For immediate release April 13, 2017

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Announces Winner of 2017 Walter J. Jensen Fellowship

WASHINGTON, DC –  The Phi Beta Kappa Society is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 The Walter J. Jensen Fellowship.  This fellowship recognizes exceptional scholars in the fields of French language, literature and culture.

Irina Markina, a doctoral student in French Literature and Art at Princeton University, is the recipient of the 2017 Walter J. Jensen Fellowship in French Studies. The Fellowship provides a $15,500 stipend and a round-trip ticket for six continuous months of study in France.  

Markina plans to use the Jensen Fellowship for her project, “Appropriating Revolution: The Paris Commune and the Mural Art Campaign of the Third Republic” She states, “In this research project, I hope to build on present scholarship and to contribute an original reading of the murals commissioned by the Third Republic. I aim to explore how the public art program of the Third Republic represents the State, the public and the notion of francit√© following France’s embarrassing loss in the Franco-Prussian War and the tragic outcome of the Paris Commune. I am particularly interested in mural art of this period because of the Third Republic’s unprecedented campaign to decorate civic buildings throughout Paris and the change in mural aesthetic that accompanied this surge in commissions.”

One evaluating panel member wrote, “Ms. Markina’s proposal on French mural art and the place it deserves in art history is perfectly researched and incisively written, equally eloquent in English and French. She draws on a very sharp, insightful linkage of the political and the quotidian. Her iconographic study for her dissertation must be conducted on site…

There is no question that Ms. Markina is poised to make a significant contribution to French visual culture studies. Given the international dimension of Ms. Markina’s work, to borrow one recommender’s phrasing, it will be easily placed in the journals she lists until she produces a monograph.”


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 286 colleges and universities in the United States, almost 50 alumni associations, and more than half a million members worldwide. Noteworthy members include 17 U.S. Presidents, 39 U.S. Supreme Court Justices and more than 130 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