FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 2020
ASECS Announces Winner of 2020 Book Prize
The American Society for Eighteenth-Century (ASECS) awards the Louis A. Gottschalk prize annually to the best scholarly book on an eighteenth-century subject.
In 2020, the Gottschalk Prize is given to Katie Jarvis for Politics in the Marketplace: Work, Gender, and Citizenship in Revolutionary France (Oxford University Press, 2019). This book about the French revolution is itself revolutionary.
In a remarkable feat of investigative historicism, Jarvis, an assistant professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, recovers the daily lives and political voices of an unusual community of merchant women—the fish mongers and fruit sellers known as the Dames des Halles, after the great hall in Paris where their stalls had fed the city since the Middle Ages, earning it the moniker “the stomach of Paris.” Jarvis shows how the haggling, selling, and mercantile activities of these working women shaped notions of citizenship during the French Revolution through everyday trade. By means of modest legal documents, surviving rental agreements, and obscure inventories of the few material possessions these women left behind at their deaths, Jarvis reconstructs with panache the work lives, networks, and political influence of these pivotal citizens.
Jarvis’s masterful prose is novelistic in its ability to conjure up the market stalls of Revolutionary France with upholstered descriptions of objects and things. Offering a reassessment of the political role of the Parisian market women, Jarvis develops a new conception of Revolutionary citizenship based in public service and social experience. This sophisticated book will appeal to anyone interested in economic history, public and private spheres, and women’s political activity.
The American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies is a not-for-profit educational organization founded to promote the study of all aspects of the eighteenth century. It sponsors conferences, awards research fellowships and prizes, and publishes Eighteenth-Century Studies and Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. Eligibility information for the 2021 Gottschalk Prize and the 2021 biennial Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize is available at www.asecs.org or by contacting the Business Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.