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Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize

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Each year, thanks to the generous gifts of many friends who wished to honor the memory of Diane Hunter, the Graduate Program in English awards a graduated student the Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation submitted for a Ph.D. in English during the calendar year. The Prize, offering an honorarium of more than $1,000, will be awarded to the dissertation which exemplifies the kind of scholarly rigor and originality for which we remember Diane herself. The procedures for the judging of the prize will be as follows:


  • Dissertations will be judged yearly (by calendar year), with the prize awarded in time for inclusion in the University Commencement Program.


  • In June, the Graduate Chair notifies the Graduate Group Faculty of all those who completed dissertations in the previous year, and solicits nominations from the Dissertation Directors.


  • To be eligible for consideration, a dissertation must be nominated (in writing) by the Director, with that nomination supported (again in writing) by one of the other two readers.


  • The materials distributed to the judges include: the two letters of nomination; a dissertation abstract and table of contents; and one chapter of the dissertation, as determined by the nominated student and the Director. A complete copy of each nominated dissertation must also be submitted. This is kept in the Graduate Office, for judges to consult if they want to.


  • The judging committee consists of three faculty members, at least one from the senior faculty, appointed by the Graduate Chair. If possible the Graduate Chair should avoid appointing to this committee any members of the dissertation committees of nominated students.


  • The Chair of the judging committee should notify the Graduate Chair of the winner, and submit a brief paragraph of commendation. The Graduate Chair should send an official letter of congratulation to the winner, including the committee's words of commendation, and inviting her or him to attend the English Department Collation, where a presentation of the award will be made. 


  • It is customary for the the Chair of the judging committee to present the award at the English Department Collation, reading the brief commendation, whether or not the winner can attend.


Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize Recipients


Eve Eure (recipient)

“The Grammar Of Kinship: Black And Native Intimacies In The 19th Century”


Orchid Tierney (recipient)

"Material Poetics: Landfills and Waste Management in Contemporary Literature and Media"


Don James McLaughlin (recipient)

"Infectious Affect: The Phobic Imagination in American Literature"


Jason Zuzga (recipient)

"Uncanny World: Envisioning Nature in Documentary."


Kelly Mee Rich (recipient)

"States of Repair: Institutions of Private Life in the Postwar Anglophone Novel"



Marie Turner (recipient)

"Beyond Romance: Genre and History in England, 1066-1400"


Ashley L. Cohen (recipient)

"The Global Indies: Reading the Imaginative Geography of British Empire, 1763-1871"


David Alff (recipient)

"British Writing and the Culture of Projection: 1660-1790"


Sarah Dowling (co-recipient)

"Remote Intimacies: Multilingualism in Contemporary Poetry"

Jennifer Jahner (co-recipient)

"Sacra Jura: Literature, Law, and Piety in the Era of Magna Carta"


Todd Carmody (recipient)

"Intentional Communities: The Public Life of Race in American Literature, 1925-1961"


Rosemary O’Neill (recipient)

"Accounting for Salvation in Middle English Literature"


Joseph Drury (co-recipient)

"Machines, Mechanism and the Making of the English Novel in the Eighteenth Century"

Catherine Nicholson (co-recipient)

"Geographies of English Eloquence"


Dahlia Porter (recipient)

"Knowledge Broken: Empiricist Method and the Forms of Romanticism"


Cyrus Mulready (co-recipient)

"Romancing the Globe: Romance, English Expansion and the Early Modern Stage"

Justine S. Murison (co-recipient)

"States of Mind: The Politics of Psychology in American Literature, 1780-1860"


Jeff Allred (co-recipient)

"American Modernism and Depression Documentary"

Bernard Jaeseong Rhie (co-recipient)

"The Philosophy of the Face and 20th Century Literature and Art"


Michelle Karnes (co-recipient)

"The 'School of Devotion': Imagination and Cognition in Medieval Meditations on Christ"

Juliet Shields (co-recipient)

"Engendering Great Britain: Literary Representations of Anglo-Scottish Relations, 1700-1730"


Mark Rifkin (recipient)

"Manifesting America: Imperialism and National Space, 1776-1861"


Jeremy Braddock (recipient)

"The Modernist Collector and Black Modernity, 1914-1934"


John Leonard Parker (recipient)

God Among Thieves: Marx's Christological Theory of Value and Literature of the English Reformation


William G. Fisher (co-recipient)

Prosthetic Gods: Subject/Object in Early Modern England

Jack Lynch (co-recipient)

The Revival of Learning: The Age of Elizabeth in the Age of Johnson


Stephen Best (co-recipient)

The Subject of Property: Race, Prosthesis, and Possession in American Culture, 1865-1927

Lawrence Warner (co-recipient)

"Cain, Nimrod, and the Erotics of Wandering in Late-Medieval Narrative"


Jonathan Grossman (recipient)

The Art of Alibi: A History of the Novel and the Law Courts


Eric Wertheimer (recipient)

Imagine Empires: Incas, Aztecs and the Columbian Trope in American Literature, 1771-1876


Max Thomas (recipient)

The Practice of Poetry in Early Modern English 


Ellen Gruber Garvey (co-recipient)

Commercial Fiction:  Advertising and Ficiton in American Magazines, 1880s to 1910s

Sandra Sherman (co-recipient)

The Poetics of Trade: Finance and Fictionality in the Early 18th Century 


Andrew Levy (co-recipient)

Free Fiction: Individual and Institutional Visions of the American Short Story, 1842-1982

Jeff Masten (co-recipient)

Textual Rreproduction: Collaboration, Gender and Authorship in Renaissance Drama