LETHICA is an Interdisciplinary Thematic Institute that offers an original and innovative perspective by showing the contribution of literary and artistic reflexion on ethical issues.

In 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.

Lethica is a network of nearly one hundred researchers and professors, committed to exploring the following questions: how do the arts and literatures inform and reconfigure past and contemporary ethical debates? How do they help 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?


Lethica addresses three global goals:

• Demonstrating the intake of literary and artistic practices for ethical thinking;
• Elaborating new heuristic and critical skills for students and teachers-researchers in the fields of arts, literature and languages (approaches to ethical questions);
• Elaborating new analytical and practical skills for professionals in social mediation, health and care: functions and functioning of narratives, scenarios, images, dialogizations and vocalizations in ethical relations and questionings.

Lethica has selected four major contemporary issues, which will be explored in the long term, alternatively or consecutively, and which will give way to joint interdisciplinary programs and specific topics of investigation. Those four major themes are the issues of “Triage”, “Moral revolutions”, “Transparency and Secrecy”, and “Case making and caring”. These themes will lead to the development of interdisciplinary programs.

Lethica thus intends to address pressing societal challenges, such as the spread of a sorting paradigm (“triage”) from military medicine to emergency medicine, humanitarian aid and a number of economical, social and geopolitical relations; the proliferation and acceleration of moral revolutions, as a consequence of globalization and mediatization, as well as the subsequent multiplication of ethical conflicts within or between western and non-western societies; the public and democratic call for transparency, which tends 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).

A dynamic local context

Lethica is built on a buoyant context, featuring cutting-edge research and training structures in the field of ethics (such as the European Center of Study and Research in Ethics, CEERE) as well as outstanding literary research on relations between ethics and literature, or between literature and medicine (3 IUF projects).

Members of the Executive Committee

Coordinator and Head of Research: Anthony Mangeon, Professor, director of Configurations littéraires (UR 1337)

Head of the Scientific Advisory Board: Victoire Feuillebois, Associate Professor, Groupe d'études orientales, slaves et néo-helléniques (UR 1340), deputy director of the Misha

Representative of CEERE and head of publications: Jean-Christophe Weber, Professor and hospital practicioner, head of the master degree on Ethics (CEERE)

Recruitment and Development Manager & in charge of Ethics in therapy: Bertrand Marquer, Professor, co-director of CERIEL (UR 1337), Dean of the Faculty of Literature

Head of Training & in charge of Interculturality: Emmanuel Behague, Professor, Mondes germaniques et nord-européens (UR 1341), head of the master degree Etudes allemandes : dynamiques sociales et culturelles

Head of Outreach and International Relations & in charge of the Historical perspectives: Enrica Zanin, Associate Professor, Europe des Lettres (UR 1337)

Research engineer in support of the project: Suzel Meyer, PhD