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Strasbourg researcher receives the English and American Rhenish Scholars' prize for best thesis

Publication date: 30/11/15


The association of Eucor universities’ departments of English (EARS) awarded Laurie Béreau the prize for the best thesis, rewarding her work “Crisis in Education : the debate on education in the United States after 1945”.
The EARS prize for the best PhD thesis in English literary and cultural studies is awarded for the first time this year and consists of 800€ intended to contribute to the publication of the thesis. * In 2009, Laurie Béreau left Normandie to write her thesis at the University of Strasbourg under the supervision of Bernard Genton, professor of American Civilisation. Six years later, he proposed her work for the prize to the EARS committee. “I was surprised, happy and honoured to hear that I was awarded the prize,” she admits. She is currently teaching at the Language Resources Centre: “I have been doing more teaching than research lately, but this prize makes me realise the interest of my research subject and makes me want to find the time for a new project.” Laurie Béreau didn’t plan to become a researcher: in 2005, after completing a Bachelor’s degree in English, she worked as a language assistant in New Orleans for a year. Three weeks after her arrival in Louisiana, the city was hit by Hurricane Katrina and Laurie observed the transformation of a public school into a charter school. This experience inspired her research topic: the education system in the USA. During her master’s degree, she took part in a teaching programme at the University of Arkansas which allowed her to learn more about the blurred lines between public and private schools in the USA. When she came back to France, her research supervisors advised her to take the agrégation instead of the CAPES exam.* Laurie Béreau did her first thesis presentation during a Eucor scientific conference for PhD students: in a certain way, being awarded the EARS prize allows her to complete a full circle. Eucor offers several intercultural opportunities: in her future research work, Laurie would like to use a German theoretical approach but also hopes that her subject centered on civilisation will enrich research in the cross-border region. “During events organised by Eucor, the different research cultures complement each other quite well. Working at European level provides an openness to other countries, which is a great asset.” * The English and American Rhenish Scholars (EARS) is an association of English and American literature teachers of the universities of Freiburg, Strasbourg, Mulhouse and Basel. * CAPES: secondary school teacher competitive examination
Agrégation: civil service competitive examination for professorship in some disciplines of higher education


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