WILLIAMSTOWN -- Brian Joseph Martin, associate professor of French and comparative literature at Williams College, has been awarded the Laurence Wylie Prize in French Cultural Studies for "Napoleonic Friendship: Military Fraternity, Intimacy, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century France" (Durham: University of New Hampshire Press, 2011).
Created in 1995 to honor the memory of Laurence Wylie, professor of French civilization at Harvard University, the Wylie Prize is awarded biennially to the best book in French social or cultural studies.
In addition to the Modern Language Association's Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies, which is often awarded to a senior scholar in the field, the Wylie Prize is recognized as one of the most prestigious book prizes in the field of French Studies. The jury for this year's prize includes prominent scholars in French history and literature from New York University, Harvard, Tufts, and Duke, who chose Napoleonic Friendship from among 65 books under consideration in 2010 and 2011.
The prize ceremony will take place at New York University's Institute of French Studies on March 27, at 7 p.m., when Martin will give a lecture, "Queer Napoleon: from Napoleonic Friendship to Gays in the Military." The ceremony and lecture are free and open to the public.
One of the first books on gays in the military published following the historic repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell in 2011, Napoleonic Friendship examines the history of male intimacy in the French military, from Napoleon to the First World War.
A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College in 1993 and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Stockholm (Sweden) in 1993-94, Martin earned his M.A. in comparative literature from UCLA in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Romance languages from Harvard University in 2003. Martin became a member of the Williams faculty in 2004. Martin's teaching and scholarship focus broadly on gender and sexuality in France and on Nordic masculinities from Scandinavia to Quebec.