Tsiganologie: The expert view of the "Gypsy question" in France
Cercles: revista d'Història Cultural
This article explores tsiganologie, a form of expert knowledgeabout the Tsiganes (Gypsies) that developed in France after the SecondWorld War. To do so, I take as a case study the Études Tsiganes Association,founded in Paris in 1949, which became the centre of production anddissemination of such knowledge in France. It is argued that tsiganologiecan be understood as a territoire savant and that the academics and amateurswho shaped it constituted an epistemic community with the authorityto
... ish the scientific, social, cultural and political meaning of Tsiganeissues. The discourse of the tsiganologues is examined, revealing howmuch of it they owed to nineteenth-century thought and showinghow they moulded their strategies to the intellectual context of the 1950sand 1960s. Section I provides an overview of the background to this expertknowledge from the end of the eighteenth century to the middle of thetwentieth; section II focuses on the foundation of Études Tsiganes and itsintellectual activity during the first two decades of its existence, andsection III, on its rivalry with the Romani movement (which arose in theearly 1960s) and the way that it affected tsiganologie.