For immediate release April 20, 2020

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Announces 2020 Winner of
Walter J. Jensen Fellowship

WASHINGTON, DC – The Phi Beta Kappa Society has chosen Doyle Calhoun, doctoral candidate in French at Yale University, as the winner of the 2020 Walter J. Jensen Fellowship in recognition of his exceptional promise as a scholar and teacher of French language, literature and culture. Established in 2001 by Professor Walter J. Jensen (ΦΒΚ, UCLA), this award provides this year’s winner with a stipend and round-trip travel to France for six months of continuous study.

Calhoun (ΦBK, Boston College) earned his Master’s degree from Yale University and has received several grants and fellowships including the MacMillan Center Summer Fellowship for Language Study, the MacMillan Center International Conference Travel Grants, and a Fulbright Award.

He plans to use the Jensen Fellowship for his project “Suicide and Resistance in French and Francophone Literature.” Calhoun will examine “aesthetic representations and historical examples of suicide and/as political resistance in the context of French colonization and its afterlives.” Describing his project as transnational, transhistorical, and multilingual in its scope and methodology, it will draw on “literature, film, archival materials, and oral histories that span France, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Senegal, Algeria, and Morocco.” Calhoun has conducted pre-dissertation research in Senegal, and now will turn to extensive archival research in France at Paris Nanterre University and the École normale supérieure to focus on French and Francophone literatures and literary history, postcolonial theory, and Atlantic history. 
Calhoun’s dissertation research in France will be the foundation for future publications in both English and French, a scholarly monograph on suicide in Francophone literatures, and syllabi for seminars in French. He plans to design and lead an undergraduate seminar based on his research in France in 2021-2022. 
For more information on the Jensen Fellowship, please contact Hadley Kelly


About The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Founded on Dec. 5, 1776, The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation's most prestigious academic honor society. It has chapters at 290 colleges and universities in the United States, 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 41 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 140 Nobel Laureates. The mission of The Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, foster freedom of thought, and recognize academic excellence. For more information, visit