The French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) was founded in 1900 in Saigon. The mission of the EFEO is interdisciplinary research on the civilizations of Asia, extending from India to Japan. A network of seventeen research centers in twelve Asian countries allows its 42 research scholars (anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, historians and others) to carry out their fieldwork while maintaining a network of local specialists and Asianists from around the world.
Fieldwork in Asia
The mission of the EFEO, a public institution under the aegis of the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research, is to study the classical civilizations of Asia through the humanities and social sciences. From India, to China and Japan, and covering all of Southeast Asia, the EFEO’s research areas include almost all the societies have been under Indian or Chinese influence in the course of history. Leading scholars working at the EFEO’s 18 centres and branch offices in Asia have been essential in the development of the School’s research programme. Interdisciplinary projects bring together leading scholars in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, history, philology, and religious studies. Since the vast majority of EFEO members carry out field studies in Asia, the emergence of contemporary issues is obviously of relevance for the School.
A Network of International Excellence in Scholarship
For decades the EFEO and its Asian centres have worked in many Asian and European partnerships. Today centres in Pondicherry, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap, Hanoi, Vientiane and Jakarta have their own premises, whereas several EFEO branch offices are hosted by prestigious universities, research institutes and museums. This is the case of Pune, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Yangon, Phnom Penh, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo.
The EFEO regularly welcomes scholars for extended periods of field study in its Asian centres, particularly for EFEO led research projects. Visiting scholars benefit from the School’s local academic partnerships and its rich documentary collections that represent over a century of research. In view of improving scholarly exchanges, the EFEO and 20 leading European institutions for higher education created the European Consortium for Asian Field Study (ECAF) in 2007. As such the EFEO is now in the centre of an international network of leading scholars in Asian studies.