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Marjorie M. Farrar and Lancelot L. Farrar
Marjorie Milbank Farrar (1935 - 2000), esteemed historian of modern France, was the author of the definitive biography of France’s first Socialist Prime Minister, Alexandre Millerand, and an authoritative study of the strategy, politics, and diplomacy of the French blockade, 1914–1918. A native of New York City, Professor Farrar was educated in high schools in New York and Virginia, graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1957, received her Masters from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1958, and her PhD from Stanford University in 1968. A student of French history, politics, and diplomacy, Professor Farrar received a Fulbright grant to complete her dissertation research in Paris, which resulted in the 1974 publication of her first book, Conflict and Compromise: The Strategy, Politics and Diplomacy of the French Blockade, 1914-1918.   She taught French history at the University of Washington, Reed College and finished her teaching career at Boston College.  Thereafter, as an independent scholar, she completed her second book, Principled Pragmatist: The Political Career of Alexandre Millerand, for which she was later granted a significant honor by the French government. 

Lancelot Leighton Farrar (1932 - 2010) was a New York native, graduating from high school on Long Island, receiving his BA from Princeton in 1954, a Masters from the University of Göttingen in Germany, and his PhD on German foreign policy from Oxford. After Oxford, Professor Farrar taught at Stanford, where he was the assistant director of the Western civilization program, and at the University of Washington. Although for much of his career, Lance Farrar did not have a permanent position, he was an enthusiastic and gifted teacher at Stanford, Washington, and later at Trinity, Brown and Wellesley Colleges, Boston and Northeastern Universities, where he held visiting appointments. Farrar’s scholarship focused on the origins and significance of the Great War. His first book, Divide and Conquer: German Efforts to Conclude a Separate Peace, asserted the importance of foreign policy and the international system.  His second book, Arrogance and Anxiety: The Ambivalence of German Power, 1848–1914, examined the decisions of German statesmen, arguing that it is the international system which shapes men’s choices and limits their possibilities. In addition to these two academic books, Farrar wrote a memoir of his family’s many experiences living in Paris, An Apartment in Paris, a text that spotlights the quirks and charms of Paris in his wry, witty and thoughtful voice.

In the 1970s, the Professors Farrar moved to Boston where they both taught, researched, and wrote. Eventually they both became independent scholars, living without the support of a university but still deeply engaged in research and writing and active in organizations like the Society for French Historical Studies.  Marjorie Farrar died in 2000, and Lance Farrar in 2010.  They are survived by their two daughters and two granddaughters, all of whom have continued Marjorie and Lance Farrar’s heritage by seeking higher degrees, and devoting their lives to research and academia.  In their honor, this scholarship fund has been established to support the work of future generations of scholars.

Elizabeth Shepard Farrar and Olivia M. Farrar, Their Daughters

The Farrar Memorial Awards

Next Award Deadline: 15 February 2020

The Society for French Historical Studies offers The Marjorie M. and Lancelot L. Farrar Awards to support two outstanding in-progress dissertation projects on any period of French history by students enrolled in a doctoral program at a university in the United States or Canada. Two annual awards of $5,000 each have been made possible thanks to the generous donations of the Farrars' family, friends, and colleagues. In selecting the winner of one of the two awards, the committee will give strong preference to studies that relate the history of France to another European country or part of the world.

The winners will be announced at the annual meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies. The award may not be shared. Please direct inquiries to the chair of the committee.

To apply: please submit the following as email attachments (word or PDF) to the chair of the committee:

1. Project Proposal: In no more than two pages (single-spaced), the applicant should outline the nature and scope of the project and the archives and libraries to be consulted;
2. Current Curriculum Vitae;
3. Two confidential letters of recommendation supporting the proposal. Reference letters may be sent to the chair of the committee electronically; make sure that the scanned copy is signed. Original letters via snail mail are also accepted.

