Emory Elliott Memorial Prize Winners 2011

The range and quality of work submitted this year was impressive, and this is reflected in the high number of commendations that accompany the prizes; while it was genuinely difficult to single out the three winner essays, they reflect the very best in undergraduate research and are written at the highest argumentative and expressive standards.

The First Prize goes to a runner-up from 2010, the essay written by Louisa McGillicuddy of University College London, entitled “‘Restore thine image’: the emblematic influence in Donne’s Divine Poems, which wins for its incredible sophistication and adventure. The essay brings a genuinely original contribution to the study of Donne and his influences; in its clear academic tone, its critical ambition, and scholarly authority, this is eminently publishable material.

The Second Prize: is shared between Tania Arabelle Flores of Occidental College, USA, for her essay “Every Poet Stands Alone: The Displacement of the Body in W.H. Auden’s Spain/‘Spain 1937’ and Galen Redmond O’Hanlon, also of University College London, for his essay “Notions of Nationhood in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.
Tania’s comparative essay is a rare feat of sensitive and sophisticated textual analysis, informed by wide-ranging historical reading and a flair for the revealing detail. Garen's essay evinces an ample and sensitive understanding of the connections between the political realm and other concerns and demonstrates a sophisticated knowledge of how to structure and substantiate an argument. They are both outstanding pieces of writing, and it would have been unfair to place them on different levels of merit; we have therefore decided to split the second and third prizes equally.

The judges also wish to record High Commendations for the following essays :

Fionnuala Barrett, of Trinity College Dublin for her essay “Masculinity and monstrosity in Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, a brilliant piece, wonderfully alert to textual ambiguities, excellent at making textual and contextual connections, and which might well have been among the prize-winners had its author not won the first prize last year.

Sofie Buckland, of University College London for “Policing the domestic, domesticating the police: the ‘lady detective’ in Victorian fiction”, an innovative essay on an unusual topic, wonderfully rich in its analysis.

Rosie Cadman Beaumont, of Birmingham University for her essay “Enfreakment and Personal Choice in Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex and Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love”, a nuanced and independent comparative reading, theoretically-sophisticated and persuasively-argued and breaking new grounds in terms of the texts considered.

Robin Forrester, of the University of Exeter, for his essay “‘I do then with my friends as I do with my books. I would have them where I can find them, but I seldom use them’ (Ralph Waldo Emerson). Discuss the effects on their poetry of the friendship between any two of Thomas, Frost, Pound, Yeats and Eliot in the light of this remark”. This is a thoughtful, intelligent, well-written and structured essay, attentive to detail and eminently scholarly. It is especially commended as second-year work.

Sarah Lisa Laseke, of the University of Groningen, for her essay ““Riht as a man doth out of slep”: Gower’s Confessio Amantis and the dream vision tradition”, an absorbing piece of writing which offers a very strong argument backed by intricate analysis of a demanding poetic work.