Dr. Wendy Pfeffer awarded 2017 University of Louisville Presidential Award
This text appeared in the College of Arts and Sciences site: https://louisville.edu/artsandsciences/awards/previous-winners/2017-award-winner-biographies/wendy-pfeffer
A&S Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research & Creative Activity in the Humanities
Nominated by Alan Leidner
Chair of Classical & Modern Languages
Prof. Wendy Pfeffer has, over 35 years of service at the University of Louisville, developed an internationally acclaimed reputation as a medievalist, particularly in the field of Occitan studies. She has published 7 books, 50 articles predominantly in peer reviewed journals, and 70 book reviews, and has presented 95 conference papers and given 27 invited addresses. Her recent work has continued, or perhaps accelerated, this pattern of prodigious output, with three new books in the past five years, together with a comparable output of other creative work. This work was supported by a Fulbright scholarship and she has an application for a new scholarship under review.
Prof. Pfeffer's work is not only high in quantity but has been honored and recognized for its quality by the scholarly community in her field. She was made an Officier in the French Ordre des arts et des Jettres in 2012. She has been frequently called on internationally to assess research proposals in medieval studies by governments and to referee research articles by the leading journals in medieval studies. Additionally, she is a founding editor of the Tenso, the primary journal of the field of Occitan studies.
Recommendation letters from the community of scholars in medieval studies support the view that Prof. Pfeffer is a leading scholar in her field. The president of the Association lnternationale d'Etudes Occitanes praises both Prof. Pfeffer's collegial work as vice-president of the AIEO, but also expresses admiration for her most recent work, lauding its "interdisciplinary nature" extensive in its "literary, historical, and anthropological research." She also calls attention to Prof. Pfeffer's extensive work on bringing to fruition the publication of the proceedings of the AIEO, which helped to further the career of young scholars.
Other letters are similar in tone and content. The editor of Speculum indicates that Dr. Pfeffer’s editorial efforts have "served to refine and clarify our understanding of just what the literature of that time has offered to the wide-ranging literary tradition that followed in its wake." She goes on to suggests that Prof. Pfeffer has revolutionized and challenged the established attitudes regarding Occitania” and has done so by an extensive breadth of sources ranging "from historical chronicles to notarial documents, archaeological excavations, paleobotany, and literary texts-poetry, romances, and theatre."
Professor Wendy Pfeffer’s has a truly outstanding record of scholarship and research, and accordingly, her work has had a substantial impact on the discipline of medieval studies, and has been instrumental in establishing Occitan studies as a distinct field of research.