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Bloch, R. Howard

Bloch, R. Howard

PERSONAL:

Married Naomi Schor (deceased). Education: Amherst College, B.A., 1965; Stanford University, Ph.D., 1970; Yale University, M.A., 1998.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Swarthmore, PA. Office—Department of French, Yale University, P.O. Box 208251, New Haven, CT 06520-8251. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, assistant professor, 1970-73; University of California, Berkeley, from assistant to associate professor, 1973-82, professor, 1982-94, chair of department, 1985-90; École des Hautes Études, Paris, France, director of studies, 1990; Columbia University, New York, NY, professor and chair of department of French and romance philology, 1995; Yale University, New Haven, CT, Augustus R. Street professor of French, 1997-2005, humanities program chair, 2002—, Sterling Professor of French, 2005—. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, Getty scholar, 2004-05. Has conducted seminars for the National Endowment for the Humanities' visiting professor, Yale University, 1982, 1984-85, 1996; summer seminar teacher at the University of California, 1992, Columbia University, 1996, and Yale University, 2000, 2003, and 2005.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Fellowships from National Defense Education Act, 1965-68, Fulbright program, 1968-69, University of California Humanities Council, 1978, Guggenheim Foundation, 1980-81, American Council of Learned Societies, 1990-91, and Institute for International Studies at University of California, 1990-91; James Russell Lowell Award, Modern Language Association, 1990, for A New History of French Literature; fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1993, and Whitney Humanities Center, 1998-2001; named officer in the French Order of Arts and Letters, 1998-2001; Medal of the College of France, 2001; Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize, Modern Language Association, 2004, for The Anonymous Marie de France; Chancellor's Distinguished Medal, Louisiana State University, 2004.

WRITINGS:

Medieval French Literature and Law, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1977.

Etymologies and Genealogies: A Literary Anthropology of the French Middle Ages, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1983.

The Scandal of the Fabliaux, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1986.

Moses in the Promised Land (novel), Peregrine Smith Books (Salt Lake City, UT), 1988.

Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.

God's Plagiarist: Being an Account of the Fabulous Industry and Irregular Commerce of the Abbe Migne, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

The Anonymous Marie de France, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2003.

A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making of the Bayeux Tapestry, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

Also author of postface, Les Fabliaux érotiques, Livre de Poche (Paris, France), 1993.

EDITOR; NONFICTION

(With Frances Ferguson) Misogyny, Misandry, and Misanthropy, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1989.

(With others) A New History of French Literature, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1989.

(With Carla Hesse) Future Libraries, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1995.

(With Stephen G. Nichols) Medievalism and the Modernist Temper: On the Discipline of Medieval Studies, Johns Hopkins University Press (Baltimore, MD), 1996.

SIDELIGHTS:

R. Howard Bloch is an historian and French scholar. His teaching and research have covered a variety of topics, such as epic and romance forms of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; the relationship of literature, money, and family structure; medieval comedy; and the history of printing in the nineteenth century. Bloch has also authored and edited several books in his areas of expertise.

One of those books, God's Plagiarist: Being an Account of the Fabulous Industry and Irregular Commerce of the Abbe Migne, looks at Abbe Migne, an unconventional cleric who owned and ran one of the largest publishing and printing houses in mid-nineteenth-century France. It was solely dedicated to the production of religious text. Christian Century critic Robert M. Grant believed that the book is "an interesting and stimulating study of Christian publishing in 19th-century France. It keeps us from imagining that the patrologies were ‘let down from heaven on a string.’"

"Howard Bloch can consistently be counted on to provide richly textured and provocative scholarship," and his next book, The Anonymous Marie de France, is "no exception," according to Biography reviewer Judith Kellogg. The subject of the book is French poetess Marie de France, whose contribution to Medieval literature consists of three works: her Lais, her Fables, and the Espurgatoire Seint Patriz. Although her works are well known by scholars, little is known about her actual identity. In his book, Bloch has little interest in speculating who Marie de France really was; instead, he tries "to identify within her very different works ‘internal evidence of a single poetic persona,’" as Kellogg put it. "The Anonymous Marie de France is a stimulating and provocative book, important principally as the first work on the author to discuss at length all three of the works ascribed to her. Its most obvious failing is Bloch's repeated insistence that he stands alone among modern critics in appreciating the writer's complexity," asserted Jane Gilbert in the Modern Language Review. "The Anonymous Marie de France is undoubtedly an important book that will alter and expand how we understand one of medieval literature's greatest poets," commended Paul Creamer in the Romanic Review.

