The Bowie Prize goes to the best article published in the preceding year by an early-career researcher in French Studies. Frydman’s article, “Freedom’s Sex Problem: Classified Advertising, Law, and the Politics of Reading in Third Republic France,” was selected by a panel which included Diana Holmes (University of Leeds, Panel Chair, and Society of French Studies Vice-President), Shirley Jordan (Newcastle University), Judith Miller (NYU), Michael Syrotinski (University of Glasgow, Society of French Studies President), and Downing Thomas (University of Iowa).
The panel describes her article:
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.
The article, published in French Historical Studies, is free to access through August 2022 from the Duke University Press.