Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Diane Hunter Dissertation Prize

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.