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The Society for French Studies is delighted to announce the results of the 2016 R. Gapper Undergraduate Essay Prize
2016 Undergraduate Essay Prize Winners:
The joint winners of this year’s prize are Eleanor Chapman (Cambridge) for her essay, ‘The monstrous and the non-human may present a threat to human culture but they also offer solutions to what seem like logical and narrative impasses.’ Discuss with reference to at least two texts.
And Jack Flowers (Oxford) for his essay, ‘L’une des thématiques majeures de la poésie de cette époque est la métropole, conçue comme l’un des lieux privilégiés où s’entremêlent l’ancien et le moderne, la solitude et la foule, le « haut » et le « bas ».’ Discuss with reference to one or more poets of the period.
The Selection Committee also commended the following shortlisted entries:
Imran Rahman-Jones (Nottingham), ‘Why was Michel Debré removed from office in April 1962 and why did de Gaulle choose George Pompidou as his replacement?’
Michael Sole (Exeter), ‘Whether it is through the exploration of memory or of the shocks and exhilarations of the present moment, Proust’s novel is concerned, above all, with the individual’s relation to time.’
Lucy Taylor (Durham), ‘Addressing the Mediation of Images and Their Implementation in the Construction of Truth in the Works of Rithy Panh.’
Sophie Wright (Newcastle), ‘How do French literary and cinematic representations of the Second World War represent survival?’
2015 R. Gapper Book Prize
The Society for French Studies is delighted to announce the award of the fifteenth annual R. Gapper Book Prize to:
Robert Mills (UCL), Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages (University of Chicago Press)
Mairéad Hanrahan (UCL), Cixous’s Semi-Fictions (Edinburgh University Press)
Joseph Harris (Royal Holloway), Inventing the Spectator (Oxford University Press)
Ann Jefferson (Oxford), Genius in France: an Idea and its Uses (Princeton University Press)
About the winning book:
This is an astonishing and beautiful book, the work of an art historian who focuses first on images, then on the texts with which they are often paired, then spins out the implications of the medieval artefact to consider such questions as transgender time, the Ovide moralisé, the sex lives of monks, virginity as a sexual orientation, and a novel by Ali Smith. Mills is uniquely suited to the text: an art historian, literary scholar, and theoretical wizard, who offers a revisioning of medieval material in the light of twenty-first century theory. The volume opens, somewhat disarmingly, with discussion of an image of St Jerome in a dress. This single image, lavishly described, offers a way in to thinking about gender and sexuality in the Middle Ages with imaginative apprehension and scholarly grit. This is a book which points toward the future, tells a new story, and opens paths for scholars to come.
Prof. Bill Burgwinkle, University of Cambridge, 15 February 2016
The award, which is given for the best book published in 2014 by a scholar working in French studies in Britain or Ireland, is made by the Society for French Studies together with the Gapper family, representing the R. H. Gapper Charitable Trust, on the recommendation of a Prize Jury appointed by the Society.
The Prize Jury for the competition this year was composed as follows:
Chair: Bill Burgwinkle, King’s College, University of Cambridge
Jean Duffy, University of Edinburgh
Shirley Jordan, Queen Mary, University of London
Patrick O’Donovan, University College Cork, Ireland
John O’Brien, Durham University
Emma Wilson, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge
The R. Gapper Book Prize was presented to Dr. Mills at the Society for French Studies annual conference in Glasgow, June 2016.
Robert Mills is Reader in Medieval Art at University College London (UCL) and director of qUCL, UCL’s LGBTQ research network.
The Society for French Studies gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the R. H. Gapper Charitable Trust for this prize.