Mondes iranien et indien

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About us

Wednesday 30 September 2015, by FRE 2018 - Mondes iranien et indien

The laboratory “Mondes iranien et indien” (UMR 7528, Iranian and Indian worlds) is a research unit associated to the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) et the Institut National de Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Inalco) and is affiliated to two Association of universities and higher education institutions, Sorbonne Paris Cité and Paris Sciences et Lettres. The laboratory is a founding member of the Labex Empirical Foundations of Linguistics (EFL).
The research topics developed within “Mondes iranien et indien” involve various fields of humanities and social sciences (history, linguistics, geography, anthropology, literature…) and concern a wide geographical area spreading from the Near East to Central Asia and South and South-East Asia, where Iranian and Indian cultures have been playing an important role for several centuries.
The research unit was initially founded in 1995 as “Monde iranien”. It was renamed “Mondes iranien et indien” in 2005, after merging with FRE 2550 LACMI, a research unit dedicated to Indian studies. (see History)
“Mondes iranien et indien counts nowadays (January 2016) 42 permanent members (CNRS researchers, University lecturers and professors, engineers and administrative staff), 38 PhD candidates and 8 non permanent members (engineers and postdoctoral fellows).
Prof. Pollet Samvelian (Sorbonne Nouvelle University) is the head of the team since 2010 and Dr. Maria Szuppe (CNRS) is the deputy head.



The research group Iranian World was founded in 1995. In 1st January 2005, FRE 2350 LACMI (Languages, texts, history and civilisation of the Indian world, founded in 1989) has joined the Iranian World. Since then, the research group has been renamed as Iranian and Indian Worlds and Philip Huyse was then the director.
Since 1st November 2010 Pollet Samvelian, Professor at the Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, is the Director of “Iranian and Indian worlds” (UMR 7528).

The Iranian component

The research group Iranian World was founded in 1995 by the merger of two research teams:

  • Iranian languages, literatures and culture, founded by Gilbert Lazard in 1972 under the aegis of the Université Paris 3, under the directorship of Charles-Henri de Fouchécour, and then Clarisse Herrenschmidt. This research team brought together specialists in language, literature and history and focussed mainly on the Ancient and Classical Iranian studies.
  • Social Sciences in Contemporary Modern Iran was created by Jean-Pierre Digard in 1982 under the aegis of CNRS. Ethnologists, geographers, sociologists and political scientists were members of this research team and worked on the contemporary society. In 1994 this team became the Iranian World and Bernard Hourcade was the then director.

Two more research teams have merged with the Iranian World in 1997 and 1998:

  • The Centre for Islamic Studies and Comparative history, founded by Jean Aubin and Jean Calmard was the director. (CNRS group associated with the EPHE)
  • The Centre for Irano-Aryan Studies and Research (CERIA), INaLCO

In 2001, Iranian world further hosted a postgraduate research programme (INaLCO-Paris 3) for Doctoral program in Oriental languages, literature, and societies, and an optional Master program in Mediterranean Middle East.

The Indian component

The research group Languages, texts, history and civilisation of the Indian world (LACMI) was established in 1989. This group was comprised of researchers from CNRS and lecturers from Université Paris 3, working mainly in the fields of linguistics, philology, literature, history and art history of India and of other Asian countries influenced by the Indian civilization.

The LACMI, on its creation, has taken up major part of the programs of the Buddhist and Jaina Philolgy research group that existed from 1968 and was headed by André Bareau (Director Colette Caillat) associated with the CNRS.

From 1989 till 2004 Nalini Balbir was the director of LACMI. It has evolved as a host institution for the Doctoral program of INaLCO-Paris 3, in Oriental languages, literatures and societies and as well offered an option in Indian studies for the Master program in Mediterranean Middle East.
Two research teams working on India from EPHE have joined the Iranian and Indian Worlds in 2010:

  • The Indian world: texts, societies, representations (EA 2723)
  • Medieval and Modern India: Texts and contexts (EA 2719)