Malcolm Bowie Prize

The Malcolm Bowie Prize is awarded each year by the Society for French Studies for the best article published in the preceding year by an early-career researcher in the broader discipline of French Studies. Malcolm Bowie (1943–2007) was not only the most eminent and inspirational Anglophone scholar of French literature and theory of his generation, he was a towering figure in the field because of his tireless devotion to the scholarly community in the UK and beyond. His service to the Society for French Studies is just one example: he was President of the Society from 1994 to 1996, as well as General Editor of its journal French Studies from 1980 to 1987. The Society felt that it was particularly appropriate to honour his memory by founding a prize for which only early-career researchers are eligible, since he was a remarkable mentor to countless younger scholars, nationally and internationally.

The competition for the best article published in 2024 will be publicized in due course, and will open before the end of the year, with a deadline in early 2025.

2023 Recipients

We are very pleased to announce the winner of the Malcolm Bowie Prize. This year’s prize was judged by a panel composed of Nicholas Harrison (King’s College London, Panel Chair and SFS Vice-President), Diana Holmes (Leeds, SFS Vice-President), Shirley Jordan (Newcastle), Judith Miller (NYU), and Downing Thomas (Iowa).

24 eligible entries were received, representing many different areas of French studies, and demonstrating in many different ways the breadth and vitality of the discipline. Each was read and evaluated by 2 judges in the first round, and on the basis of their rankings and comments a shortlist of 5 was compiled. Each shortlisted article was then read by the whole panel.

Winner: Doyle Calhoun

Project 'Variations on Verrition: (Re)turning to the Enigmatic Final Word of Aimé Césaire's Cahier d'un retour au pays natal’
Institution University of Cambridge
Publication 'PMLA' 138:2 (2023), 306–20

Runner up: Victoria Baena

Project ‘Cartographies of Region and Empire: Scaling Le Tour de la France par deux enfants (and its Afterlives)’
Institution University of Cambridge
Publication 'Dix-Neuf' (2023), 1–21

Runner up: Liam Lewis

Project ‘Rewilding with the cri in Medieval French Texts: Yvain and Mélusine’
Institution University of Nottingham
Publication 'French Studies' 77:2 (April 2023), 167–82

Previous recipients


We are delighted to announce both the winners of this year’s prize, while also lauding the quality of the following articles that were shortlisted:

Maury Bruhn : ‘Le Temps retourné: Temporal Distortion in À la recherche du temps perdu and Twin Peaks: The Return’ (L’Esprit Créateur, vol. 62, no. 3, Fall 2022).

Joseph R. Johnson : ‘The Physician’s Species: Knowledge and Power in the Animal Clinic.’ (Romanic Review 113.1 [May 2022]).

Blase Provitola: ‘TERF or Transfeminist Avant la Lettre?: Monique Wittig’s Complex Legacy in Trans Studies’ (TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 9:3 [August 2022]).

Alice Roulliere : ‘Mocking the Fear of Ghosts in Ronsard’s Hymnes (1555–56).’ (French Studies 76, 2022, Vol. 76).

Usha Rungoo: ‘Creolization Otherwise : Centering the Local Intertextualities of Ananda Devi’s Pagli’ (PMLA, vol. 137, issue 5, October 2022).

Maria Beliaeva Solomon: ‘Fatal Attraction: Loving the Guillotined Woman, from Washington Irving to Alexandre Dumas’ (French Forum, Spring 2022).

Winner: Katie Pleming

Project Incest, affect and ambiguous politics in two films by Claire Denis
Institution University of Edinburgh

In this essay I examine two films in which Denis represents the possibility of incest: 35 rhums/35 Shots of Rum (2008) and High Life. Focusing first on the ambiguous mise-en-scene of father–daughter interactions, and subsequently on the affective impact of this framing, I explore the ethical and political contours of Denis’s strategic destabilizing of certainty in her representation of father–daughter relationships.

Publication 'Screen', Volume 63, Issue 3, Autumn 2022, pp. 309–326.

Runner up: Patrick Luiz Sullivan de Oliveira

Project ‘Transforming a Brazilian Aeronaut into a French Hero: Celebrity, Spectacle, and Technological Cosmopolitanism in the Turn-of-the-Century Atlantic’
Institution Princeton University

This article explains how the Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont, who at the turn of the twentieth century became the first global celebrity aeronaut, operated as a symbol of ‘technological cosmopolitanism’ — a world view that ostensibly promoted a vision of global unity through technology-enabled exchanges while simultaneously reproducing a core-periphery imagined geography that threatened to erase marginalized populations. Technological cosmopolitanism fitted snugly within the rubric of the Third Republic’s aspiring universalism, which assumed that France offered a model to be emulated around the world, but it was not hegemonic. If for the French appropriating Santos-Dumont meant safeguarding France’s leadership in aeronautics and assuaging their claims of universality, for Brazilians the elision was marked by ambiguity. Brazil’s First Republic hungered for heroes, and authorities saw Santos-Dumont as a symbol of modernity that showed that its place in world history was more than peripheral, even though that very vision was shaped by a Paris-centric world view. But marginalized Afro-Brazilians also found ways to appropriate a white ‘Frenchified’ Brazilian and reimagine their place in a cosmopolitan order. Technological cosmopolitanism evoked a world united by transportation, communication and exchange, but imagining who got to construct and partake in that community was a process continuously marked by erasures and reinsertions.

