Due to COVID-19, the 2020 annual conference in Bath is cancelled. Please see our News section for more information.

R. Gapper book prize

Each year, the Society awards the prestigious R. Gapper book prize for a book in the field of French studies, published for the first time in the previous calendar year, by a scholar based in an institution of higher education in the United Kingdom or Ireland. The award commends books of critical and scholarly distinction which have a clear impact on the wider critical debate. It includes a cash prize of £2000, and expenses-paid travel to the next annual conference of the Society for French Studies. In addition, the award is publicized in French Studies, in the French Studies Bulletin, and on the Society’s website.

The award is usually made in February of each year and is presented to the winner at the annual conference of the Society for French Studies. The winner is selected by the Gapper Book Prize Jury, appointed by the SFS Executive and chaired by one of their number. Their decision is then proposed to the SFS Executive and to the R. H. Gapper Charitable Trust, who jointly award the prize. The criteria for award of the prize are, broadly, the book’s critical and scholarly distinction and its likely impact on wider critical debate. In assessing these, the following qualities will be taken into account:

  • Scope and range
  • Intellectual ambition
  • Originality
  • Coherence and persuasiveness
  • Depth of scholarship
  • Eloquence

The 2020 round of the prize, for books published in 2019, will open soon; please watch this space for details.

2019 Recipients

The Society for French Studies is delighted to announce that the R. Gapper Book Prize for the best book in French Studies published in 2018 is awarded jointly to the following two books:

Peter Dayan, The Music of Dada: A Lesson in Intermediality for our Times (London: Routledge, 2018)

Derek Offord, Vladislav Rjeoutski and Gésine Argent, The French Language in Russia: A Social, Political, Cultural and Literary History (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2018)

Peter Dayan’s study represents a world-leading contribution to Dadaist studies, to musicology, to intermedial modernism studies, and to intermedial aesthetics more generally – an adventurous interdisciplinary work of the highest order.

Derek Offord, Gésine Argent, and Vladislav Rjéoutski’s work is not only a model of co-authorship, but a ground-breaking study of immense scholarly distinction which makes a real contribution to the wider debate about what Francophonie is and was.

While we have not been able to celebrate the award of the prize at the Annual Conference which was due to take place in Bath, we hope to welcome our winners to the 2021 Annual Conference at Queen’s University Belfast.

A total of 22 books were received for the prize this year, and 7 were shortlisted. The shortlisted books were all of exceptional quality and we offer our warmest congratulations to those authors:

Sam Ferguson, Diaries Real and Fictional in Twentieth-Century French Writing (Oxford University Press)

Marine Ganofsky, Night in French Libertine Fiction (Liverpool University Press)

Charlotte Hammond, Entangled Otherness: Cross-Gender Fabrications in the Francophone Caribbean (Liverpool University Press)

Diana Holmes, Middlebrow Matters: Women's Reading and the Literary Canon in France since the Belle Époque (Liverpool University Press)

Gavin Parkinson, Enchanted Ground: André Breton, Modernism and Surrealist Appraisal of Fin-de-Siècle Painting (Bloomsbury)

Finally, the Society would also like to note its sincere thanks to Professor Jean Duffy and Professor John O’Brien, who are stepping down from the Gapper Book Prize jury this year, for their wisdom, insights and collegiality as members of the panel.

