David Marcilhacy


MESR fellow

Sorbonne Université

Thinking Latin Europe. Genealogy and Geopolitics of Knowledge in the Western Mediterranean Institutions of Knowledge and French Scientific Policy in Spain and Italy (19th-20th centuries)



Professor of Contemporary Hispanic History and Civilisation at Sorbonne Université (Paris) and Deputy Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Contemporary Ibero-American Worlds (CRIMIC), David Marcilhacy focuses on the political and cultural history of Spain, Panama and the contemporary Spanish-speaking world, in particular (trans) national imaginaries, the cultural dimension of international relations and global history. Holder of the Agrégation de español and doctorate from the Sorbonne Nouvelle, he has been a member of the Casa de Velázquez (Madrid), lecturer at several European and Latin American universities and visiting researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas de la UNAM (Mexico) and at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Panama. He is currently working on the construction of Latinity from scientific and geopolitical perspectives, and on the currents of Hispanism, Latin Americanism and Pan-Americanism and their various expressions between the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.


Research project 

The aim of this project is to analyse the way in which Latin Europe has been constructed as a collective imaginary and scientific object, through fields of knowledge directly oriented towards this geo-cultural area and related to France’s ambitions in the Western Mediterranean.

The emergence of this knowledge between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is part of a policy of influence which, in scientific terms, is based on four levers: the structuring of disciplinary fields around Romance languages within the university system; the creation of high-level scientific institutions in the region, in particular the French research schools in Rome and Madrid; the launching of major archaeological projects in southern Europe and North Africa; and, finally, the claim to a ‘Latin’ America, in which France sought to establish its presence and prestige. Based on France’s policies and representations towards Italy and Spain, our aim is to propose a geopolitics of knowledge and cultural transfers applied to the so-called Latin Europe, from an epistemological, socio-historical, cultural and (geo)political perspective.


Selected publications

- 2023. with Miguel Rodriguez (dir.), À l’origine des études aréales. Langues et cultures étrangères en Sorbonne, Paris, Sorbonne Université Presses, coll. « Patrimoines de la Sorbonne ».

- 2020. « Bolívar, entre “Coloso de América” y “Héroe de la Raza”: un mito transnacional en los centenarios de entreguerras », Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez, 50-2, pp. 91-116.

- 2018. « El panhispanismo y el mito de la Raza », in Lucia Maria Bastos Pereira das Neves, Fátima Sá e Melo Ferreira e Guilherme Pereira das Neves (coord.), Linguagens da Identidade e da Diferença na Iberoamérica, 1770-1870, São Paulo, Paco Editorial, pp. 249-281.

- 2014. « La Hispanidad bajo el franquismo: el americanismo al servicio de un proyecto nacionalista », in Xosé M. Núñez Seixas y Stéphane Michonneau (eds.), Imaginarios y representaciones de España durante el franquismo, Madrid, Casa de Velázquez, pp. 73-102.



08/05/2018 - 30min 18s - Français