Interview with Prof. Philippe Bootz and Dr.Severine Bortot of Université Paris 8

As part of efforts to consolidate academic partnerships with Ghanaian universities, the two representatives of Paris 8 University paid a visit to Ghana. Get to know more about them and future projects in Ghana


Could you introduce yourselves in a few words?

Severine Bortot possesses a PhD in archaeology, and a specialist in the cultures of central Mexico in the first millennium of our era. She has been working for almost 10 years in the internationalisation of higher education. She worked for four years as head of a European project cluster at a university of Science and Medicine before being appointed Director of international relations of Paris 8 Vincennes, 5 years ago.
Philippe Bootz is an Associate Professor of Physics, Doctor of Physics and of Information and Communication Sciences, and a research lead at Paris 8 University. He’s presides over the Laboratory of Excellence in Human Arts (LABEX) and leads research in humanities, literature through digital outreach, digital books and so on. He also handles a Masters programme in “Writing, Literature and E-books” and is a member of the Executive committee of the University Research School Artec.
He is one of the pioneering creators of French digital literature, which he has helped develop since 1977 and is the author of more than 300 research articles and international conferences. He is president of the European Network of Digital Literature, a founding member of the South American Digital Literature Network and is currently working on the creation of the West African Digital Literature Network in close partnership with The University of Ghana, the Institut Cerco of Cotonou, the Rochester Institute of Technology and the UNESCO chair ITEN on digital humanism.

What makes Paris 8 University special?

Since its founding as an experimental centre in Vincennes in 1969 and then its establishment at Saint - Denis in 1980, the Paris 8 University is today a key centre for in the Île-de-France region for teaching and research in the field of humanities. Grounded in the Arts and Humanities, the Paris 8 University has always had the main objective of bringing students to a better understanding of the contemporary world while providing them with the tools to integrate efficiently in society. In this view, the innovative nature of the university’s research offerings in pioneering fields like psychoanalysis, geopolitics, film, visual arts, gender and so on, which until recently have been offered by only a few universities. Paris 8 is also distinguished by its willingness to maintain a strong link between the research and teaching, drawing on pedagogical methods that are designed to adapt to all audiences and to provide life-long training.

What is your vision of the relationship between France and Africa and especially with Ghana?

With a formidable population made up of 30% international students among them 157 nationalities, Paris 8 University defines itself as a World University. Not only does this appellation lend itself to our historical tradition of welcome and openness to diversity, it also responds to a contemporary reality in which the international and European dimensions are becoming increasingly important. In the context of increasing globalisation, Paris 8 intends to maintain a prominent place in the support and enhancement of cultural diversity. Paris 8 supports the development of its international partnerships, both with prestigious universities and with others, to which Paris 8 is keen on providing support or sharing experience in the scientific and pedagogical fields. This development of partnerships is will continue and endure within Europe, the Maghreb region, and Sub-Saharan Africa where Paris 8 maintains long-standing ties. University cooperation with Anglophone African universities is an important new issue for two reasons: on the one hand, it offers an alternative to English-speaking European universities for the improvement of our students’ English language proficiency. On the other hand, it provides all our students in the Arts, Political Science or Sociology specialised in this geographical area, a leading destination in the regional university landscape.

Could you tell us about your projects in Ghana?

Cooperation with Ghana is rooted partly in the context of our development of digital literature in sub-Saharan Africa, but more broadly in our willingness to diversify; the Universities of Ghana and Cape Coast represent new destinations in our international exchange programme offerings and the backing provided by the European Erasmus Credits programmes will be an effective way to ensure the balance and reciprocity of student mobility.

Dernière modification : 20/04/2018

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