Publication 'Past & Present', Volume 254, Issue 1, February 2022, pp. 235–275.


We are very pleased to announce the winning articles of the Malcolm Bowie Prize 2021.

This year’s prize was judged by a panel composed of Diana Holmes (Leeds, Panel Chair and SFS Vice-President), Shirley Jordan (Newcastle), Judith Miller (NYU), Michael Syrotinski (Glasgow and President of SFS), and Downing Thomas (Iowa).

36 eligible entries were received. Each was read and evaluated by 2 judges in the first round, and on the basis of their scores and comments a shortlist of 8 was compiled. Each shortlist article was then read by the whole panel, and from their detailed, careful evaluations the winner emerged.

The articles submitted ranged across the wide interdisciplinary field of French Studies and delighted the judges by their uniformly high intellectual quality and the evidence they provided of a dynamic, innovative international research community of Early Career scholars.

The decision was not easy because there were so many outstandingly good articles submitted, but we are very pleased to announce that the winner and the runners up are:

Winner: Hannah Frydman

Project ‘Freedom’s Sex Problem. Classified Advertising, Law, and the Politics of Reading in Third Republic France.’
Institution University of Washington

Through the lens of newly developed classified advertising, this essay analyses the Third Republic’s effort to police reproduction and sexuality at the expense of the regime’s formal commitment to democratic freedom and expression. The judges found it to be a very fine piece of historical writing, meticulously researched and argued, providing a fascinating window into morality laws of the period and the ways in which they attempted to manage language, alongside an exploration of the complexities this situation brought to the commercial landscape of periodicals. It offers an original and illuminating perspective on sexuality and gender relations in the early decades of the Third Republic.

Publication ‘French Historical Studies’ (2021) 44 (4): 675–709.

Runner up: Emma Claussen

Project ‘Montaigne’s vagabond styles: political homelessness in the sixteenth century’
Institution University of Cambridge
Publication ‘Forum for Modern Language Studies’ (2021) 57 (3): 273–290.

Runner up: Luke Warde

Project ‘Louis-Ferdinand Céline: Trolling for Another Time?’
Institution Trinity College Dublin
Publication ‘Dalhousie French Studies’ (2021) 118: 165–179.


Winner: Vanessa Brutsche

Project Duras’s Aurélia Steiner and the Ethics of Cinematic Form
Institution University of Utah
Publication French Studies, 74.3 (2020)

Runner up: Ben Dalton

Project Forms of Freedoms: Marie Darrieussecq, Catherine Malabou, and the Plasticity of Science
Institution University of Paris Nanterre
Publication Dalhousie French Studies, 115 (2020)


Winner: Annabel Kim

Project 'The Excremental Poetics of Daniel Pennac’s Journal d’un corps'
Institution Harvard University

Annabel Kim (Harvard), for her article “The Excremental Poetics of Daniel Pennac’s Journal d’un corps,” published in French Studies, Vol. LXXIII, No. 3, 2019

Publication French Studies, 73.3 (2019​)

Runner up: Tracy Rutler

Project 'Prosthetic Matters: On Blindness, Machines, and Knowledge in Diderot's Letter on the Blind'
Institution Pennsylvania State University
Publication Criticism, 60.2 (2019)

Runner up: Thibaut Radomme

Project 'Jeux de lettres, jeu du texte: l’hermétisme du "Roman de Fauvel" (Paris, BnF, français 146) au service de la satire'
Institution Louvain-la-Neuve/Lausanne
Publication Marion Uhlig et Martin Rohde (éd.), Belles Lettres: les figures de l’écrit au Moyen Âge, Wiesbaden, Reichert Verlag (Scrinium Friburgense, 44), 2019


Winner: Laura Hughes

Project ‘In the library of Jacques Derrida: manuscript materiality after the archival turn’
Institution New York University
Publication New Literary History, 49.3 (Summer 2018), 403-424

Runner up: Yan Wang

Project ‘L’écriture et le problème de l’ancienne histoire chinoise’
Institution Université Bordeaux Montaigne
Publication Monde français du dix-huitième siècle, 3.1 (2018), 1-20.​


Winner: Eliza Zingesser

Project Pidgin Poetics: Bird Talk in Medieval France and Occitania
Institution Columbia University
Publication New Medieval Literatures, 17 (2017), 62-80

Runner up: ​Andrea Gadberry

Project The Cupid and the Cogito: Cartesian Poetics
Institution New York University
Publication Critical Inquiry​​, 43.3 (Spring 2017), 738-51

Runner up: Annabel Kim

Project The Riddle of Racial Difference in Anne Garréta’s Sphinx
Institution Harvard University
Publication Diacritics, 45.1 (2017), 4-22


Winner: Tobias Warner

Project How Mariama Bâ Became World Literature: Translation and the Legibility of Feminist Critique
Institution UC Davis
Publication PMLA, 131: 5 (October 2016), 1239-55

Runner up: Dónal Hassett

Project Pupilles de l’Empire: Debating the Provision for Child Victims of the Great War in the French Empire
Institution University of Bristol
Publication French Historical Studies, 39: 2 (April 2016), 315-45​


Winner: Jennifer Rushworth

Project Proust, Derrida, and the Promise of Writing
Publication French Studies, 69.2 (April 2015), 205-29.


