The Literary Encyclopedia Travel Award 2018

The awards went to:

First place - £750 each

Elizaveta Lyulekina, PhD candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY– “Qu’un aultre aye le prys de mon labeur:” Maurice Scève’s neglected contribution to the development of French Renaissance poetry
This research contributes to a re-evaluation of the status of Maurice Scève in the literary tradition of the French Renaissance. He is often viewed as an author of a single book and has the reputation of an isolated poet famous for his obscurity and disinterest in public life. However, a large number of dedications to Scève composed by contemporary poets and humanists illustrates his prominent status in literary circles; moreover, Scève’s minor works such as translations, encomiastic poems, epitaphs, and epigrams, remain widely unexplored by Renaissance scholars, although they occupy a significant place in his poetic oeuvre, reflect his direct involvement in cultural and political events of the period, and attest that he tried his hand in all poetic genres that would become popular in the second half of the sixteenth century. The project seeks to examine these works as well as contemporary texts addressed to the poet in order to bring a more comprehensive understanding of his role in the development of French Renaissance poetry. Consulting different versions and re-editions of this texts is crucial for the development of this project (particularly in terms of identifying textual variants, compositional changes, added or omitted poems, and consulting marginal notes), hence the need for extensive travel in France, namely to the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris and the Bibliothèque municipale in Lyon.

Kelly Hunnings, PhD candidate, University of New Mexico – Ireland and the Laboring-Class Poetic Tradition: Tracing the Chaotic Domestic in Mary Barber’s Verse
This doctoral project looks at how the poetry of women laboring-class Irish, Scottish, and English poets of the eighteenth century talk to and with one another across national borders, and in doing so challenge our conceptions of literary networks and laboring-class women writers broadly. I argue for the shared use of what I term as a “chaotic domestic” to describe an image of the domestic that is turbulent, unruly, and one that mirrors what is happening outside of the home within nature. The primary methodological approach for this research project is close textual analysis of primary source materials, including memoirs, novels, poems, articles, and public records at Trinity College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland. These texts are crucial for decoding the limits and possibilities of an Irish laboring-class poetic tradition. I will conduct archival research on cultural ephemera to historically contextualize the discourses of eighteenth century Irish nationhood as a socio-cultural construct prevalent in popular discourses that Barber comments on. Finally, I will use the theoretical frameworks of literary networks and gender studies to formulate my interpretation of these texts in connection with other laboring-lass women writers, building on Deborah Kennedy’s idea that literary relationships between disempowered writers are built “not from blood, but from ink.”

Second place - £500 each

Fraser Riddell, PhD candidate, Durham University – Lafcadio Hearn and Tactile Sensory Perception: Encountering the Non-Western Sensorium
Lafcadio Hearn is widely considered one of the most important Western writers on Japanese culture in the nineteenth century. Research on Hearn will form an integral part of this post-doctoral project on tactile sensory perception in Victorian literature and culture. The Library of Congress holds the most extensive collection of ‘Hearniana’ outside of Japan, including unpublished correspondence with a number of Hearn’s most important interlocutors on issues relating to physiology, sensory perception and the body. This research responds to an emergent interest in Victorian studies in issues relating to sensory perception. Research at the Library of Congress will make an invaluable contribution to an article examining the significance of tactile perception in non-Western cultures in writings by Lafcadio Hearn and Robert Louis Stevenson. Such work will ultimately form part of a monograph that explores tactile perception in Victorian culture more generally, encompassing studies of texts by the Brontës, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, and others. The monograph will be the first of its kind to theorise ideas of tactility, hapticity and literary style both in the light of Victorian science and contemporary critical theory. This research will also inform a planned critical edition of Hearn’s stories and essays for Broadview Press (co-edited with Nicoletta Asciuto, York University). This will represent the first scholarly edition of Hearn’s works to present a representative range of his writings, including selections of his journalism on Creole culture in New Orleans, ghost stories from China and Japan, crime reporting in Cincinatti, and his translations of works by Flaubert and Maupassant.

