Peggy Kamuf joined USC Dornsife as a professor of French in 1988. (Photo: Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.)

USC Dornsife scholar Peggy Kamuf elected to the British Academy

The USC Dornsife Professor Emerita of French and Italian and Comparative Literature is recognized for her “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”
ByUSC Dornsife News Staff

Peggy Kamuf, Professor Emerita of French and Italian and Comparative Literature at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, has been elected to the British Academy, the U.K.’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences.

Established in 1902, the academy is a fellowship of more than 1,600 leading minds in the social sciences and humanities. It serves as a funding body for research internationally and as a forum for debate and engagement.

This year, Kamuf is among 86 scholars nominated for election to the fellowship.

“I’m proud to be recognized by such a prestigious institution,” she said. “I hope I’ll have the chance to take part in their activities and contribute my expertise.”

Kamuf’s principal research interests are in literary theory and contemporary French thought and literature. She has written extensively on the work of Jacques Derrida, Hélène Cixous and Jean-Luc Nancy, and she has translated a number of their texts.

“Professor Kamuf is world-renowned for her distinguished career as a scholar of literature and philosophy,” said Natania Meeker, associate professor of French and comparative literature. “Her corpus spans disciplines, ranging across and beyond literary studies; feminist theory and philosophy; cultural studies; and French thought in its transnational dimensions. In her work as a translator as well as a critic, she has been an important figure in shaping the reception of 20th- and 21st-century French philosophy, in particular the work of Jacques Derrida.”

Kamuf’s work as a translator and critic has earned her global acclaim in the fields of literary, cultural and gender studies. Her honors and awards include USC’s Marion Frances Chevalier Professorship in French, the René Wellek Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association and the USC Raubenheimer Outstanding Senior Faculty Award. In 2014, she was named a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight in the Order of Academic Palms) by the French government.

“With the vast expertise and wide-ranging insights brought by our new fellows, the academy continues to showcase the importance of the SHAPE [social sciences, humanities and the arts for people and the economy] disciplines in opening fresh seams of knowledge and understanding, while simultaneously advancing the well-being and prosperity of societies worldwide,” said British Academy President Julia Black. “I wholeheartedly congratulate each of our new fellows on this achievement and look forward to working together.”