- Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature
The Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature in the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford was founded in 1918. Basil Zaharoff, a Greek-born French arms trader and financier, gave £25,000 (approximately £903,000 as of 2011) to the university to establish the chair and to support French studies in other ways, such as the award of scholarships to students for travel. The first professor, Gustave Rudler, took up the position in 1920. The current professor, Michael Sheringham, was appointed in 2004. The professorship is associated with a non-stipendiary fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford.
The French general Ferdinand Foch (1851–1929), known as "Marshal Foch", was supreme commander of the Allied forces involved in the First World War from March 1918 onwards, and received many honours for his leadership. News of the donation was announced in The Times on 21 November 1918, shortly after Foch was one of the signatories of the Armistice with Germany on 11 November that ended hostilities. The Times said that the name of the professorship was "most felicitously chosen", commemorating the "recent great events" and preparing for the "intellectual entente of the coming years." It also noted that French language and literature, for the first time, would be "enthroned in Oxford side by side with Greek and with Latin" – professorships in both subjects having existed at Oxford for many years before Zaharoff's donation. Zaharoff also founded the Field-Marshal Haig Chair of English Literature at the University of Paris, in honour of Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, the commander of the British forces on the Western Front from 1915 until the end of the war.
Name Professor Education Notes[n 1] Gustave Rudler 1920–1949 University of Paris Rudler had previously taught at the Sorbonne and at Bedford College, London. He was particularly interested in the life and works of Benjamin Constant, the subject of his doctoral thesis as well as later publications. He also published editions of works by Jean Racine and Molière, and studied the historian Jules Michelet. Rudler was the co-founder and first editor of the French Quarterly, a periodical that ran from 1919 to 1932 which was the first English-language periodical to cover French literary matters. He was regarded at Oxford as a devoted teacher, lecturing entirely in French and asking questions of his audience that had to be answered in French. Jean Seznec 1950–1972 Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris Seznec taught at Cambridge University and the French Institute in Florence before the Second World War, when he moved to America to be a professor at Harvard University. Jacques Scherer 1973–1979 Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and Sorbonne University, Paris Scherer was previously Professor of French Literature at the University of Nancy and then at the Sorbonne. After leaving Oxford, he was a professor at University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle. Robert Shackleton 1979–1986 Oriel College, Oxford Shackleton was Librarian of Brasenose College, Oxford from 1948 to 1966 and Bodley's Librarian (head of Oxford's Bodleian Library) from 1966 to 1979. Jean-Yves Tadié 1988–1991 Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris Tadié lectured at universities in Caen, Tours and Paris (University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle) before serving as head of the French Department at Cairo University from 1972 to 1976. He was director of the French Institute in London from 1976 to 1981. His publications include a biography of Proust (in French and English versions). Malcolm Bowie 1992–2002 University of Edinburgh and University of Sussex Bowie taught at the University of Cambridge before becoming Professor of French Literature and Language at the University of London. After leaving Oxford, he was Master of Christ's College, Cambridge from 2002 to 2006. Michael Sheringham 2004 onwards University of Kent Sheringham previously taught at the University of Kent (where he was Professor of French Literature from 1992 to 1995) and at Royal Holloway, University of London (where he was Professor of French from 1995 to 2004).
- ^ a b c d "Foch Professorship at Oxford". The Times: p. 9. 21 November 1918.
- ^ "Marshal Foch Professorship of French Literature". Oxford University Gazette. 2 October 2003. http://www.ox.ac.uk/gazette/2003-4/weekly/021003/appts/entry_1.htm. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- ^ "The terms of the Armistice". National Archives. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/pathways/firstworldwar/transcripts/aftermath/armistice_terms.htm. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- ^ "Zaharoff, Sir Basil". Who Was Who 1920–2008. Oxford University Press. December 2007. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whowaswho/U219650. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- ^ Mason, Haydn (September 2004). "Rudler, Gustave (1872–1957)" (Subscription or UK public library membership required). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/62523. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
- ^ "Rudler Dr Gustave" (Subscription or UK public library membership required). Who Was Who 1920–2008. Oxford University Press. December 2007. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whowaswho/U242548. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- ^ "Seznec, Prof. Jean Joseph". Who Was Who 1920–2008. Oxford University Press. December 2007. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whowaswho/U169003. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- ^ "Scherer, Prof. Jacques". Who Was Who 1920–2008. Oxford University Press. December 2007. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whowaswho/U181742. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- ^ Barber, Giles (October 2009). "Shackleton, Robert (1919–1986)" (Subscription or UK public library membership required). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/39821. Retrieved 4 January 2010.
- ^ "Tadié, Prof. Jean-Yves’". Who's Who 2010. Oxford University Press. November 2009. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whoswho/U36945. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- ^ "Bowie, Prof. Malcolm McNaughtan". Who Was Who 1920–2008. Oxford University Press. December 2007. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whowaswho/U8295. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- ^ "Sheringham, Prof. Michael Hugh Tempest". Who's Who 2010. Oxford University Press. November 2009. http://www.ukwhoswho.com/view/article/oupww/whoswho/U44998. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
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