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MLA's Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies awarded to George Hoffmann

Wednesday, December 5, 2018   (0 Comments)
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New York, NY – 5 December 2018 – The Modern Language Association of America today announced it is awarding its twenty-sixth annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies to George Hoffmann, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for his book Reforming French Culture: Satire, Spiritual Alienation, and Connection to Strangers, published by Oxford University Press. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding scholarly work in its field—a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography—written by a member of the association.

The Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies is one of eighteen awards that will be presented on 5 January 2019, during the association’s annual convention, to be held in Chicago. The members of the selection committee were Andrea Goulet (Univ. of Pennsylvania), chair; Sharon A. Kinoshita (Univ. of California, Santa Cruz); and Ourida Mostefai (Brown Univ.). The committee’s citation for Hoffmann’s book reads:

In Reforming French Culture: Satire, Spiritual Alienation, and Connection to Strangers, George Hoffmann argues that popular Reformist satires of the sixteenth century played a key social function beyond the mere subversive critique of Catholicism. According to Hoffmann, the bawdy and exoticizing rhetoric of French Reformation satirists created a rift that paradoxically led to their own prosecution, and the polemics of the Reformers, even as they failed to win France to their cause, helped shape what came to be seen as distinctively French discourse. Hoffmann draws a direct line from the Reformist satires and Montaigne’s “Of Cannibals” through Montesquieu’s eighteenth-century Persian Letters and revolutionary universalism, all the way to today’s French republicanism and resistance to multiculturalism. Featuring tight writing, considerable expertise, and a literary-historical sensibility, this book exemplifies the very best of advanced scholarship in the humanities.

View the full press release on the MLA website (PDF)

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