R. Gapper postgraduate essay prize

The Society awards an annual prize for an essay in English or French, of fewer than 6000 words, on any subject within the scope of French studies.

The award will be for outstanding academic merit at postgraduate level, and the judges will be a subcommittee of the Trustees of the Society.

The award includes:

  • a cash prize of £750
  • expenses-paid travel to the next annual conference of the Society for French Studies
  • mention in the French Studies Bulletin and on the Society's website

2018 Entries

Entries for 2018 are now closed.

Conditions of entry 

The essay must have been written in the current academic year by a postgraduate student currently registered (or within six months of registration having terminated) at an institution of higher education in the United Kingdom or Ireland. 

It must be entered for the Prize together with an attestation from the supervisor/teacher affirming that the author is a postgraduate student at his/her institution, the essay’s originality, the date of its first submission and details of the context in which the essay was written (e.g. coursework essay for master’s course, draft of thesis chapter, etc). If a draft thesis chapter is entered, candidates are reminded to ensure that it can be read as a stand-alone essay. Essays should discuss primary material drawn from the broad disciplinary area of French studies. The primary material should be quoted in the original French. Entries must be accompanied by the coversheet available on the website www.sfs.ac.uk, and adhere strictly to the presentation guidelines given on that sheet. Please note that there is a limit of three entries per department and one per person. This limit applies to both collegiate and non-collegiate universities. 

The closing date for receipt of entries for this year’s prize is 31 October 2018

All entries, together with a completed coversheet, should be emailed by this date to Dr Michael G. Kelly at michael.g.kelly@ul.ie 

The attestation by the candidate’s supervisor/teacher should also be emailed to this address by the closing date.

Previous recipients


Winner: Charlotte Thevenet

Project Réponse du 'Juif' à l'antisémite: Derrida, commentateur de Hegel et Genet'
Institution University College London

Runner up: Liam Lewis

Project Sight, Sound, and the 'Cri' of the Mandrake in the Bestiary by Philippe de Thaon
Institution University of Warwick

Runner up: Rebecca Sugden

Project Malicious Fictions and Secret Histories in Balzac's Une ténébreuse affaire
Institution University of Cambridge


Winner: ​Daisy Gudmunsen

Project ‘On the Representation of Jewishness in Denis Guénoun’s Un Sémite and Jacques Derrida’s Le Monolinguisme de l’autre’​
Institution King’s College London

Runner up: Vittoria Fallanca

Project ‘The Design of the Essais: Montaigne and the language of "dessein"'
Institution University of Oxford


Winner: Blake Gutt

Project ‘An Infestation of Signification: Narrative and Visual Parasitism on the Manuscript Page’​​
Institution King’s College, Cambridge


Winner: ​Matthew Siôn Lampitt

Project ‘On the Use of, and Responses to, Troubadour Lyric in the work of Julia Kristeva’
Institution King’s College London

Runner up: Gillian Ní Cheallaigh

Project ‘Bad Mothers, Mad Sisters and Queer Maternity in the work of Linda Lê’​​
Institution King’s College London

Runner up: Alexandra Tranca

Project ‘From Pompeii to Paris: Ghostly Cityscapes and the Ruins of Modernity in Théophile Gautier and Eugène Atget’​​
Institution University of Cambridge


Winner: ​Sarah Hickmott

Project ‘(En) Corps Sonore’
Institution University of Oxford

Runner up: ​Edmund Birch

Project ‘Maupassant’s Bel-Ami and the Secrets of Actualité’​
Institution University of Cambridge

Runner up: Emma Claussen

Project ‘“Pour cognoistre les Politiques”: A Study of the Term “Politique” in the Dialogue d’entre le Maheustre et le Manant and the Satyre Ménippée’​​
Institution University of Oxford


Winner: Albertine Fox

Project ‘Constructing Voices in Jean-Luc Godard’s Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1979)'
Institution Royal Holloway

Runner up: ​Emma Claussen

Project ‘Examine Critically Bakhtin’s Idea of Carnival Laughter, and Analyse its Deployment in the Work of Rabelais’​
Institution King’s College London

Runner up: Jessica Stoll

Project ‘Imagining Translation Through the Plastic Arts in the Prose Troy Tradition’​​
Institution King’s College London


Winner: Orlene Denice McMahon

Project ‘Musicalising Moving Photographs: An Analysis of Pierre Barbaud’s Film Score for Agnès Varda’s La Pointe Courte’
Institution University of Cambridge

Runner up: ​Eliana Maestri

Project ‘Orality, Performativity and the Body in Jamaica Kincaid’s Autobiographie de ma mère’​
Institution University of Bath

Runner up: ​Samuel Ferguson

Project ‘Gide’s Paludes: A Diary Novel?’​
Institution University of Oxford


Winner: ​Claire White

Project ‘Dominical Diversions: Jules Laforgue on Sundays'
Institution University of Cambridge

Runner up: ​Natalie Orr

Project ‘The Clerk and the Courtier: Two Different Responses to the Tristan Problem in Chrétien de Troyes’s Cligès and Lancelot'
Institution University of Reading

Runner up: Jessica Stoll

Project ‘Discuss the usefulness of the notion of hybridity for analysis of two Occitan texts.’​​
Institution King's College London


Winner: ​Tanya Raie Filer

Project ‘Skinner in Tandem: Against Methodological “Servitude Volontaire”'
Institution University of Oxford

Runner up: ​Cécile Bishop

Project ‘The Emperor’s Old Clothes: A Reading of Henri Lopes’s Le Pleurer-Rire.’​
Institution King's College London


Winner: ​Kathrin Yacavone

Project ‘Reading through Photography: Roland Barthes’s “Proust et la photographie”'
Institution University of Edinburgh

Runner up: ​Clemence O’Connor

Project ‘Translating Pure Visuality: Heather Dohollau’s Poems on Non-Figuration.’​
Institution University of St Andrews

Dr Michael Kelly

Modern Languages & Applied Linguistics
University of Limerick
Co. Limerick

Entries for 2018 are now closed.