The EREA centre (Enseignement et recherche en ethnologie amérindienne), originally founded as an autonomous CNRS research unit in 1986, brings together specialists in indigenous societies stretching from the lowlands of South America, particularly of the Amazon, to the Andes and Mesoamerica.
Through collaborative projects, the Centre explores comparative and theoretical perspectives on various themes, using ethnography as its principal research method. Often employing interdisciplinary approaches, research projects touch upon diverse sub-fields, including linguistic and cognitive anthropology, political anthropology, visual anthropology, and even ethnohistory. Certain projects explore more fields still, such as archaeology (Germ).
With their field work, EREA centre members aim to expand upon the knowledge of general issues affecting indigenous societies, but also to shed light on their contemporary transformations. They are involved with the communities they study and local institutions (through publications, teaching, reconstruction of knowledge, etc).
The centre holds a regular seminar and co-organises the Americanist Anthropology Seminar. Its members participate in teaching and supervising research in several institutions in France (University of Paris Nanterre, Inalco, EHESS, Quai Branly Museum) and overseas, where the EREA has created strong partnerships with numerous institutions in Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, as well as in the United States and Europe.
The EREA centre, over the years, has built an international network of associate researchers, and regularly welcomes foreign colleagues and doctoral students. It is a partner of international organisations (ANR, GDRI, Pics) and is involved in the organisation of many national and international symposia. Since its creation, EREA's members have also been very active in the Society of Americanists.