Cultural Heritage Sciences Summer School

Paris Seine University is offering a summer school on "Cultural Heritage Sciences". This pre-doctoral school will take place from July 2nd to July 21th 2018.


Paris Seine University

From July 2nd, 2018 (day of arrival, start of classes on the morning of the 3rd) to July 21th, 2018
(end of classes on July 21st, return to China July 22nd in the morning).

The Cultural Heritage Sciences Summer School will take place in Cergy-Pontoise (35 minutes from Paris), Versailles and Paris. It will be organized by the consortium « Paris Seine University », which gather prestigious academic and institutional partners working on Arts, Culture and Heritage :

University of Cergy-Pontoise :
National higher school of arts of
National higher school of architecture of Versailles:
National higher school of landscape of Versailles :
National Heritage Institute:
Foundation for Cultural Heritage Sciences :

Are also Partners: 
ESSEC business school 
Research Center of the Castle of Versailles
Louvre Museum
French National Library


Interdisciplinarity and inter-institutionality lie at the heart of the summer’s school scientific project because they are essential to understand and analyse tangible or intangible heritage.

By sharpening the critical faculties and broadening the spectrum of approaches and knowledge available, the summer school will provide pre-PhD students with a common background on heritage sciences, no matter what discipline they are specialized in (History, Geography, History of Art, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Conservation, Arts). It will initiate the students to new research practices and methodologies, reducing the distance between academic world, institutional laboratories, museums and other cultural institutions.
The summer school will articulate heritage with the creative act and, by studying it a transdisciplinary way, it will systematically resituate the object studied or created (be it tangible or intangible heritage) in the institutional, economic or cultural world.

We want to offer students an innovative way of approaching heritage:
- by decompartmentalizing disciplines and linking heritage to non-university fields.
- by relying on an innovative methodology based on the project (whether architectural, artistic, landscape, conservation or restoration).

Practice-led research will be at the heart of our methodological days. It aims to integrate practice into the research process, based on the belief that practice is one channel to produce knowledge. In line with the most recent theoretical and epistemological developments in the field of creation, the methodological days we propose will go beyond the practice-led research stances currently being used to design and operationalize practice-led research strategies in which practice is the driving force, a source of both the questions and the findings of the research. This is a matter of putting practice into a strategy of continuous improvement through research, via a stance of reflexivity towards its own approaches, tools and arguments of intervention.

For more information, please download the presentation of the summer school.

Since the summer school's initial dates have changed, a new program was made. For more information, please consult the new schedule.


The summer school will be structured around:

1.    Methodological days organized by the 5 main partners: University of Cergy-Pontoise (with the Foundation for Cultural Heritage Sciences), National higher school of arts Paris-Cergy, National higher school of architecture of Versailles, National higher school of landscape of Versailles, National Heritage Institute

2.    Thematic study days followed by guided tours of the sites concerned and aimed at heritage and / or creation :  Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum, Excavation Site of Genainville and Archaeological Museum of Guiry-en Vexin, Castle of La Roche Guyon, Ecouen Castle, French National Library.

3.    French as a Foreign Language Classes around Heritage

4.    Exchanges with professors and PhD Students

5.    Free Weekends. Cultural guides and suggestions of visits will be provided (Van Gogh’s House and the impressionist village, cultural spots in Paris)

1-Examples of methodological days (Provisional Program)

Methodological day 1 : “Making heritage, studying heritage: actors and tools involved in heritage matters?” at the University of Cergy-Pontoise : LaBboite
“Beyond the object, heritage as a social process and spatial construction. New perspectives in (critical) heritage studies”.
Elizabeth Auclair – Associate Professor, University of Cergy Pontoise
Anne Hertzog – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

“Heritage sciences as a field of study: genesis, practices and challenges”
Anne-Julie Etter – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise, head of the scientific programs of the Foundation for Cultural Heritage Sciences  

Methodological day 2: “Landscape heritage: protection and reinvention” at the  National higher school of landscape of Versailles :
“Landscape as a means of regenerating public housing heritage (from garden cities to big housing schemes)”
Bernadette Blanchon –  Landscape Architect, Associate Professor (ENSP)

“Conservation and management of cultural landscapes, from UNESCO World Heritage to ordinary landscapes”.
Dr. Pierre Marie Tricaud –  Landscape Architect DPLG, PhD in Urbanism, Senior Researcher in the Institute of Town Planning of the Région Ile de France. Member of ICOMOS France.

