Yale’s Cécile Fromont Received the 2023 Gustav Ranis International Book Prize

Cécile Fromont, professor of the history of art at Yale University, received the 2023 Gustav Ranis International Book Prize from the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University.

Professor Fromont won the Best Book Award for her work, Images on a Mission in Early Modern Kongo and Angola (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2022). The citation for the award states that “early modern central Africa comes to life in an extraordinary atlas of vivid watercolors and drawings that Italian Capuchin Franciscans, veterans of Kongo and Angola missions, composed between 1650 and 1750 for the training of future missionaries. These “practical guides” present the intricacies of the natural, social, and religious environment of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century west-central Africa and outline the primarily visual catechization methods the friars devised for the region. Images on a Mission in Early Modern Kongo and Angola brings this overlooked visual corpus to public and scholarly attention.”

Dr. Fromont was born and raised in Martinique. Her ancestors came to the Caribbean island from Africa, South Asia, and Burgundy. She joined the Yale faculty in 2018 after teaching for eight years at the University of Chicago. Her writing and teaching focus on the visual, material, and religious culture of Africa and Latin America with a special emphasis on the early modern period (ca 1500-1800), on the Portuguese-speaking Atlantic World, and on the slave trade.

Dr. Fromont holds a master’s degree in cultural policy & management and international relations from the Paris Institute of Political Studies. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in the history of art from Harvard University.

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