The Tarde Durkheim Debate
Reenactment of 1903 Debate
Colloque de Cerisy | Empirical Metaphysics
Bruno Latour (Gabriel Tarde), Bruno Karsenti (Emile Durkheim) and Louise Salmon (The Dean)
June 23 - 30, 2007; staged by Frédérique Ait-Touati, research done by Eduardo Vargas
Played again in CRASSH Cambridge with Simon Schaffer as the Dean the 14 March 2008 and finally shot in Paris with Dominique Reynié as the Dean, filmed by Martin Pavlov.
View Video Documentation of Debate (in French)
A momentous debate concerning the nature of sociology and its relation to other sciences took place between Gabriel Tarde and Emile Durkheim at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Sociales in 1903. Unfortunately the only available record of the event is a brief overview which English readers may find in Terry Clark’s 1969 edited volume On communication and social influence (Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
The present recension of the debate, therefore, is based on a script consisting of quotations from the published works of Gabriel Tarde and Emile Durkheim, arranged to form a dialogue. It will be acted out, in French, by Bruno Latour (Gabriel Tarde), Bruno Karsenti (Emile Durkheim), and Simon Schaffer (The Dean), under the direction of Frédérique Aït-Touati. An English translation of the script, with references to the works from which extracts are drawn, is provided here to help the audience follow the debate.