Dr. Thea Fronsman-Cecil, former PhD student of the UCLA French & Francophone Studies, has been announced winner of the 2019 Peter Lang Young Scholars Competition in French. She submitted a proposal for her book “Nous bâtirons un monde nouveau:” Punk polemics, aesthetics, and everyday life in metropolitan France and was selected as the winner for the Media and Culture category. Her book has been selected for publication in the European Connections: Studies in Comparative Literature, Intermediality and Aesthetics series, a peer-reviewed series that publishes innovative research monographs, edited volumes as well as translations of key theoretical works.
This brilliant, thoroughly researched and very engagingly written project examines French punk culture in all its rich variety: music, novel, poetry, design, zines, journalism. Reclaiming punk as crucial form of oppositional and creative discourse, this study weaves a revolutionary new narrative of a defining cultural movement, providing enlightening analyses of celebrated punk writers such as Virgine Despentes as well as a wealth of lesser-known figures such as Kriss Vilà, Morgane Caussaurieu, Joanna Almos, Karim Berrouka, Julien Campredon, and Vincent Mondiot. Connecting “punk textuality” with French literary and political traditions, the author makes a compelling case for the relevance of punk sub-cultures as forms of resistance to neoliberal economic and political ideologies and a site and scene of creative marginalities. Drawing on theorists such as Pierre Bourdieu, Henri Lefebvre, Michel Foucault, and Gilles Deleuze, alongside cutting-edge sociological and cultural studies methodologies, Dorthea Fronsman-Cecil explores punkness’s alternative visions for life, work and community, assessing both the original ethos and afterlives of punk from its inception in the 1970s to the present day. Both a fascinating cultural history and a welcome excavation of a neglected corpus of works, the project makes a strong plea for the cultural importance of the Humanities – and of French Studies – within a global context.
The UCLA Department of French & Francophone Studies congratulates Dr. Fronsman-Cecil on this great achievement!