Montana State University

Dunlop receives prestigious fellowship to study cultural history of French wind

June 5, 2017 -- By Carol Schmidt, MSU News Service

Catherine Dunlop, associate professor of modern European history in the College of Letters and Science at Montana State University, was recently honored with the Camargo Fellowship to study the significance of the mistral wind on French history and culture. Dunlop will use the residency and the balance of a sabbatical to write about France’s great wind and its cultural impact. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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Montana State University history professor Catherine Dunlop has received a competitive residency to study the significance of France's great wind on the country's French history and culture.

Dunlop, who specializes in modern European history in the Department of History and Philosophy in the College of Letters and Science, has received an eight-week fellowship from the Camargo Foundation to study at the foundation’s campus in Cassis, France. Dunlop plans to work on the manuscript of a book that she is writing about the significance of the mistral wind in French history.

“(The residency) offers a rich cultural opportunity to learn about global history as Montana globalizes,” Dunlop said. She said the experience will help her better teach Montana students to understand and connect with other cultures.

“Montanans have a strong connection with nature and environment,” she said.

Dunlop said European history classes are popular with MSU students, and she has noticed that the courses help inspire students to travel and study abroad.

“And when they do, they come back energized and interested in the world,” she said. “MSU does a really good job of opening up world to Montanans.”

Dunlop’s fellowship begins in September. She plans to focus on research about how Europeans have incorporated the mistral wind into literature and art, particularly paintings. The historian will be on a sabbatical the balance of the academic year to work on the book.

Dunlop’s earlier book, “Cartophilia: Maps and the Search for Identity in the French-German Borderland,” was published in 2015 by the University of Chicago Press.   

The Camargo Foundation was endowed by American artist and philanthropist Jerome Hill, the grandson of railroad builder James Jerome Hill. The fellowship provides 18 residencies supporting the visionary work of scholars, artists, and thought leaders in the arts and humanities.

Dunlop said she first heard about the residency when she was a graduate student at Yale, which was also Jerome Hill’s alma mater. Dunlop came to MSU after graduating in 2010 with a doctorate in European history from Yale, where she earned the Hans Gatzke Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in European History. Dunlop holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford.

Dunlop, who is an environmental historian, said she was drawn to MSU by the university’s strength in the area. In addition to Dunlop, fellow history professors in the group researching environmental history include Brett Walker, Mark Fiege, Tim LeCain and Michael Reidy.

Catherine Dunlop (406) 994-5213,