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Grant number like: FB-52459-06

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Elizabeth N. Emery
Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ 07043-1600)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 6/30/2007

Collecting French Writers: Photojournalism, Fame, and the Birth of the "Author House"

This book project traces the rise of popular interest in museums dedicated to famous literary figures in late 19th and early 20th-century France. Combining literary analysis with the histories of photojournalism, science and the museum, I argue that “writer houses” developed from a pre-existing interest in consecrating important social figures, which was heightened and modified after 1880 by the illustrated periodical press. Photojournalism and new approaches to the science of collection and display were responsible for a shift from interest in famous people as revered national heroes, worthy of public monuments, to more intimate and obsessive cults housed in private rooms, apartments, and museums.