In A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making of the Bayeux Tapestry, Bloch attempts to unravel the many mysteries surrounding the Bayeux Tapestry, a two-hundred-thirty-foot-long tapestry that depicts the invasion and conquest of England in 1066 by William, Duke of Normandy. Although it is considered by many as the world's most famous textile, no one is certain who created this tapestry from the Middle Ages and why. In addition to posing his own theories, Bloch delves into the social and political history portrayed on the tapestry. "With estimable clarity and evident enthusiasm, Bloch delivers variety, surprise, and understanding for history readers" in A Needle in the Right Hand of God, according to Gilbert Taylor in Booklist.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

American Historical Review, February 1, 1993, review of Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love, p. 146.

American Journal of Legal History, July 1, 1981, Emily Zack Tabuteau, review of Medieval French Literature and Law, p. 249.

American Libraries, February 1, 1996, review of Future Libraries, p. 64.

American Scholar, spring, 1995, Jonathan M. Elukin, review of God's Plagiarist: Being an Account of the Fabulous Industry and Irregular Commerce of the Abbe Migne.

ARTnews, May 1, 2007, Jonathan Lackman, review of A Needle in the Right Hand of God: The Norman Conquest of 1066 and the Making of the Bayeux Tapestry, p. 122.

Biography, summer, 2004, Judith Kellogg, review of The Anonymous Marie de France.

Booklist, October 15, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of A Needle in the Right Hand of God, p. 18.

Business History, July 1, 1995, Christine Shaw, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 125.

California, October 1, 1988, Greil Marcus, review of Moses in the Promised Land, p. 102.

Catholic Historical Review, July 1, 1995, Richard F. Costigan, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 450.

Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October 1, 1992, C.W. Clark, review of Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love, p. 361; December 1, 1992, review of Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love, p. 583; January 1, 1995, M.V. Reese, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 788; November 1, 2003, R. Cormier, review of The Anonymous Marie de France, p. 547.

Christian Century, June 29, 1994, Robert M. Grant, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 650.

Clio, fall, 2004, Sarah Spence, review of The Anonymous Marie de France.

College English, March 1, 1994, Cheryl Glenn, review of Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love, p. 324.

Contemporary Sociology, March 1, 1997, Libby Schweber, review of Future Libraries, p. 241.

French Studies, April 1, 2004, Sally L. Burch, review of The Anonymous Marie de France, p. 236.

Journal of Economic History, December 1, 1994, Paul M. Hohenberg, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 927.

Library Journal, October 1, 1995, Dean C. Rowan, review of Future Libraries, p. 72; October 15, 2006, Robert Harbison, review of A Needle in the Right Hand of God, p. 71.

Library Quarterly, July 1, 1994, Barbara Halporn, review of Future Libraries, p. 342; April 1, 1997, Walt Crawford, review of Future Libraries, p. 191.

Medieval Review, January 1, 2004, Denyse Delcourt, review of The Anonymous Marie de France.

Medium Aevum, fall, 1997, Nicolette Zeeman, review of Medievalism and the Modernist Temper.

Modern Language Review, July 1, 2005, Jane Gilbert, review of The Anonymous Marie de France, p. 808.

Modern Philology, November 1, 2005, Emanuel J. Mickel, review of The Anonymous Marie de France, p. 230.

New Republic, January 30, 1995, Anthony Grafton, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 36.

New York Review of Books, September 22, 1994, Douglas Johnson, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 56.

New York Times Book Review, July 24, 1988, Martin Kirby, review of Moses in the Promised Land, p. 16.

Publishers Weekly, October 9, 2006, review of A Needle in the Right Hand of God, p. 48.

Reference & Research Book News, June 1, 1996, review of Medievalism and the Modernist Temper, p. 59.

Romance Philology, February 1, 1989, Per Nykrog, review of The Scandal of the Fabliaux, p. 285; fall, 2005, Elizabeth W. Poe, review of The Anonymous Marie de France.

Romanic Review, May 1, 2004, Paul Creamer, review of The Anonymous Marie de France, p. 362.

Sixteenth Century Journal, spring, 1993, Robert C. Evans, review of Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love.

Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, January 1, 1988, Sarah White, review of The Scandal of the Fabliaux, p. 126; January 1, 1999, William D. Paden, review of Medievalism and the Modernist Temper: On the Discipline of Medieval Studies, p. 128; July 1, 2004, Sahar Amer, review of The Anonymous Marie de France, p. 738.

Technology and Culture, July 1, 1997, Judith E. Endelman, review of Future Libraries, p. 817.

Theological Studies, December 1, 1992, Sandra R. O'Neal, review of Medieval Misogyny and the Invention of Western Romantic Love, p. 784.

Times Literary Supplement, August 19, 1994, David Coward, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 7.

Wall Street Journal, August 24, 1988, John Buckley, review of Moses in the Promised Land, p. 12; July 1, 1994, Roger Kimball, review of God's Plagiarist, p. 11.

Yale Bulletin & Calendar May 20, 2005, "R. Howard Bloch Appointed Sterling Professor of French."

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