Center for Celtic and Breton Research (CRBC)

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The Centre de recherche bretonne et celtique (CRBC) Rennes is a multidisciplinary laboratory dedicated to the study of Celtic cultures, languages and identities.

Description succinte

The CRBC was gradually formed, first under the name of Laboratoire Bretagne et pays celtiques (EA 3205), from the meeting of three pre-existing research groups:

  • the Breton and Celtic Group (BC), which studies Brittany and the Celtic countries from a mainly linguistic and literary angle;
  • the CEI (Centre d'Études Irlandaises) group, which studies Ireland in a multidisciplinary way: literature, civilisation, visual arts;
  • the Ermine group (research team on national minorities and ethnicities), which studies identity and minority issues in the world from a threefold theoretical, comparative and regional perspective. 

The CRBC Rennes, like the entire research unit, wishes to develop its collaborations with other researchers from Brittany, France, Europe and the world to the maximum. With a view to intellectual enrichment, it places particular emphasis on international exchanges.

The Breton and Celtic Group

It was in 1985 that a research group on Breton and Celtic matter was structured and institutionalized. This group was first attached to the associated research unit 1022 (CNRS monde et civilisations de l'Ouest armoricain laboratory), then headed by Professor Roger Dupuy. It was subsequently recognized as an autonomous research team in 1996 by the Scientific Council of Rennes 2, under the name of Brittany and Celtic countries (BPC, ÉA 3205), and operated under this name until December 2007. Through its activities, this laboratory participated in the operation of a DEA - in history and society, until 1994, then in languages (Anglophony) in 1995-1996. Since 2001, there has been a Celtic Breton Master's degree (the model of which can be downloaded from the Rennes 2 reception site), as part of the LMD reform, replacing the former Master's degree courses.

BC is now one of the three working groups of the CRBC, Rennes component (EA 4451). The research themes of the BC Working Group are as follows:

  • Fundamental research in Breton and Celtic linguistics
  • Research on modern and contemporary Breton literature (written and oral literature)
  • Expertise in bilingual education

The Irish Studies Group

The Irish Studies Working Group of Rennes 2 University is a member of the Centre d'Etudes Irlandaises, created in 1975 by Professor Jean Noël.  It was headed for many years by Professor and former University President Jean Brihault, who awarded Irish President Mary Robinson an honorary doctorate. Together, with the other centres for Irish studies in France (Caen, Lille and Paris 3), the Rennes 2 centre founded the scientific journal Etudes irlandaises, a reference publication in France and abroad. 

The group brings together ECs, post-doctoral fellows, doctoral students and master's students whose research focuses on Irish history, culture and language.  It maintains solid research collaborations with many universities (QUB, NUIG, ITs), thus offering young researchers the opportunity to conduct their research in Ireland; it supports and encourages thesis projects in co-direction or cotutelle. 

Since 2018, Rennes 2 has hosted the GIS E.I.R.E.  (Irish Studies: Networks and Issues), created at the initiative of A. Goarzin, CRBC member and Professor of Irish literature and culture.  This network brings together research conducted in 23 partner universities in France and Ireland on Irish issues, approached from a resolutely interdisciplinary angle (diasporas, migration, economics, human and linguistic rights). 

The Ermine Group

ERMINE studies identity and minority issues from a triple theoretical, comparative and regional perspective. The Group organizes a monthly seminar on the following topics:

  • Designing diversity: theoretical reflection on issues of otherness, diversity, ethnicity, identity, minority, nation, etc.
  • Observe the world: study of concrete cases of minorities or comparisons between minorities.
  • Thinking Brittany: analysis of contemporary Breton society.

Ermine was established in 2004 to study identity and minority issues from a three-pronged theoretical, comparative and regional perspective. It was initially created as the Atelier de recherches bretonnes (Arbre) within the Centre d'étude et de recherche sur les relations interethniques et les minorités (Ceriem, component of the LAS, ÉA 2241), headed by Professor Pierre-Jean Simon in Rennes 2. Upon his retirement, the group joined the Centre de Recherches sur l'Action Politique en Europe (Crape, UMR 6051). Then, at the instigation of Professor Francis Favereau, the working group joined the Brittany and Celtic countries laboratory in 2007, under the name Ermine, with a view to then joining the Breton and Celtic Research Centre (CRBC). It is now one of three working groups of the Rennes component of the CRBC (EE 4451).

Its objectives are to : 

  • Establish an international research network on identity and otherness;
  • To include the Breton question in contemporary debates;
  • Foster the emergence of young researchers by offering them a friendly and constructive framework for scientific exchanges.

For more information, please find the relevant contact person by Group on right-hand side of page.