Dedicated entirely to the study of the societies of South, Southeast and East Asia, the École Française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) is the oldest and most prestigious French academic institution in Asia. However, there is surprisingly little general awareness of this society, beyond the facts that its headquarters are now located in Paris and its foremost area of research is archaeology.
This volume makes good this dearth of background information, and does much more besides. A Century in Asia – The History of the École Française d'Extrême-Orient 1898–2006 traces in detail the institution's history, starting from its founding in Saigon in 1900, right through to the tumultuous years of the two World Wars and several civil wars, to its present-day status.
The book is also lavishly illustrated with material from public and private collections, depicting various aspects of the EFEO's activities and those of its many devoted scholars. A Century in Asia – The History of the École Française d'Extrême-Orient 1898–2006 bears testament to the tremendous self-belief and commitment shown by the EFEO since its inauguration, a spirit which has enabled the School to survive and evolve over the last century, while retaining its long-standing and intimate relationship with Asia. The School remains to this day an essential port of call for students of all Asian cultures.
Catherine Clémentin-Ojha is an anthropologist specialising in Indian religion, and has been a member of EFEO between 1991 and 2001. She now holds a professorship at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Her areas of study include monastic orders and the development of Hindu sects and reform movements. She is particularly interested in their modes of organisation, missionary practice and their relations with the caste system. In addition she has a parallel interest in Indian Christians and Christian ecclesiastical institutions in India. Her major publications are La Divinité conquise, Carrière d'une sainte, Nanterre, Société d'ethnologie, 1991; and Le Trident sur le palais, Une cabale anti-vishnouite dans un royaume hindou à l'époque coloniale, Paris, EFEO, 1991.
Pierre-Yves Manguin, an historian and archaeologist specialising in Southeast Asia, has been a member of EFEO since 1970. His research relates to the maritime history and archaeology of coastal Southeast Asia. He has published numerous articles on the subject, and led archaeological excavations in Sumatra, Java and the Mekong Delta on shipwrecks and urban sites dating from the 1st to the 13th century. He teaches at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. His main publications include Nguyên Anh, Macau et le Portugal, Aspects politiques et commerciaux d'une relation privilegiée, 1733–1802, Paris, EFEO, 1984; and with J.M. dos Santos Alves, O 'Roteiro das cousas do Achem' de D. João Ribeiro Gaio: Um olhar português sobre o norte de Samatra em finais do século, Lisboa, 1997. He has also edited Southeast Asian Archaeology 1994, Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists, Hull, 1998.
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