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Anthony Glinoer

SSHRC Aurora Prize

Anthony Glinoer   ""The Romantic Period is dominated by the myth of the solitary creative genius. Yet the French writer of the 19th century, just like the writer of today, was not alone in producing his work. The goal of my research is to show that all acts of cultural production are collective in nature."

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Anthony Glinoer, winner of the 2008 SSHRC Aurora Prize, is synonymous with three words—excellence, originality and talent. Three years after earning his doctorate in philosophie et lettres from the Université de Liège in Belgium, Glinoer, now an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, is well on his way to becoming a leading researcher in the sociology of literature.

An expert on the French Romantic Period, Glinoer is not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom. As part of his prize-winning research program, he is dispelling the myth of the isolated creative genius—a constant, omnipresent theme in nineteenth-century France.

“[My research] will show how a work of literature is, in fact, the collective product of a chain of mediators or social actors, including the publisher, the editor, the critic and the illustrator [or blogger for the 21st century],” he explains. “All these actors play a role as intermediaries between the writer and the reader.”

It is an innovative approach to literature, and one that Glinoer does not hesitate to share beyond his academic discipline. In the virtual world, Second Life, Glinoer recently gave a public lecture on literary production in the 19th century. He also received a SSHRC grant to organize an international conference in December 2008. The event will provide a forum for researchers from a variety of disciplines to express their viewpoints on the theme of the literary bohème and will highlight a number of methodological approaches.

Still in his early thirties, Glinoer is already building a reputation as a prolific writer and editor. Author of La querelle de la camaraderie littéraire (2008) and co-author of Naissance de l’éditeur (2005), he also edited two critical editions of works by the great 19th-century French writers Victor Hugo and Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve (2004). In addition, he has written book chapters and articles for academic journals, and collaborated on a book and two journal issues that will be published next year. He is also co-founder of the online journal COnTEXTES, which covers the sociology of literature, and co-owner of the Socius mailing list, housed by Fabula—a French-language portal for literature researchers.

The SSHRC Aurora Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding new researcher who is building a reputation for exciting and original research in the social sciences or humanities.