Congratulations to French at Stirling’s Bill Marshall who has been awarded the inaugural Society for French Studies Prize Research Fellowship. This award will enable Bill to develop his work on ‘The Uses of Prehistory in Modern and Contemporary France.’ Through its engagement with other fields, the project will demonstrate the pivotal role that French culture – including the unique place of prehistory in that culture and its geography – plays in launching, re-launching and elaborating far-reaching and fundamental debates concerning ‘what is ‘human’?’
Very much looking forward to this afternoon’s Literature and Languages Research Seminar by the inaugural Society for French Studies Visiting International FellowTom Conley entitled ‘The American Western: A French Invention.’ The paper hypothesizes that much of the heritage of the Western genre and what, both aesthetically and politically, we can “do with” the Western today, cues on the taxonomy of already fifty years ago that is today of critical purchase.
Tom Conley is Abbot Lawrence Lowell Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Conley studies relations of space and writing in literature, cartography, and cinema. His work moves to and from early modern France and issues in theory and interpretation in visual media. His most recent books include Cartographic Cinema(2007); An Errant Eye: Topography and Poetry in Early Modern France (2011) and À fleur de page: Voir et lire le texte de la Renaissance (2014).
Great seminar yesterday, in the weekly (more or less!) Literature and Languages series, given by Nikolaj Lübecker of St John’s College Oxford on ‘The Feel-Bad Comedy: Bruno Dumont’s P’tit Quinquin (2014).’ Nikolaj’s book on feel-bad cinema will be out with Edinburgh University Press later this year and includes analysis of key films by directors including Dumont, Lars von Trier, Michael Haneke and Gus Van Sant. You can hear a talk by Nikolaj on this subject here.
More French and Francophone-themed talks coming up in the series over coming weeks from Guy Austin (on Algerian documentary cinema), Tom Conley (in Stirling as the inaugural Society for French Studies Visiting Fellow) and our own Fiona Barclay (on melancholy, depression and the colonizing of the pieds-noirs) and current PhD student Mauro di Lullo (on Blanchot).
Tom Conley, Abbot Lawrence Lowell Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies and of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, will be visiting Stirling in Spring 2015 as the Inaugural Visiting Fellow of the Society for French Studies. He will first give the annual Malcolm Bowie Lecture at the IMLR in London before giving a guest SFS lecture at the University Stirling where he will also lead a postgraduate workshop.
Professor Conley’s work engages with literary and visual culture from the early modern to the contemporary period and his many publications include Cartographic Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), and The Self-Made Map: Cartographic Writing in Early Modern France (University of Minnesota Press, 1996). His workshops during the Fellowship will focus in particular on cartography and translation.
More details of dates and venues for his Prof. Conley’s lectures and workshops closer to the time.
We are delighted to announce that Siân Reynolds (Professor Emerita of French at Stirling) has been awarded the prestigious Gapper Book Prize for 2013 by the Society for French Studies for Marriage and Revolution: Monsieur & Madame Roland (Oxford University Press).
Here’s what the prize jury had to say about the book:
“Covering just a decade or so at the end of the 18th century, this book’s range is immensely broad: a social history of marriage and of marriage practices, a biography of two individuals and of a marriage—one of the most original aspects of the book—and a complex history of the first several phases of the revolution and these activists’ engagement with its treacherous political and intellectual terrain. Attempting to fit two personal biographies into a political and historical puzzle and to flesh out two individuals who are known to have played an important part in the revolution, leading to the Terror, is already impressive. What Reynolds does further is to mesh the personal entirely with the political, without sacrificing subtlety, and the psychological with the social. This is feminist scholarship at its most current and at its very best. While M Roland receives serious attention, Mme Roland is in many senses the star of the book—largely because there is more material on her—but the refusal to see her only as a woman, only as a wife, only as a mother, only as a political innovator and rabble-rouser, only as a prolific writer, is gratifying. As one partial identity piles upon the next, this insistence on the fully rounded portrait pays dividends; and though the argument is modest (i.e. no claims for being the definitive account), it is extremely persuasive (while acknowledging throughout the evasiveness of history and the unreliability and subjective interpretation of historical documents).
Never intrusive or showy, the rhetoric supports the argument rather than the contrary. Its impact on the fields of 18th-century thought & literature, the Revolution, the history of women writers, and biography/autobiography studies will be immense. The Rolands emerge from this tragic tale as a couple of dreamers—slightly inflexible, a bit taken with themselves and their public image, endlessly interested in the effects that their writing might one day have on the public. Most importantly, the reader must take account of Mme Roland as a major figure of, and apologist for, radical political theory. Reynolds shows her not as pushy wife or duped woman or scapegoat but as a willing and self-sacrificing player in a dangerous and deadly game. With this updated view in mind, Mme Roland’s writings take on increased importance as an example of engagé autobiographical writing and Reynolds’ work offers a brilliant example of situated, materialist biography.”
Another of our Stirling colleagues, Aédin ní Loingsigh, was commended by the 2010 Gapper Prize Jury for her book Postcolonial Eyes: Intercontinental Travel in Francophone African Literature.