logo Sphere
Logo Université Paris-Diderot Logo Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne


Sur ce site

Sur le Web du CNRS

Accueil > Séminaires en cours > Powers of Imagination. Historical Approach.

Powers of Imagination. Historical Approach.

Seminar EHESS/CNRS organised by Elizabeth Claire (CNRS), Béatrice Delaurenti (EHESS, CRH-AHLoMA), Roberto Poma (University Paris Est-Créteil) and Koen Vermeir (CNRS)
The seminar is financed by the CRH, Sphere, UPEC ; May 12 is funded by ANR ANTHRAME.

Contacts :
elizabeth.claire (at) ; beatrice.delaurenti (at) ; poma (at) ; koen.vermeir (at)

The notion of imagination is today considered as an object of study in its own right, after having long been discredited by scientific research. Nevertheless, in modern and contemporary literature, the imagination is generally presented in a negative way, as a mental faculty capable of causing error, illusion or sin. We would like to go against this conception by studying an alternative and little-known intellectual and practical tradition : from the 12th-13th centuries to the beginning of the 19th century, thinkers and practitioners belonging to various disciplines, expressing themselves from various institutional positions, have supported the idea that the imagination possesses great powers.
As in previous years, the seminar will work from and around the texts in the manner of a workshop, by endeavoring to implement a collective work of discussion, analysis and confrontation of sources over the long term.

PROGRAM 2022-2023

Sessions will be in person and in webconference. To get the connection link and allow us to contact you, thanks to register on

Friday March 10, 2023, postponed to June 9 Friday April 14 Friday May 12 June 9

Friday April 14 - Paris Diderot Diderot, Olympe de Gouges Building, Place Paul Ricoeur 75013 Paris, room 126 & Zoom.
To receive zoom link, please register here

  • 9:00am - 9:15am Introduction
  • 9:15am - 10:45am
    Naama Cohen Hanegbi (Université de Tel Aviv)
    Imagining a Cure : A Dangerous (But Funny) Interplay between Literature and Medicine in Celestina
  • 11am - 12:30am
    Martin Dumont (UPEC)
    Les imaginaires de la transplantation, entre impulsion et obstacle. Histoire et clinique de. s greffes
  • 4:45pm - 3:15pm
    Béatrice Delaurenti (EHESS, CRH)
    Du pouvoir de l’âme au pouvoir de l’imagination : réception et transformation d’une doctrine d’Avicenne (XIIIe-XVe siècle)
  • 3:30pm - 5pm
    Violaine Giacomotto Charra (Université de Bordeaux Montaigne, Centre Montaigne)
    L’imagination dans les traités vulgarisés. II. Le regard des médecins

Friday May 12
Université Paris Diderot, Bâtiment Condorcet - Room 646A-Mondrian (6e étage) - 10, rue Alice Domon et Léonie Duquet, 75013 Paris.

  • 9:15am - 10:45am
    Véronique Decaix (Université de Paris I)
    Les éléphants d’Albert le Grand. La fabrique de l’imaginaire
  • 11am - 12:30am
    Fernando Salmon (Université de Santander)
    Trust, hope, emotions and the healing encounter in the Middle Ages
  • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
    Marie Gall (Université de Bordeaux Montaigne, Centre Montaigne)
    Mobiliser l’imagination dans l’élaboration d’hypothèses scientifiques : le cas des fictions scientifiques du XVIIe siècle
  • 3:30pm - 5pm
    Claire Gantet (Université de Fribourg)
    Un instinct presque surnaturel. Le rêve dans les Lettres sur l’imagination (1794) de Jakob Heinrich Meister

    Télécharger le programme

Friday June 9
EHESS, 54 bd Raspail, 4e étage, salle A4-47

  • 9:15am - 10:45am
    Roberto Poma (UPEC)
    L’imagination du médecin
  • Lunch break