Graduate Student News

The M.C. Cohen Dissertation Prize, for the best dissertation written in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, goes to Anjuli F. Raza Kolb, for “The Epidemiology of Terror: Horror, Health, and Politics in Postcolonial Literature.” Timothy Donahue’s dissertation, “The Borderlands Aesthetic: Realism and Governments at the Edges of Nations,” has been awarded an honorable mention. Anjuli Kolb is now Assistant Professor of English at Williams College and Timothy Donahue is Assistant Professor of English at Oakland University. 
The Henry Cuyler Bunner Award, for the best MA essay on a topic dealing with American literature, goes to Walter Gordon, for "'The Water-Wheel Hung Dripping': Picturing the Politics of Infrastructure in Willa Cather’s One of Ours.” Drawing on scholarship from new formalism to the history of American empire, Gordon argues that infrastructure in Cather’s fiction is not just a fictional topos but also an engine of “narrative, aesthetic, and political effects,” which challenges existing accounts of One of Ours as a primarily ironic novel and restores to it a powerful normative engagement with American life.
The Rachel Wetzsteon Prize, for the best MA essay dealing with twentieth- or twenty-first century poetry, goes to Jess Engbretson, for "The Poet in the Museum: Seamus Heaney's Bog Bodies and the Representation of Atrocity." Engbretson’s essay richly examines the ethical burdens of Seamus Heaney's "bog body" poems in the context of "museums of atrocity" such as the Murambi Genocide Memorial Center in Rwanda and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, arguing that both worlds are structured by tensions between ethical and aesthetic imperatives in the representation of the tortured body.
The Miron Christo-Loveanu Prize, for the best MA essay in the department, goes to Milan Terlunen, “'Written words repeating': Verbal Frequencies in G.H.Lewes’s Problems of Life and Mind and George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda.” Terlunen examines forms of repetition in Eliot’s novel in light of both contemporary linguistics and the psychology developed by Eliot’s partner, G.H. Lewes, arguing that the often-disparaged stylistic device powerfully shapes Eliot’s dynamics of characterization; in the process, Terlunen develops a searching critique of current debates about reading practices, to which he contributes a distinctive stance he calls “middle-distant reading.”
2015 Prize Winners
Miron Cristo-Loveanue Prize: Sierra Eckert, "Synoptical Tabulation, Research Quarries, and Realist Fiction: Reading Research in George Eliot's Middlemarch" and Will Glovinsky, "The Mummy in the Counterarchive: Contested Futurities in Livingstone’s Final Journey
Bunner Award: Liz Bowen, "Cultivating the Cringe-Gaze: Disability, Animal Cruelty, and the Politics of Spectacle”
Wetzsteon Prize: Jeremy Stevens, “Eliot’s Disconsolate Chimera: The Form of Secularization in Four Quartets
2014 Prize Winners
Miron Cristo-Loveanue Prize: Hilary Rasch, "John Donne's Body of Horror"
Bennett Memorial Award: Phillip Polefrone, "Gilman’s Garden: Ecological Economy, Coevolution, and Utopian Naturalism in Herland"
Bunner Award: Julia Cheng, "Streets, Salads, Etc.: Queering Lists in The Book of Salt"
Best Graduate Student Paper by the North American Society for the Study of Romaticism: Arden Hegele, "Romantic Autopsy and Wordsworth's Two-Part Prelude"
2013 Prize Winners
Miron Cristo-Loveanue Prize: Gabriel Bloomfield, "Preaching from the Press: Henry King and the Rhetoric of Elegy"
Bennett Memorial Award: Victoria Wiet, "Theatrical Frames: Spectatorship and the Dramatization of Desire in Middlemarch"
Bunner Award: Atefeh Akbari Shahmirzadi, "From Shiraz to Concord: Ralph Waldo Emerson's Renderings of Hafez"
2012 Prize Winners
Miron Cristo-Loveanue Prize: Seth Williams, "[Re-enter Will Kemp]: Dance, Print, and Conformity in Kemps' Nine Daies Wonder"
Bennett Memorial Award: Jayne Hildebrand, "Theatre As Medium: David Garrick's Shakespeare, Blank Verse, and William Cowper's The Task"
Bunner Award: Erica Richardson, "Woman and Color: Figuring Black Futurity in the Sociological and Narrative Work of W.E.B. Du Bois"
Rachel Wetzsteon M.A. Essay Prize: Ben VanWagoner, "Corioli: Character as a Locus of Social Force"
The M.C. Cohen Dissertation Prize: Christine Varnado, for "The Shapes of Fancy: Queer Circulations of Desire in Early Modern Literature"