“Landscape protection as territorial strategy. Challenges, limitations and overruns. The case of UNESCO World Heritage « Causses-Cévennes »”.
Louis-Philippe Rousselle-Brosseau –  Landscape Architect, PhD Student University of Montréal and ENSP-Agreenium.

“King’s kitchen garden, an historical garden and a garden for the future”
Antoine Jacobsohn –  Agronomist engineer, historian. Executive Manager for the King's Vegetable Garden (ENSP), Member of the National Board of Parks and Gardens.

Visit of the King’s Vegetable Garden (Versailles)
Antoine Jacobsohn Executive Manager for the King's Vegetable Garden (ENSP)

Methodological day 3 (program to be defined) at the National higher school of arts

Methodological day 4 (program to be defined) at the National higher school of architecture of Versailles :

Methodological day 5 (program to be defined) at the restoration centre of the National Institute for Heritage:

2- Thematic study days with guided tours

Thematic study day 1: Heritage Studies, Cultural Policy and Museology at the Louvre Museum, Paris

Heritage Sciences as Cultural Policy – European case studies
Cécile Doustaly – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Heritage Sciences as Museum Management – European case studies
Cécile Doustaly – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Heritage Sciences as Cultural Marketing - the example of the Louvre and Versailles
Lionel Dupont – Direction of the reception of the public, Louvre Museum

Heritage Sciences: When New Technologies help visitors and museums to better know each other
Alexandros Kontarinis – PhD student, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Guided tour of the Louvre Museum.
Cécile Doustaly – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Thematic study day 2: Marble at the Versailles Castle, Versailles

Follow-up, maintenance and restauration of the marbles and casts of the gardens of the palace of Versailles
Olivier Rolland – conservator of sculptures

Study of the phenomena of alteration of marbles thank to ultrasonic methods
Nicolas Wilkie-Chancellier – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Condition survey and risk assessment in historic houses museums : methods and implementation
Danilo Forléo – Works manager responsible for preventive conservation, Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon Nadia Francaviglia – Research Associate, Centre de Recherche du château de Versailles

Guided tour of the Château de Versailles.
Bertrand Rondot- Chief Curator - Heritage at the Department of Art Objects

Thematic study day 3: Ceramic at the National Museum of Renaissance, Ecouen

Presentation of the Museum’s collections
Thierry Crépin-Leblond – Chief Curator of Heritage of the Musée de la Renaissance

The ceramics in the Musée de la Renaissance
Aurélie Gerbier Curator of Heritage of the Musée de la Renaissance

Thematic study day 4: Periodic and ephemeral prints, at the French National Library, Paris

Ephemera and old papers, the construction of a specific heritage
Florence Ferran – Associate Professor and Olivier Belin, Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise    

Guided tour of the Library (1: Ephemeral collections / compendia),
Jérôme Boillet - Collections Manager, BNF- and Julie Anne Lambert -Librarian of the John Johnson Collection, Bodleian Library Oxford-
Compendia are formed, in particular, by way of collection campaigns carried out by Library staff and readers. An example of a collection put together in this way is the collection of May 1968 propaganda flyers.

The digital enhancement of the John Johnson Collection in Oxford
Julie-Anne Lambert – Librarian of the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

Simultaneous strengthening and deacidification of paper with polysiloxanes (results of the CoMPresSil project)''Anne-Laurence Dupont (Researcher, CNRS) & Isabelle Fabre-Francke (Associate professor, UCP)

Guided tour of the Library (2: Department of Conservation)
Philippe Vallas - Deputy Director of the Conservation Department, BNF-

Thematic study day 5: Stone at the archaeological site of Genainville, Genainville and Guiry-en-Vexin

Guided tour of the archaeological site of Genainville and the deposit Lapidary present on the site
Vivien Barrière – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Guided Tour of Archeological Museum of Guiry-en-Vexin : visit of permanent collection, « construct smart, build Roman: 7 Materials for an Empire »
Vivien Barrière – Associate Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Study of the impact of Water in ancient and restored masonry
Dr. Jérôme Wasserman – PhD in Materials of civil engineering
Dr. Oriol Sanchez-Rovira – PhD in civil engineering

