For immediate release April 20, 2020

The Phi Beta Kappa Society Announces 2020 Winner of
Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship

WASHINGTON, DC – The Phi Beta Kappa Society has chosen Madison Mainwaring, doctoral candidate at Yale University, as the winner of the 2020 Mary Isabel Sibley Fellowship in French Studies. Established in 1934 by Isabelle Stone (ΦΒΚ, Wellesley College) in honor of her mother, this fellowship recognizes exceptional young scholars in the field of French or Greek language, literature and culture. Mainwaring earned her Master’s degree in French from Yale University, and her past recognitions include the Franke Fellowship in Science and the Humanities, the Naomi Schor Memorial Award, and the Margaret Thwing Award. 
With the Sibley Fellowship, Mainwaring will be awarded a stipend of $20,000 that she plans to use to complete the research necessary to write her dissertation in the fulfillment of the requirements of a PhD in French. Her project, “Reclaiming the Silences of Dance: Women and Ballet in Nineteenth-Century Paris,” focuses on recovering women’s perspectives during that time period. She plans to study “testimonies from female spectators and dancers at the Académie Royale, from ballet’s first wave of popularity in the 1820s to the end of the nineteenth century.” 
Mainwaring’s aim is to find other narratives to the dancer as a voiceless muse, portrayed as such in numerous literary works. She will focus on how female dancers viewed and defined themselves in dance forms, as well as the reactions and viewpoints of female spectators. She will also explore the relationship between dance studies and socio-cultural history. Mainwaring plans to turn her years of research into a manuscript for an academic press in the future. 

For more information on the Sibley Fellowship, please email 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