Center for Celtic and Breton Research (CRBC)

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The CRBC Rennes is a multidisciplinary laboratory dedicated to the study of Celtic cultures, languages and identities.

Description succinte


With departments on campuses of the universities of Western Brittany (Brest) and Rennes 2, the CRBC is a multidisciplinary laboratory that studies mainly Celtic cultures, languages and identities. It is the only laboratory in France to work on the Celtic area in its entirety, in all its historical depth and in all its dimensions (linguistic, cultural, social, political), all of which contributes to its high level of national and international visibility. The research activities of the CRBC Rennes are carried out within three teams whose different approaches keep enriching the joint scientific project: Breton and Celtic, Irish Studies Centre, and Research Team on National Minorities and Ethnicities.

Research Topics

The Policy and Configuration of Identities general programme is divided into two research topics: The dynamics and fluidity of social constructions and The experience of the other: language, transmission, meaning. Identities are questioned as the result of different social, political and cultural practices, and of different discourses and forms of self-expression. This includes the field of literary or artistic creation and the question of language/languages and their forms, uses and evolutions. Identity transformations, fabrications and reconfigurations play out at the interface of practices and their associated discourse, and define the history of human societies. Our three teams are involved in this programme.

The research by the Breton and Celtic team addresses all aspects of Breton and Celtic linguistics (including Old Breton, Middle Breton, comparative grammar, and dialectology), modern and contemporary Breton literature (written and oral literature), and bilingual teaching. This work is regularly presented in various symposia, seminars and study days organized by the team.

The Rennes 2 Irish Studies Working Group came out of the Centre for Irish Studies created in 1975. It brings together lecturer-researchers, postdocs, PhD and Master’s students whose research focuses on Irish history, culture and language. It has strong research collaborations with many universities such as Queen’s University Belfast and the National University of Ireland Galway, providing opportunities for young researchers to conduct their research in Ireland. It also supports and encourages co-directed or co-supervised theses.

The Research Team on National Minorities and Ethnicities (ERMINE) studies identity and minority issues according to three perspectives: theoretical, comparative and regional. Monthly seminars are held on the following themes: embracing diversity, observing the world, thinking about contemporary Brittany.


Key Figures: 2 sites: Brest and Rennes / 8 lecturer-researchers at Rennes 2 / 14 PhD students registered at Rennes 2



Since 2019, Rennes 2 has been hosting the EIRE (Irish Studies: networks and challenges) Scientific Interest Group (GIS). This network federates the research conducted in 22 partner universities in France and Ireland on Irish questions approached from a genuinely interdisciplinary angle (diaspora, migration, economics, human and linguistic rights). • The Rennes 2 university library (BU) houses a large collection of Breton and Celtic material with the Brittany and Celtic countries/Breizh ha broioù keltiek space which contains about 15,000 books and 50 open access journals, and a research space called KLASK that includes dissertations, theses, Celtic Studies diplomas, etc. In addition, the BU holds a valued Celtic collection of rare works, some of which have been digitalized and are accessible online.