Thematic study day 6: Ultrasonic methods at the Neuville Laser Platform, Neuville

Characterization of cultural heritage materials by laser ultrasonic methods
Nicolas Wilkie-Chancellier – Associate Professor, Université de Cergy-Pontoise

The group of students will then be divided into small teams in order to manipulate the instruments and carry out some measurements on a few materials (marble, statues reproductions, ...).
Questions/ Debate

Thematic study day 7: Heritage and Long Time History at the La Roche Guyon Castle, La Roche Guyon

Guided tour of the Castle By François Pernot, Full Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

Heritage and long-time history : how to patrimonize a historical architectural complex spanning a millennium?
François Pernot – Professor, University of Cergy-Pontoise

The transfer of patrimony in the contracts of marriage and succession, the example of the family of Condé (XVI-XVIII centuries)
Claire Buchet – PhD Student, Université de Cergy-Pontoise

Embalming, funerals and tombs of entrails: the mortal remains of the kings and queens of France (late sixteenth century-first half of the seventeenth century), a patrimony?
Anaïs Ferrer – PhD Student, Fondation des Sciences du Patrimoine

Heraldry between heritage and creation : material and immaterial aspects of a plurisecular emblematic practice
Dr. Nicolas Vernot – PhD in History, University of Cergy-Pontoise


Guided tours are included in the scientific program:
-    Castle of Versailles
-    Louvre Museum
-    French National Library
-    Castle of La Roche Guyon
-    Castle of Ecouen and Renaissance Museum
-    Archaeological site of Genainville
-    Kings’Garden of the Castle of Versailles

For the "free" days (weekends), cultural itineraries in the Val d'Oise and in Paris will be proposed to the students (visits of sites, museums, boat cruise on the Oise, Impressionist trail in Auvers-sur-Oise, with suggestions for places to eat). The Action Culture Department of the University of Cergy-Pontoise  will be responsible for developing visit programs with detailed technical sheets (transport, cost, schedule, length of visit, etc.).


This programme is all-inclusive: accommodation, food, cultural visits during the weekdays as well as transportation (except for the flight to and from China) are covered.
All communication regarding the welcome services will be provided in English.

Before your arrival :
As soon as you have been admitted, the head of the International Affairs and local students from the bilingual (English-Chinese) Master of Cultural Tourism will run a group via the WeChat application. They will provide the students with administrative, logistical and cultural support before and during their mobility.

Your arrival in France :
Campus France will welcome you at Charles de Gaulle Airport on June 28th and will transfer you to your Residence by RER.

Your return to China :
Campus France will accompagne you from the Residence to Charles de Gaulle on July 18th in the morning.

The students will stay in the ESSEC residence "Résidence Le Parc". The residence du Parc is located just behind the ESSEC buildings, a five-minute walk from the RER Cergy Préfecture, from a large shopping center and a swimming pool. The very lively Cergy Port is also located in short walking distance. It-s a 4-story building that offers 221 furnished rooms measuring approximately 18 sqm each and grouped together in « living units ».
A « living unit » consists in a shared living room, an equipped kitchen and bathroom as well as 6 to 11 separate bedrooms.
Each bedroom has a single bed, a sink, a closet, bookshelves and a desk.

The breakfasts will be delivered to the residence every day. Weekday lunches will also be provided (collective restaurants of schools or lunches in restaurants). Dinner will be scheduled on weeknights (hot buffet delivered to the residence).
The students are free to organize their meals during the weekends.

On-site transportation:
All transport to remote sites will be done by a dedicated bus with driver. The trips to Paris will be made by RER. Students will be taken care of at the ESSEC Residence and brought back there in the evening.


Carmen Branescu, Head of International Affairs – Summer School Coordinator :



Cultural Heritage Sciences
From June 28th to July 18th in Paris.
The total number of places is limited to 20.

The price does not include the trip from China to Paris.  

 Accommodation, meals (except for meals during the weekends)  and local transportation are all included    

The summer school will not deliver  ECTS credits.
The summer school has been designed for Chinese students and is open to other international students

To apply, please follow the application procedure on the main page.

Price: 30.000 CNY
The French Embassy reserves a limited number of grants to students with an exceptional academic background. Grants cover the tuition fees but do not cover the trip from China to Paris.