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Violent history French winegrowers by Dr Smith nominated for major award

Terror and terroir by Dr Andrew Smith

A BOOK written by a newly-appointed Senior Lecturer of the University of Chichester has been nominated for an international award.

Dr Andrew W M Smith, who joined the Department of History and Politics this month, was shortlisted for his text exploring the violent accounts of French militant group the Comité Régional d’Action Viticole (CRAV).

The book, Terror and terroir: The winegrowers of the Languedoc and modern France, by Manchester University Press, was nominated for the prestigious Royal Historical Society Gladstone Prize.

Dr Smith, who is also the secretary for the Society for the Study of French History, said: “This is my first book and I am delighted that it was nominated for the prize.

“Terror and terroir investigates the CRAV, a loose affiliation of militant winegrowers in the sun-drenched, southern vineyards of the Languedoc.

“Since 1961 they have fought to protect their livelihood and they were responsible for sabotage, bombings, hijackings and even the shooting of a policeman.

“At heart, however, they remain farmers championing the right of people to live and work the land.”

Dr Smith, who specialises in contemporary history and politics, was a recent guest of BBC Radio 4 speaking on French posthumous marriage practices, which can be heard here.

The Senior Lecturer will find out the winner of the book prize next month.

Speaking of his book, he added: “Against the backdrop of European integration and decolonisation, the CRAV rallied around banners of Resistance and their strong Republican heritage, while their peasant protests fed into Occitan and anti-globalisation movements.

“Between the romantic mythology of terroir, and the misguided violence of terror, the book unpicks the contentious issues of regionalism, protest and violence.

“It also offers an insight into a neglected area of France’s past that continues to impinge on its future, infused with one of the most potent symbols of French culture: wine.”

To find out more about Dr Andrew W M Smith, and his research into identity, violence, and culture in the winegrowing communities of Southern France, visit www.chi.ac.uk/staff/dr-andrew-smith.

Alternatively for more about the Department of History and Politics at the University of Chichester go to www.chi.ac.uk/history.