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Nancy Rafetto Leach Sweeten Prize

Awarded annually for the best undergraduate essay on American Literature.

Read more about Nancy Rafetto Leach Sweeten.

2022

Kalila N. Papanikolas (recipient)

"Racial Triangulation and a Colonial Trace in the Stories of Hisaye Ysamamoto"

Maressa J. Park (honorable mention)

 “The [Re]Construction of Space, Environment, and Race in the South:  Faulkner and Ward"

2021

Jessica Z. Bao (recipient)

"Black Women's Burden of Expectations:  The Politics of Respectability in Passing"

Elizabeth C. Eckhard (honorable mention)

"Tradition More Authentic Than History:  Freedom, Race, and Possession in George Washington Cable's Grandissimes"

2020

Chloe Gong (co-recipient)

The Fallen Future is Chinese: Fears of Neoliberalism in the Techno-orientalist Themes of Ling Ma's Severance

James D. Morrison (honorable mention)

The Sound of Belch'd Woods:  "Song of Myself" As The American Epic

"His crudity is an exceeding great stench but it is America.  To be frank, Whitman is to my fatherland what Dante is to Italy." --Ezra Pound

Sumant M. Rao (co-recipient)

Zora Neale Hurston's Jonah's Gourd Vine:   Family Dynamics and the Great Migration Narrative

2019

Derek J. Willie (recipient)

Remembering Deepwater Horizon:  Ecological Afterlives in Sing, Unburied, Sing

2018

Joshua Z. Glahn (recipient)

Disrupting the Crowd

2017

Natalie V. Burke (recipient)

'Not Essentially Different From [Her] Sex:'  A Literary Reading of the Rebecca Buckley Ferguson Letters

Sean W. Gill (honorable mention)

A Broken Hallelujah:  A critical addendum to Brodtkorb's "Selfhood and Others"

2015

Soomin (Suzy) Kim (recipient)

2014

Rachel S. Miao (recipient)

Syntax and Strangeness in Whitman's "Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field One Night"

2013

Janet A Chow (recipient)

Welty and the Tramp:  The Formation of Loneliness in Eudora Welty's 'The Hitch-Hikers'

2012

David E. Dunning (recipient)

Title:  "Cantorian and Beautiful"  Pragmatic Abstraction in David Foster Wallace

2011

Anusha M. Alles (recipient)

Title:  "I'm sane, you're not":  Possibilities and Paradox of Passing in Charles Johnson's Oxherding Tale"

2010

Victor X. Gamez Barrera (co-recipient)

Title: "Love in Black-American Prison Literature"

Jessica B. Wolfe (recipient)

Title: Identifying "The Thing Not Named": Narrative Absence and Consumer Culture in Cather's The Professor's House

2009

Joshua B. Bennett (recipient)

2008

Alexandra J. Gibson (recipient)