Call for applications: “Creation, Cognition and Society” IRIS doctoral contract

Atelier à l'ENSAD cc Steve Murez / PSL

PSL’s Creation, Cognition and Society Interdisciplinary and Strategic Research Initiative (IRIS) is offering a doctoral contract for the 2017 academic year in relation to the program, “The Aspect of Paintings. Tracking the Vision(s) of the Issenheim Altarpiece.”


The goal of this program is to study the experience of paintings, and, more specifically, to understand how visual exploration, cognitive categorization, and emotive assessment contribute to the aesthetic dimensions of that experience. The program includes a case study on the Issenheim Altarpiece, currently under renovation and the subject of a detailed materials analysis by a group of participating researchers (C2RMF). The case study includes an analysis of how spectators look at the altarpiece, using oculometry and computational models for studying the detection of Regions of Interest (ROI), and focuses specifically on the role that colors play in the aesthetic experience of works of art, in comparative fashion (before and after restoration). From a methodological point of view, the program combines historical studies with an experimental approach. The dissertation will be co-directed by Michel Menu and Jean-Marie Schaeffer.

Applications must fall under the general framework of the program described above. Applicants must have genuine interest in art history and/or philosophical aesthetics, the material study of works of art, inquiry in the areas of perception and attention, and experimental research.

The successful candidate will receive a PhD conferred by PSL, from the PSL member institution where the dissertation is prepared (EHESS). The successful candidate will have access to all PSL services (student services, campus, events, athletics, culture).

Applications may be submitted in French or in English, and must include the following:

  • Cover letter
  • CV
  • Master’s degree certificate (or equivalent diploma)
  • Summary of Master’s thesis
  • The deadline for submissions is July 5, 2017. Announcement of the successful candidate will be made public on July 15.

Please send applications and any requests for further information to:

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Application deadline: July 5, 2017.