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Annual Awards


BEST ESSAY WRITTEN BY AN EMORY GRADUATE STUDENT

Any paper written for an English Department seminar is eligible.  Revisions may be made to papers that have been returned.  Resubmissions are allowed for non-winning entries.  Submit your paper to our Graduate Program Coordinator, Mrs. Shakia Guest-Holloway, who will anonymize all entries to be judged by the Awards Committee.

JAMES WILLIAM RICHARDSON, JR. AWARD

The James William Richardson, Jr. Award is awarded for dissertation research on the literature of under-represented populations. Priority for the award is given to work in African American literature, Jewish American literature, and 20th-century American literature (in that order).

DELORES P. ALDRIDGE AWARD

The Delores P. Aldridge Graduate Award Fund was established to support graduate students studying and/or conducting research in areas related to African American studies. The donor of this award, Dr. Aldridge, is recognized as a trailblazer in the fields of race and ethnic relations and the development of African American studies. She arrived at Emory in 1971, becoming the first African American woman faculty member at Emory as well as the first African American to hold a tenure-track position in the College. Dr. Aldridge is also the founding director of the Black Studies program -- now the Department of African American Studies -- the first degree-granting Black Studies program at a major private university in the South. The Aldridge Award is awarded to a graduate student in English every three years.

PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS BY YEAR

2022:

Best Essay: Kelly Duquette - A soul hung up: Examining the Body in Marvell’s “A Dialogue between the Soul and Body”

Richardson Award: Julian Currents (co-winner)

Richardson Award: Karlié Rodriguez (co-winner)

Aldridge Award: Ra'Niqua Lee

2021:

Best Essay: Lauren Highsmith (co-winner) - "Riding Without Reigns: The Role of the Barbarian Horse in The Battle of Alcazar"

Best Essay: Ariel Lawrence (co-winner) - "Autobiography from the Graveyard: Kinship, Mourning, and Fugitivity in the Abyss"

Richardson Award: Lauren Highsmith - "Finding Black Futurity in Wondaland"

2020:

Best Essay:  John Gulledge - "Laughing With/At Cripple in The Fair Maid of the Exchange"

Richardson Award: Sophia Leonard - "Made in the Magazines: Truman Capote’s Early Nonfiction Writings"

Richardson Award: Jess Libow - "Political Movement: Ability, Sex, and Reform in the Nineteenth-Century U.S."

2019:

Best Essay:  Joshua Cohen - "That 'great pilot of ancient times': The Dangers of the Moses Complex in Invisible Man"

Richardson Award: Kayla Shipp-Kamibayashi - "The Secret Lives of Poems; or, Digital Inhabitations of Nineteenth-Century American Literature"

2018:

Best Essay:  Joshua Cohen - "Moses vs. the Masses: Alain Locke, Aesthetic Uplift, and Zora Neale Hurston"

Richardson Award: Joshua Cohen - "Echoes of Exodus: Biblical Typology and Racial Solidarity in African American Literature, 1829-1962" and Mixon Robinson (co-winners)

Richardson Award: Raleigh Mixon Robinson - "Between Stations: American Liberty and Locomotion from Walden to Plessy"

2017:

Best Essay:  Rachel Kolb - "The Brain’s ‘Instantaneous Inventions’: Exploring the Discursive Normalcy and Pathology of Mishearings"

Richardson Award:  Jimmy Worthy III and Nicole Morris (co-winners)

2016:

Best Essay:  Rachel Kolb - "Seeing Things Invisible to Moral Sight: The Interaction of Melancholy and Blindness in Milton's Poetry"

2015:

Best Essay:  Amy Elkins - "The ‘Fibre of Her Being’: H.D.’s Craft Modernism from Egypt to WWII"

HONORABLE MENTION:

Jenny Bledsoe - "Fashioning Fleshly Connections: The Virgin, the Vernacular, and MS Royal 17 A. xxvii"

Richardson AwardAnthony Cooke

2014:

Best Essay:  Dori Coblentz - "Twins in a Pinch: Pedagogy, Temporality, and Subjectivity in The Comedy of Errors"

HONORABLE MENTION:

Hannah Markley - "Radical Translations: Drugs, Femininity, and the Construction of Textual Perceptibility in Les Paradis artificiels"

Richardson Award: Diana Louis 

2013:

Best Essay:  Emily Leithauser - "A History of the Persistence of Memory: Anthony Hecht’s ‘The Book of Yolek’ "

2012:

Best Essay:  Amy Elkins - "Art and the Archive: Navigating Trauma in H.D.’s Within the Walls' "

2011:

Best Essay:  Margaret Greaves -"'The Old Folks at Home': Communal Homesickness in Irish Blackface Performance "

2010:

Best Essay:  Anthony Cooke - "Black Paranoia, Black Politics"

2009:

Best Essay: Alyssa Stalsberg - "The Politics of Feminist Nostalgia in Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebooks"

2008:

Best Essay: Karma De Gruy - "Desiring Angels: The Angelic Body in Paradise Lost"