Winner: Peter Dayan

Project The Music of Dada: A Lesson in Intermediality for our Times
Publication (London: Routledge, 2018)

Winner: Derek Offord, Vladislav Rjeoutski and Gésine Argent

Project The French Language in Russia: A Social, Political, Cultural and Literary History
Publication (Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press, 2018)

Previous recipients

2018

The Society is delighted to announce that the R. Gapper Book Prize for the best book in French Studies published in 2017 has been awarded to Professor Julian Swann of Birkbeck College, University of London, for his monograph:

Exile, Imprisonment or Death: The Politics of Disgrace in Bourbon France, 1610-1789 (Oxford University Press)

Details of the book can be found at: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/exile-imprisonment-or-death-9780198788690?cc=gb&lang=en&

We also offer our warmest congratulations to the authors of the other shortlisted books:

Conan Fischer, A Vision of Europe: Franco-German Relations during the Great Depression, 1929-1932 (OUP)

Tom Hamilton, Pierre de L'Estoile and his World in the Wars of Religion (OUP)

Shirley Jordan, Marie Ndiaye: Inhospitable Fictions (Legenda)

Winner: Julian Swann

Project Exile, Imprisonment or Death: The Politics of Disgrace in Bourbon France, 1610-1789
Institution Birkbeck College, University of London
Publication Oxford University Press

2017

Winner: Roger Pearson

Project Unacknowledged Legislators: The Poet as Lawgiver in Post-Revolutionary France
Institution The Queen's College, Oxford
Publication Oxford University Press, 2016

Runner up: Helen Swift

Project Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late-Medieval France
Institution St Hilda's College, Oxford
Publication Boydell & Brewer, 2016

2016

Winner: Neil Kenny

Project Death and Tenses: Posthumous Presence in Early Modern France
Institution University of Oxford
Publication Oxford: OUP, 2015

Winner: Patrick McGuinness

Project Poetry and Radical Politics in fin de siècle France: From Anarchism to Action Française
Institution University of Oxford
Publication Oxford: OUP, 2015

2015

Winner: Robert Mills

Project Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages
Institution UCL
Publication University of Chicago Press, 2015

Runner up: ​Mairéad Hanrahan

Project Cixous’s Semi-Fictions
Institution UCL
Publication Edinburgh University Press, 2015

Runner up: Joseph Harris

Project Inventing the Spectator
Institution Royal Holloway
Publication Oxford University Press, 2015

Runner up: Ann Jefferson

Project Genius in France: an Idea and its Uses
Institution University of Oxford
Publication Princeton University Press, 2015

2014

Winner: Christopher Prendergast

Project Mirages and Mad Beliefs: Proust the Skeptic
Publication Princeton University Press, 2014

2013

Winner: Siân Reynolds

Project Marriage and Revolution: Monsieur & Madame Roland
Publication Oxford University Press, 2013

2012

Winner: Michael Moriarty

Project Disguised Vices: Theories of Virtue in Early Modern French Thought
Publication Oxford University Press, 2012

2011

Winner: Judith Still

Project Derrida and Hospitality: Theory and Practice
Publication Edinburgh University Press, 2011

2010

Winner: Ardis Butterfield

Project The Familiar Enemy: Chaucer, Language and Nation in the Hundred Years War
Publication Oxford University Press, 2010

2009

Winner: Alain Viala

Project La France galante
Publication Presses universitaires de France, 2009

2008

Winner: ​Mark Greengrass

Project Governing Passions. Peace and Reform in the French Kingdom, 1576-1585

: (Oxford University Press).

Publication Oxford University Press, 2008

Winner: Christopher Prendergast

Project The Classic. Sainte-Beuve and the Nineteenth-Century Culture Wars
Publication Oxford University Press, 2008

2007

Winner: Eric Robertson

Project Arp: Painter, Poet, Sculptor
Publication Yale University Press, 2007

2006

Winner: Maria C. Scott

Project Baudelaire’s ‘Le Spleen de Paris’ : Shifting Perspectives
Publication Ashgate, 2006

2005

Winner: Roger Pearson

Project Mallarmé and Circumstance: The Translation of Silence
Publication Oxford University Press, 2005

2004

Winner: Sylvia Huot

Project Madness in Medieval French Literature: Identities Lost and Found
Publication Oxford University Press, 2004
Contact

Professor Margaret Topping

Dean of the Graduate School,
Queen’s University Belfast,
Belfast BT7 1NN,
Northern Ireland