2022 Sibley & Jensen Winners

Eiffel Tower photo


Abigail Fields, a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, is the winner of the 2022 Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship. Established in 1934 by Isabelle Stone (ΦΒΚ, Wellesley College) in honor of her mother, this fellowship recognizes exceptional young scholars in the field of French or Greek language, literature, and culture. Fields earned her master’s degree in French at Yale and bachelor’s degrees in French and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.  

Yale University

With the fellowship’s $20,000 stipend, Fields will complete the research necessary for her doctoral dissertation. Her project, “The Literary Field: Agriculture and the Rural Imaginary in the Nineteenth-Century Novel,” focuses on France’s relationship to the natural environment through the works of Honoré de Balzac, George Sand, Gustave Flaubert, and Émile Zola. 

According to Fields, “ecocriticism and agrarian studies remain under-examined,” and she plans to conduct archival research in France, studying agricultural heritage items, production, and documents. She intends for her dissertation to “call for a whole-scale reconsideration not only of 19th-century France, but of our modes of engaging with literature and our ways of understanding our place in socio-natural systems that are still very present in modern society.”


Alexis Stanley, a Ph.D. candidate in French at University of California, Berkeley, is the winner of the 2022 Walter J. Jensen Fellowship in recognition of her exceptional work as a scholar and teacher of French language, literature, and culture. 

Established in 2001 by Professor Walter J. Jensen (ΦΒΚ, UCLA), the award provides this year’s winner with a stipend of $17,000 and round-trip travel to France for six months of continuous study. 

University of California, Berkeley

Stanley is a Berkeley-Mellon Fellow at UC Berkeley; her research emphasizes new media as well as Renaissance and early modern studies. She received her in-house master’s-level degree in French literature at the École normale supérieure in Paris and her bachelor’s degree in French and international comparative studies (with a minor in dance) at Duke University, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. 

She intends to use the Jensen Fellowship for her dissertation, “Gestures of Enlightenment: Theatricality and Embodiment in 18th-Century France.” The fellowship will fund her research on the historical evolution of several 18th- century trends in properly “theatrical” accounts of bodily expression in order to better situate the innovations and influences of her project’s  three primary authors: Marivaux, Diderot, and Rousseau.