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The Cahiers de l’Urmis are published by the “Migrations et société” research unit, a laboratory specialised in the study of interethnic migrations and relations, which brings together researchers in several disciplines of social sciences. The journal discusses work in progress and new research projects at the URMIS laboratory, as well as providing a focus for debate among French and foreign teams and a mouthpiece for doctorate students and young researchers.

Latest issue
20 | 2021
Race et biologie

Cahiers de l'Urmis. Identity & Otherness

The subtitle “Identity and Otherness” appended to the academic journal Cahiers de l’Urmis ( will be the title of a new periodical. It effectively inaugurates a bilingual English/French academic journal whose aims are to publish research papers tackling attributions of alterity, as well as individuals’ sense of identity, in terms of race, ethnicity and citizenship.

This newly configured journal fills a gap in the landscape of French scientific journals which, unlike a number of English-language publications, have not focused on these issues specifically, despite their being central in public debates today.

The journal has three main goals:
- Contextualise ongoing controversies in French society by comparing them to similar debates occurring in other national contexts. This perspective from the outside is expected to produce reflexivity on certain themes that are controversial in the academic world and in the political debate. The journal will also put into perspective the categories and concepts used to question the relations between groups of people in terms of ethnicity, race, citizenship or origin. The scientific objective is to trace the genesis of concepts by paying particular attention to the changes of meaning that they have undergone when moving from one discursive space to another.
- Foster communication between scientific communities that, because of their linguistic differences, as well as their distinctive intellectual traditions and particular socialcontexts, are either unaware of each other’s contribution to the field or at least have little engaged in dialogue. By publishing articles in English and French, the journal will seek to establish a dialogue between the theories and concepts employed by French-speaking researchers and those forged in other scientific communities, particularly in the English-speaking world, which has a long tradition of research on race and ethnicity. In order to sustain this goal, translation will be a major feature of the journal, with two objectives: first, to translate texts touching on major geographical zones around the world, and thus make known to a French-speaking public research that has been disseminated in publications that, primarily for linguistic reasons, are little known or difficult to access; secondly, to promote research emanating from the French-speaking world to an international readership by proposing English translations.
- Building bridges between paradigms from different academic fields.  Its contents will be drawn from a range of disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy, linguistics, etc.) It will also put into historical perspective contemporary theories of racial, cultural or religious difference by comparing them to those of other historical periods, while also encouraging researchers to engage with the life sciences, such as biology, which share with the social sciences a critique of essentialism.

The journal will publish two issues a year. Each issue will have a section centred around a theme that has caused debate.
Each issue could also contain on a regular basis:
- an “early-career researcher” section, with publications drawn from recent MA theses or Ph.D dissertations
- english translations of articles published in French or in other languages
- reviews of books or synthesis articles published in French or in other languages.

The drafting committee of the new “Identity and Otherness” edition will be composed of researchers from France and abroad whose expertise on the themes of the journal are well-established.

Dominique Vidal and Jocelyne Streiff-Fénart


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