Grad Student Wins Award for Original Research and “Deep Understanding” of Topic

A graduate student makes a digital slide presentation.
Faith Barringer presenting her research at SECAC 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Graduate student in art history Faith Barringer was awarded the S. Eric Molin Prize for the best presentation by a graduate student at the 2019 annual meeting of the East Central American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (EC/ASECS) in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Barringer won the award for her paper “The Coquette, the Libertine and Fragonard: An Intertextual Look at The Stolen Kiss.” The judges wrote that Barringer’s paper

“offered an original contribution to interdisciplinary studies. Her argument that Fragonard’s painting The Stolen Kiss was influenced by French erotic and sentimental novels was deftly illustrated by noting specific details in three novels: Marivaux’s La Vie de Marianne, Diderot’s La Religieuse, and Les Liaisons dangereuses. She further argued that Fragonard uses the novels not by depicting specific scenes but by employing the characters ‘to mold his own stories within the paintings.'” The judges noted that “while Barringer utilized research from literary and art historians in the development of her argument, her own deep understanding of Fragonard’s work permeated the discussion.”

The Molin Prize was established in 1989 to honor Eric Molin (English, George Mason University), who died in 1987. It brings a cash prize of $150. Three at-large members of the EC/ASECS executive board form the prize jury, making sure one of them attends each candidate’s presentation, since excellence in performance is a consideration for the prize.

Barringer is a graduate teaching assistant and a candidate for the M.A. in art history. Her master’s thesis focuses on female artists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Her major field is Early Modern and her minor is Modern and Contemporary. In October 2019, she presented her research, “The Progression of Masculinity in Catherine Leroy’s Corpsman in Anguish” at SECAC, the annual meeting of one of the largest art conferences of its kind in the country, in the session New Approaches to the History and Practice of Photography.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.