Sidonia Serafini, PhD candidate, University of Georgia - Black, White, and Native: The Multicultural, Multiracial, Multinational Print Space of The Southern Workman
With the digitization of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century periodicals, contemporary readers and scholars have been given access to material that disrupts accepted racial categorizations of certain periodical publications. One of these platforms is The Southern Workman (1872-1939), published by Hampton Institute, one of America’s first historically black industrial schools and boarding schools for American Indians. Because it was edited and vetted by Hampton’s white administration who published pieces by mostly white contributors, The Southern Workman is typically considered a racially homogeneous print space. It is, however, much more complex. Since its inception, the periodical was materially produced by black and Native students. By the turn of the twentieth century, it evolved from a predominantly white platform to one that crossed racial, cultural, and national boundaries and featured writing from some of the most well-known figures in African American and North American Indigenous literature and politics. This project will result in the first longitudinal study published on The Southern Workman. Building upon Frances Smith Foster’s interrogations of the racial categorization of American periodicals and Eric Gardner’s examinations of the periodical press as an “unexpected” print space wherein African American literature took shape, this project brings under scrutiny the notion that The Southern Workman is a racially, culturally, and nationally monolithic platform. Examining the records held at Hampton University in Hampton, VA, where The Southern Workman archives are held, will allow me to construct a detailed chronicle of this unique multicultural, multiracial, multinational publication.

Marjan Moosavi, PhD candidate, University of Toronto - Socio-cultural Interventionist Theatre in Iran: Themes and Aesthetics
This research project examines the way socio-cultural interventionist theatre in Iran functions as a counter-conduct to the dominant forces of religion, norms of the community and politicized emotion. Bridging recent scholarship in various fields, including body studies, religious studies, emotion studies, and semiotics and contextualizing them allows me to design a localized critical and analytical methodology that is accountable to the study of theatre in Muslim Middle Eastern countries. My research on the Iranian theatre by artists in Iran and in diaspora, as well as my role as a Regional Managing Editor for, which is the biggest global theatre news website, involves conducting extensive archival research through travelling to Iran, interviewing artists, attending the performances, visiting theatre archives, as well as translating from Persian, Arabic and Kurdish into English.

The Literary Encyclopedia Travel Award 2017

The awards went to:

Eleanor Careless, PhD candidate, University of Sussex “Charged with Terrorism: Gender and Political Violence in the Poetry of Anna Mendelssohnˮ
This research project is the first sustained study of the poet, artist and activist Anna Mendelssohn (1948-2009) alongside comparative figures including Muriel Rukeyser and Nancy Cunard. The project argues that Mendelssohn's experimental, highly political poetry permits an unusual degree of insight into how ˮterroristˮ subjects represent themselves. In 1972 Mendelssohn was charged of conspiracy to commit explosions, and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. With close reference to literary archives, media accounts, trial transcripts and other primary data, the project examines the ways in which gendered representations of political violence drove terror and counter-terror strategies in Britain and America in the 1970s. The central argument is that the temporary measures and gender constructs of the 1970s paved the way for counter-terror legislation in Britain and the US today. The award would enable the examination of the Nancy Cunard Collection, held in Austin, Texas. The material held there would allow for the development of a comparative chapter on Mendelssohn, Cunard and their profoundly Surrealist poetics - the only detailed study of this kind, which is likely to generate considerable interest from scholars of both poets. Encouraged by the recent publication of Nancy Cunard's Selected Poems by Sandeep Parmar, it seems a timely moment to study artistic output that inscribes a lived experience of resistance.

Naomi Wood, Lecturer and Writer, Goldsmiths, University of London “Torch Songˮ A Novel
Following the success of the widely-acclaimed debut novel Mrs Hemingway, the work-in-progress Torch Song is a historical novel set in the German Bauhaus between 1923 and 1933. This is a time of glorious permission and abrupt control: the novel goes from the classical city of Weimar, to Walter Gropius' modernist architectural masterpiece of the Bauhaus in Dessau, and eventually to the school's tragic closure in Nazi Berlin. This is a story of the birth, and the suffocation, of modernity in the twentieth century. Funding from the Literary Encyclopaedia will be used to undertake primary research at the archives in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin, as well interviewing the librarians and curators of the Bauhaus archives and buildings.

