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Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize

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The Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize is awarded annually for the best dissertation submitted for a Ph.D. in English during the last calendar year.

The prize is made possible by the generosity of friends of Diane Hunter, an alumnus of the graduate program in English and former staff member. Diane entered the Ph.D. program in 1986 at the age of 54, after an illustrious career in administration at the Baldwin School for Girls in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She studies eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century British literature under the advisement of Professor Paul Korshin. Her professors recall that she brought maturity, experience and freshness to the English department, both as a teacher and a scholar.

In 1990, Diane became Interim Director of the Freshman English program. Her students remember her as an energetic, fun, and caring teacher who inspired them with her passion for literary studies.

On February 15, 1991, Diane passed away after a short bout with cancer. The Diane Hunter Prize is awarded in her honor to the dissertation that best exemplifies the kind of scholarly rigor and originality for which we remember Diane herself.


Dissertations must be nominated by the Dissertation Supervisor to be eligible, and two letters of support should be sent to the Graduate Chair. Two members of the faculty serving as judges will review the two letters of nomination, a dissertation abstract and table of contents, and one representative chapter of the dissertation, to be chosen by the author.

Submissions are judged during the summer term and the winner is announced at the English Department's annual Collation event in September. A cash prize is included.

Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize Recipients


A.V. Aylin Malcolm (co-recipient)

Dissertation Title: Every Living Soul: Literature and Zoology in England, 1100-1400

Rovel Sequeira (co-recipient)

Dissertation Title: The Nation and its Deviants: Global Sexology and the Racial Grammar of Sex in Colonial India


Ajay Kumar Batra (recipient)
Daniel Davies (honorable mention)


Eve Eure (recipient)

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


Chris Chan (co-recipient)

"Communal Lyricisms and the Lyricization of English Poetry, 1650–1790"

Evelyn Soto (co-recipient)

"Beyond the Black Legend: Spanish-American Political Imaginaries in the U.S., 1800 - 1855"


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"


Kerry Moore (recipient)

"Mourning Loss: The Place of the Object in Narrative Fantasy"


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