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The Research Centre for Atlantic and International History (EA 1163) is one of the most important research centres for History in western France, with an “A” rating in the five-year contract 2012-2016, signed with the French Ministry for Higher Education and Research. The Centre brings together teaching and research staff as well as PhD students from the University of Nantes and the University of La Rochelle.

Our Research Centre gathers together researchers in ancient history, medieval history, early-modern history, modern/contemporary history, humanities and languages. Giving a total of 167 members (57 professors and senior lecturers, 10 other academic staff, 5 postdoctoral fellows, 88 PhD students and 7 support staff) and 74 associated  researchers working on a common theme : "International exchanges' forms, spaces and actors from the Antiquity to nowadays".



Our universities are at the intersection between the French and European maritime and continental areas, which implies openness towards the world and overseas territories as well as exchanges, contacts and transfers between civilizations on political, economical, cultural and artistic fields.

Through a field of study which spans all time periods and a thematic focus on the Atlantic area, our global project for 2012-2016 relies on three main research themes:

  • Research theme 1 :  Atlantic worlds, societies, exchanges and powers

  • Research theme 2 : France, Europe and the world : international relations, identities and North-South representations

  • Research theme 3 : Exchanges and mediations in ancient and medieval worlds

CRHIA researchers coordinate several projects (at European, national or regional levels); as an example: LabEX EHNE (research strand 4), ANR REPAIRS, Institut du Pluralisme Religieux et de l'Athéisme (IPRA), RFI Alliance Europa (which includes LIPE and CITER projects) as well as the  STARACO and IMPERIALITER projects. The Research centre benefits from the Paul Bois Library in Nantes (25.000 books) and gives supports to 6 Master degrees in Nantes and La Rochelle; as an example the research Master RIHMA “Relations internationales et histoire du monde atlantique”, the master in European and international studies: “L’Europe et le monde” and the Professionnal Master “Ingénierie en projets européens et internationaux”.

Finally, the CRHIA benefits from a double accreditation, the main academic institution is the University of Nantes and the secondary one is the University of La Rochelle. Some research professors and senior lecturers come from the University of the French West Indies, the University of Abidjan, the Universities of South-Brittany, Le Mans, Angers and Poitiers and the ESPE.


  • Eric Schnakenbourg, Professor of Early-Modern History at the University of Nantes and CRHIA Director since 2015.
  • Clément Thibaud, Senior Lecturer in Early-Modern and Modern History at the University of Nantes and CRHIA Vice-Director since 2015.
  • Laurent Vidal, Professor of Modern History at the University of La Rochelle and CRHIA Vice-Director since 2012.

Download the CRHIA organisation chart