Faure (Lyon 2)
  • Ute Frevert (Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Berlin)
  • Boris Gobille (ENS)
  • Dominique Kalifa † (Paris 1)
  • Pierre Laborie † (EHESS)
  • Bernard Lahire (ENS)
  • Laure Murat (UCLA)
  • Stéphanie Sauget (Université de Tours)
  • Jean-Claude Schmitt (EHESS)
  • Victoria Vanneau (CNRS)
  • Sylvain Venayre (Université de Grenoble)

Submission of articles

The editors of Sensibilités invite authors to submit original contributions to the journal, at the following email address:

Unsolicited submissions will be assessed according to forthcoming themes. All accepted contributions are submitted to peer review.

Articles for the “Research” section should be up to 50,000 characters in length (including spaces and notes). Notes to the manuscript should be provided as footnotes. Articles for the “Experience” section may be graphic novels, photographs, fiction, etc. They should not exceed twelve pages in length and may be submitted as a detailed draft for consideration. Articles for the “Debate” section must not exceed 40,000 characters.

All articles submitted to the journal must be accompanied by the contact details of the author(s) and a short abstract in French.


Code of ethics

The Code of Ethics applicable to drafting committees and editorial boards of academic journals offered on, including Sensibilités, is available on this page.

Other information

Print ISSN : 2496-9087
Publisher : Anamosa

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