Chair for Health, Humanities and Social Sciences

A Chair hosted by the University of Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne to mobilise social sciences and humanities from an interdisciplinary perspective to address health-related issues in contemporary societies.




Judith Rainhorn, Professor of Modern Social History, member of the Centre d’histoire sociale des mondes contemporains (CHS).

Chair for Health, Humanities and Social Sciences

Health issues are of major concern to contemporary societies, as the recent Covid-19 sanitary crisis gave evidence. The pandemic has brought into play the key question of social ties, and produced political decisions and new social behaviours within a few months. From the latter, humanities and social sciences tried to produce a narrative, using their disciplinary tools.
The ubiquitous notion of crisis helps us to grasp the importance of contemporary health issues: the Covid-19 sanitary crisis and the threat of new pandemics on a global scale; the crisis in occupational health over the last three decades, including the rise of mental health issues in the workplace and management scandals ; the crisis in the social protection system, challenged by the demographic changes of many ageing countries; the crisis in hospital and the mental health care system; the environmental crisis on a global scale, etc. Beyond these moments of climax and long-term impairments, the ordinary dimensions of human health cover a large range of issues that have been addressed by the various disciplines of the humanities and social sciences.

Held by Judith Rainhorn and hosted by the Centre d'histoire sociale des mondes contemporains (CHS), the Chair for Health, Humanities and Social Sciences aims to bring together research conducted at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and its partners. It will structure and network research initiatives using disciplinary and interdisciplinary tools of the humanities and social sciences to examine and understand the health issues in contemporary societies: multiscale health and social inequalities, building and changes in scientific knowledge, links between this knowledge, health expertise and policy-making. Public debate on issues such as human reproduction, the end of life and euthanasia, solidarity among communities and between generations, pollution, disability and work-related physical and mental suffering are some of the many key questions on which the social sciences and humanities have a legitimate role to play in providing useful and operational expertise.


The Chair for Health, Humanities and Social Sciences is aimed at raising the profile of and promote dialogue between health-related projects in the many disciplines researched at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, from economics to geography and environmental sciences, from law to sociology, from the history of health and the environment to demography, and from philosophy to the arts.

The work carried out here mostly draws on the rich ecosystem of the Campus Condorcet, in Aubervilliers. Health issues are one of the top priorities of the campus, with research being carried out at the University Paris 1 together with INED (National Institute for Population studies), EHESS (School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences) and other institutions involved, as well as through the SHS-Santé Network.

The Chair is based on an international research network involving members on a European and global scale, especially the Una Europa network, of which the University Paris 1 is a founding member, and in particular its 'One-Health' Focus Area.

Ad hoc collaboration is envisaged with professional groups and associations, as well as with practitioners from civil society.


Would you like to find out more about the Chair for Health, Humanities and Social Sciences of Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne? Are you working on health issues in the social sciences and humanities and would like to take part in its work? Please do contact Léa Delmaire, research engineer on the Chair: