Tandem Fellow Cătălin Pavel, nominated for the 2023 “Monica Lovinescu” Prize

22 September 2023

New Europe College (NEC) is pleased to announce that Cătălin Pavel, NEC Alumnus and currently a Fellow of the TANDEM Author with Translator – Translator with Author program at NEC, has been nominated for the 2023 “Monica Lovinescu” Prize for Animalele care ne fac oameni. Blană, cozi și pene în arheologie/ The Animals that Made us Human. Fur, Tails, and Feathers in Archaeology (Humanitas, 2021).

Cătălin Pavel’s Animalele care ne fac oameni. Blană, cozi și pene în arheologie (Humanitas, 2021) is a non-fiction volume of archaeology/history that bridges the gap between academia and the general public. Born out of a science communication project, it retains a substantial bibliography, but no footnotes. In it, Pavel investigated the way humans interacted with animals – chapters on dogs, cats, horses, but also whales, hedgehogs, birds, and bears – throughout prehistory and the Classical Antiquity. Pavel set off to study, with archaeological methods, the interaction between human persons and non-human persons, and to prove that animals have been a major catalyst of our cognitive and emotional development.

Established by the Humanitas “Aqua Forte” Foundation, the prize is dedicated to Monica Lovinescu (1923-2008), one of the most remarkable women in the history of modern Romania, and celebrates non-fiction books in the humanities, as well as great editorial initiatives (critical editions, large-scale projects coordination, laborious translations of universal cultural heritage).

The nominees for the 2023 “Monica Lovinescu” Prize (in alphabetical order, in Romanian) are:

George Ardeleanu (editor), Ediția integrală Nicolae Steinhardt, 22 de volume, Editura Polirom, 2021;
Adriana Babeți (coordonator), Dicţionarul romanului central-european din secolul XX, Editura Polirom, 2023;
Corin Braga (coordonator), Enciclopedia imaginariilor din România, Editura Polirom, 5 volume, 2021;
Andrei Cornea (traducere), Platon, 3 volume, Editura Humanitas, 2021-2023;
Tudor Dinu, Moda în Țara Românească. Între Fanar, Viena și Paris, 1800-1850, Editura Humanitas, 2023;
Alexandra Furnea, Jurnalul lui 66. Noaptea în care am ars, Editura Humanitas, 2022;
Mircea Mihăieș, Finnegans Wake 628. Romanul întunericului, Editura Polirom, 2021;
Cătălin Pavel, Animalele care ne fac oameni, Editura Humanitas, 2021;
Constantin Vasilescu (coordonator), Morfologia nevinovăției. Alfabetul detenției feminine în comunism, Editura Litera, 2022;
Marina Vazaca (traducere), Chateaubriand, Memorii de dincolo de mormânt, ediție integrală, 2 volume, Editura Vremea, 2021.

This year, the jury is composed of Ioana Pârvulescu (president), Alexandru Călinescu and Răzvan Purcărea.

“We have selected, from the publications of the last three years, books that have one of Monica Lovinescu’s main characteristics: the courage. We mean courage in the broader sense, the intellectual boldness that some subjects require, the extensive research, the changes of perspective, the translations of fundamental books, the laborious work of a critical edition. At the same time, along with the nominees, we would like to thank those who make a lasting effort in the library and at the writing table, even if they often do not get the visibility they deserve and, moreover, do not even seek it. But their effort is about that beauty which, if it does not save the world, will at least keep culture alive,” the jury explains.

The prize will be awarded at the “Monica Lovinescu” Gala, to be held at the Romanian Athenaeum on 19 November 2023 at 7pm.

2023 – Monica Lovinescu Centenary | series of events