William C. Carter, Ph.D., Médaille d’Or du Mérite Francophone


William C. Carter received his Ph.D. in French from Indiana University in 1971. He was director of an Ohio University Junior Year Abroad program in Tours, France, and then joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and became chair of the Department of Foreign Languages in 1979. He received numerous prestigious grants and fellowships, including those from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Dr. Carter is committed to the promotion of French culture and literature in the United States. He was the project director of a semester- long program entitled “Marcel Proust at UAB,” which brought him international recognition. His film on Marcel Proust was broadcast nationally on PBS and later in many other countries. His biography, Marcel Proust: a Life, published by Yale University Press in 2000, was selected by The New York Times as a “notable book.” In 2013, Yale University Press will publish his revised and annotated version of the famous Scott Moncrieff translation of Swann’s Way.

The co-creator of the online site Proust-Ink (www.proust-ink.com), he is one of the most respected American Proust scholars in France, where he is repeatedly invited to give lectures in French, during which he generously shares his expertise. Dr. Carter was honored by the French government with the rank of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques in 1989.

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