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Literatures, ethics and arts | Lethica

Explore ethical dilemmas by using literature in key issues: social justice, economic, ecological and cultural challenges, and technological developments in health and life sciences. It seeks to improve the reflexivity of modern societies.


Wondering how to ensure a better living, Ethics lay at the core of many contemporary situations: from social justice issues to key economical, ecological and cultural challenges, or from international relations to technological developments in health and life sciences.

  • How do the arts and literatures inform and reconfigure past and contemporary ethical debates?
  • How do they contribute to publicize their main issues and thus foster general public understanding?
  • How do they reveal continuities or, on the contrary, significant breaks and differences between various cultures and historical periods on crucial ethical debates?

Thematic and research challenges

Lethica intends to address pressing societal challenges, in particular those related to its four selected topics:

  • the spread of a sorting paradigm (“triage”) or the codified processes meant to rank, select, prioritise or neglect patients and/or eligible profiles among targeted populations, from military medicine to emergency medicine, humanitarian aid and in a increasing number of economical, social and geopolitical relations;
  • the proliferation and acceleration of moral revolutions, namely the mutations of moral feelings and behaviors which occur as a consequence of globalization and mediatization ;
  • the public and democratic call for transparency, or the necessity for broadcasting or retaining informations, decisions, actions, which tend to be constrained by political strategies and economic interests,
  • the expansion of new paradigms and ethical issues (vulnerability, durability) regarding new situations and conditions for human and animal life (bioethics, animal ethics).

Graduate program

  • Demonstrate the intake of literary and artistic practices for ethical thinking;
  • Elaborate new heuristic and critical skills for students and teachers-researchers in the fields of arts, literature and languages (approaches to ethical questions) as well as new analytical and practical skills for professionals in social mediation, health and care

visual arts - plastic arts - drama and film studies - french literature - comparative literature, european and eastern languages and literatures studies - theology - sociology -  philosophy - medical studies (especially geriatric medicine)

Students in humanities, health and medicine schools, religious studies, social sciences Teachers and researchers in health care and social mediation.

Admission criteria

  • Master: Bachelors in arts, literatures, foreign languages, human and social sciences, religious studies, healthcare and medicine (or equivalent).
  • PhD: Master in arts, ethics, literatures, foreign languages, human and social sciences, religious studies, healthcare and medicine (or equivalent).

Application process

  • Master: Application on https://ecandidat.unistra.fr
  • PhD: Application directed to a researcher, and carried through the scientific committee and then the director of the doctoral school

Prof. Anthony Mangeon
Faculty of literature

Involved entities


  • Configurations littéraires | CL (UR 1337) 
  • Approches contemporaines de la création et de la réflexion artistiques | ACCRA (UR 3402)

Faculties, school, institutes

  • Faculté des arts
  • Faculté des langues
  • Faculté des lettres
  • Faculté de médecine
  • Faculté des sciences sociales

Doctoral schools

  • Théologie et sciences religieuses | ED 270
  • Sciences de la vie et de santé | ED 414)
  • Sciences humaines et sociales : perspectives européennes | ED 519
  • Humanités | ED 520

Academic, associative or private partners

  • Centre européen d’étude et de recherche en Éthique | CEERE
  • Eucor – The European Campus
  • Prix Louise Weiss
  • Prix Écrire l’Europe
  • Haute École Pédagogique -Vaud, Lausanne
  • Association Horizome


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