Princeton University’s Effie Rentzou Honored by French Government for Contributions to French Literature and Art

Effie Rentzou, a professor of French and Italian at Princeton University, has been honored with the title of Chevalier in l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French government’s Order of French Academic Palms. She was recognized for her contributions to French education, culture, and art.

At Princeton University, Dr. Rentzou serves as director of the program in European cultural studies, with a joint faculty appointment in the department of French and Italian and the department of comparative literature. She is a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Surrealism and served as the organization’s president from 2021 to 2023. Additionally, she currently serves as co-curator of the exhibition “Honneur à l’objet!” which will open at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris in February 2025.

Dr. Rentzou’s research focuses on literature and its relation to other arts, specifically the historical avant-garde movement and modernism. She has a particular interest in poetics, the relation between image and text, social analysis of literature, politics and literature, and the internationalization of the avant-garde. She is the author of two books: Littérature malgré elle : Le surréalisme et la transformation du littéraire (PEETERS, 2011) and Concepts of the World: The French Avant-Garde and the Idea of the International, 1910-1940 (Northwestern University Press, 2022).

Dr. Rentzou received her bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Athens. She holds a maîtrise degree, a diploma of advanced studies, and a Ph.D. in French literature from the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne.

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