The Mireille Calle-Gruber International Studies Award

I created this Fund as a token of friendship and gratitude for the 11 happy years I spent at Queen's (1989-2000), where I was given ideal opportunities for research (I came from France thanks to an appointment as Queen's National Scholar), for teaching (as Full Professor in French Literature and Aesthetics) and to organize international exchanges. I was able to invite well-known scholars and writers and also to have Queen's Honorary Doctorates granted to Claude Simon (Nobel Prize in Literature), to Helene Cixous (writer, feminist), to Jacques Derrida (philosopher).

To me, such exchanges and encounters constitute a very important part of what a University should offer. It is for this reason that I wished to create a Bursary which would enable students to enhance their education through travel and attending seminars abroad, related to their field of research.

I found Queen's Graduate students to be very open-minded and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. I supervised a number of Doctoral theses (about 20) in the Department of French Studies and I am still co-supervising three Queen's students, from Paris where I am now professor and co-director in the Department of Women Studies at the University of Paris VIII. The purpose of this Fund is also to reward the enthusiasm shown by these students and to help them reach their goals.

Today, more than ever, it is so very important to support Research in the Humanities, especially within the disciplines of Literature, the Arts and Philosophy which are greatly needed in order to prepare and shape the future of our societies. Creative, speculative and critical thinking are the only way for us to rise above barbarism in our intellectual pursuit. Unfortunately, the Humanities are increasingly becoming the Universities' paupers. This Fund, thus, also aims at emphasizing the crucial importance of those very fields and disciplines which are currently being deprived of their due prominence.