The historiography of modern and contemporary Sudan has been shaped by its political history. Indeed, historians have often been called upon to respond to contemporary crises – civil wars, regime changes, international conflicts – often according to criteria of urgency, at the risk of falling into a certain presentism. In this context, social history, which often requires a slower and punctilious form of research, which does not produce ready-made solutions to the multiple crises in the country, and which put at the centre stage the lives of “ordinary people” has struggled to assert itself on the academic scene. This conference, which is also a research program, aims to put “ordinary people”, women and men, back at the center of Sudan’s modern and contemporary history. From the outset, we wish to emphasize that the term “ordinary people” should neither hide nor flatten the teeming complexity of Sudanese society.