Winner: Edward Baring

Project Ne me raconte plus d’histoires: Derrida and the Problem of the History of Philosophy
Institution Harvard University, 2009
Publication History and Theory, 53.2 (2014), 175-193;

Winner: Chad B. Denton

Project Steel of Victory, Scrap of Defeat: Mobilizing the French Home Front, 1939-40
Institution PhD (University of California, Berkeley, 2009)
Publication War & Society, 33.2 (2014), 98-130.

Runner up: ​Katie Hornstein

Project Suspended Collectivity: Horace Vernet’s The Crossing of the Arcole Bridge(1826)’
Institution PhD (University of Michigan, 2010)
Publication Art History, 37.3 (2014), 428-53;

Runner up: ​Robert St. Clair

Project Laughing Matter(s): Poetics, Politics, and Ethics of the (Utopian) Body in Rimbaud’s Effarés
Institution PhD (University of Minnesota, 2011)
Publication Romanic Review, 104.1-2 (2013), 117-38 [article published in 2014]


Winner: Christopher Churchill

Project ‘The Unlikely Barrèsian Inheritance of Albert Camus’
Institution Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
Publication , Journal of the Canadian Historical Association / Revue de la Société historique du Canada 23:2 (2012), 251-297. [Journal year 2012, number published in 2013.]​

Runner up: Jennifer Edwards

Project ‘“Man Can be Subject to Woman”: Female Monastic Authority in Fifteenth-Century Poitiers'
Institution Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Publication Gender & History 25:1 (2013), 86-106

Runner up: Michael Meere

Project ‘La violence sur la scène classique: une question de (dé)goût’
Institution University of Virginia
Publication L’Invention du mauvais goût à l’âge classique (XVIIe-XVIIIe siècle), ed. Carine Barbafieri and Jean-Christophe Abramovici (Éditions Peeters, 2013), 123-40


Winner: Hannah Freed-Thall

Project 'Prestige of a Momentary Diamond: Economies of Distinction in Proust’
Institution University of California at Berkeley
Publication New Literary History (2012)​

Runner up: Elizabeth Everton

Project ‘Scenes of Perception and Revelation: Gender and Truth in Anti-Dreyfusard Caricature’
Institution UCLA
Publication French Historical Studies (2012)​


Winner: Andrew Counter

Project ‘One of Them: Homosexuality and Anarchism in Wilde and Zola’
Institution University of Cambridge
Publication Comparative Literature 63.4 (Fall 2011), 345-65.​

Runner up: Maria Muresan

Project ‘Wittgenstein in Recent French Poetics: Henri Meschonnic and Jacques Roubaud’
Publication Paragraph 34.3 (November 2011), 423–40.​​


Winner: ​Frédérique Aït-Touati

Project ‘Penser le ciel à l’âge classique: Fiction, hypothèse et astronomie de Kepler à Huygens'
Publication Annales HSS (March–April 2010), 325–44.​

Runner up: Rowan Tomlinson

Project ‘“Intelligible sans discipline”: enumeration, observation, and communication in Montaigne's Apologie de Raimond Sebond’,
Publication in Stephen Bamforth (ed.), Nouveaux Départs: Studies in Honour of Michel Jeanneret, Nottingham French Studies, 49:3 (2010), 87–109.​


Winner: ​Dorian Bell

Project ‘The Jew as Model: Anti-Semitism, Aesthetics, and Epistemology in Manette Salomon’
Institution University of California at Irvine
Publication Modern Language Notes, 124:4 (September 2009), 825–47


Winner: Luke Sunderland

Project ‘Le Cycle de Renart: From the Enfances to the Jugement in a Cyclical Roman de Renart Manuscript’
Institution Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Publication French Studies, 62 (2008), 1–12

Runner up: Simon Kemp

Project ‘Darrieussecq’s Mind’
Institution St John's College, Oxford
Publication French Studies, 62 (2008), 429–41


Winner: Miranda Gill

Project ‘The Myth of the Female Dandy’
Institution University of Cambridge
Publication French Studies 61 (2007), 167–81​

Winner: Hugh Roberts

Project ‘La tête de Bruscambille et les métaphores mentales au début du XVIIe siècle’
Institution University of Exeter
Publication Revue d’histoire littéraire de la France, 107 (2007), 541–57

Professor Nick Harrison

King's College London
Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway, London,