Committee Members:

Jennifer Boittin, chair (2020)

Department of French and Francophone Studies
Pennsylvania State University
337 Burrowes Building
University Park, PA 16802 (USA)

Tamara Chaplin (2020)

Department of History
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
309 Gregory Hall MC 466
810 South Wright Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801 (USA)

Daniel Sherman (2021)

Department of Art and Art History
University of North Carolina
Hanes Art Center, CB 3405
Chapel Hill, NC (USA)

Rebecca Spang (2022)

Department of History
Indiana University
Weatherly Hall, 400 N. Sunrise Drive
Bloomington, IN 47405 (USA)

Donate to the Farrar Awards

Past Winners:

Charles Bégué Fawell,
University of Chicago, “In-Between Empires: Transit and Sovereignty along the Maritime Highways of the French Empire, c. 1870-1920.”
Jakob Burnham, Georgetown University, “Producing Pondichéry: The Social Origins of France’s First Indian Colony, 1690-1730.”

Kelly Brignac, Harvard University, “African Indentured Labor and Slavery in the French Empire, 1822 to 1861.”
Charlotte Robertson, University of Chicago, “Evolving Capital Markets and the Formation of Financial Consciousness in Second Empire France.”

Sarah Grandin
Harvard University, "To Scale: Manufacturing Grandeur in the Age of Louis XIV."
Caroline SéquinUniversity of Chicago, "Sex on the Move: Prostitution, Racial Politics, and Colonialism in the French Atlantic, 1848-1960."

Alexandra SteinlightNew York University, "Salvaging Paper, Capturing Experience: Constructing France’s Wartime Archives, 1944-1979"; and
Kayci Olson HarrisUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison, "Pas de Deux: The Soviet Ballet in Paris and Franco-Soviet Cultural Exchange in the 1950s-60s."

Joanna FiducciaUniversity of California, Los Angeles, "Hollow Man: Alberto Giacometti and the Crisis of the Monument, 1935-1946"; and
Étienne Stockland, Columbia University, "The Insect Wars: Practical Entomology and Agricultural Improvement in Enlightenment France (1750-1815)."

Robert Isaacson, George Washington University, "Alliance and Ideology: French-Israeli Relations, 1945-1968"; and
Elise Franklin, Boston College, "Associational Life, Social Aid, and Decolonization: France and Algeria (1954-1973)."

Alexander Bevilacqua, Princeton University, "Islamic Culture in the European Enlightenment"; and
Christina Carroll, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, "Memory, Politics, and National Identity: Defining the French Empire, 1860-1914."

Stephanie McBride-Schreiner, Arizona State University, "Medicalizing Childhood: The Convergence of Medicine, Public Health, and Child Welfare in Nineteenth-Century France and Great Britain"; and
Julia M. Gossard, University of Texas, Austin, "Reforming Children: Charity, Childhood, Commerce, and Education in Early Modern France."

Elena Napolitano, University of Toronto, for "Come una Cittadella: Urban Strategy and the Vision of French Nationhood in Rome, 1660-1700"; and
Jessie Hewitt, University of California, Davis, for "Domesticating Madness: Psychiatric Authority and Familial Order in Nineteenth-Century France."

Katie Jarvis, University of Wisconsin, Madison, for "Political Poissardes: The Popular Activism and Cultural Representation of the Dames des Halles, 1789-1799."

Micah Alpaugh, University of California, Irvine, for "The Emergence of the Parisian Political Demonstration: Developing Nonviolent Protest in the French Revolution, 1787-1795"; and
Honorable Mention: Venus Bivar, University of Chicago, "The Ground Beneath Their Feet: Agricultural Industrialization and the Politics of Remapping Rural France, 1954-1973."

Joy Crosby, University of California, Berkeley, "Theological Space and Making Belief: The King, the Church and the Theater in Seventeenth-Century France."

Thomas Dodman, University of Chicago, "Nostalgia as Alienation in Post-Revolutionary France."

Brigitte Jelen, University of California, Irvine, "Culturally Different: Immigrant In/Visibility in Post-Colonial France."

Katrin Sjursen, University of California, Santa Barbara "'The Heart of a Man and a Lion': Northern French Noblewomen as Medieval Military Commanders."

William Max Nelson, University of California, Los Angeles, "The Weapon of Time: Constructing the Future in France, 1750 to Year I."

Charly Coleman, Stanford University, "Dispossession and Subjectivity: The Self in Enlightenment and Illuminism in Eighteenth-Century France."

Nicole RudolphNew York University, "At Home in Postwar France. The Design and Construction of Domestic Space, 1945-1975."