Arendse Lund, PhD candidate, University College London - “Literature and Law in Anglo-Saxon Englandˮ
Anglo-Saxon law-codes and charters comprise the largest and most diverse corpus of legal texts surviving from early medieval Europe. This project sets out to explore links between the development of literary language and the development of legal language. Building on the influential work of Patrick Wormald and including discourses on the use of literary and legal language and the perception of authenticity and authority, the project brings together the stylistic and rhetorical elements to assess whether the Anglo-Saxon legal codes had a more fluid relationship with Old English literature than previously acknowledged. The purpose of the archival research is to examine the unedited or undigitised early medieval legal manuscripts in the Royal Library, the National Library of Denmark, and the Copenhagen University Library, including the Arnamagn]an Manuscript Collection. The Danish collections contain important manuscripts crucial to this research, as the majority of scholarship on the intersection of literature and law rely on the Old Norse corpus. This will be important for comparison, especially in light of England as an Anglo-Danish settlement.


Alexandra Parsons, PhD candidate, University College London - “Derek Jarman and Life Writingˮ
British filmmaker, writer, artist and activist Derek Jarman (1942-94) blended visionary queer politics with experimental self-representation. The connection between art and activism underpins Jarman's powerful, imaginative response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. Like a number of New York artists and writers including David Wojnarowicz, Keith Haring, Peter Hujar and Edmund White, Jarman consistently created art with material drawn from his own life, using it as a generative activist force. The LE award will help in funding a three-month period of research at Yale University, which is rich in relevant archival resources, in order to critique the transatlantic dimension of Jarman's response to the HIV/AIDS crisis. This research makes a significant contribution to LGBTQ+ studies by providing the first full-length study of Jarman's writing, incorporating analyses of his strategic self-representations across literature, film and art.

You can read the reports on the research results achieved here:

The Literary Encyclopedia Travel Award 2016

The awards went to:

Andrew Keener, PhD candidate, Northwestern University - “Theaters of Translation: Cosmopolitan Vernaculars in Shakespeare’s England”
The research project examines the connections between Renaissance drama and 16th &17th century language-learning publications: the project argues that the works of William Shakespeare, Mary Sidney, Ben Jonson, and other playwrights exemplify “cosmopolitan vernaculars,” both on the page and on the stage. By this term, the author refers to multiple, non-classical languages in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that overlap, intersect, and communicate with each other across a wide variety of manuscript and printed materials, literary and non-literary. This project employs a forensic approach to surviving multilingual dictionaries, grammars, and dialogue books in order to identify cosmopolitan vernaculars and to analyze their functions in dramatic settings.

Anne Royston, PhD Candidate, Utah University“Between Theory and Artist’s Book: Materiality, Writing, Technology”
The project traces a genealogy of experimental “artists’ books” (from Bataille and Derrida through Avital Ronell, Mark C. Taylor, and Johanna Drucker), aiming to address the interface of information and materiality. It is framed by questions of “media-specificity” (how a text communicates; how media-specific practices, applied to both analog and digital technologies, shape our understanding of what we read), but, while most media-specific work is oriented to the new media of digital-cultural, this project considers a no less urgent set of questions about the affordances of “old media”, how the book works as a formal and material technology that solicits and enables particular modes of reading and attention. Steeped in the traditions of continental philosophy, each of the chosen texts interrogates the very conditions of book production, organization, and reception, and how, in doing so, they make unusual demands on their readers.


Spenser Tricker, PhD candidate, Miami University - “‘A Healthful Industry’: Racialized Labor and Pacific Piracy in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Crater”
This research project seeks to shift the focus of nineteenth-century American literary studies away from its conventional emphasis on transatlantic exchanges to a reconsideration of Pacific contexts. An additional innovation is its comparative, bilingual approach (the first section explores the work of canonical American writers James Fenimore Cooper and Herman Melville, while the second addresses the Hispanophone work of Filipino nationalist figure José Rizal and the writings of Asian-American author Sui Sin Far). It thus attends to a wide array of canonical and less conventional literary works, maintaining that the gothic genre developed concomitantly with the creation of the arbitrary islander in nineteenth-century U.S literary history. This genre proved especially well-suited to imagining the Pacific world as a foreboding and epistemologically vexing site populated with figures that threatened U.S. imperial and commercial ambitions. The research develops its own account of biopolitics that revises as much as it draws on this discourse’s theoretical suppositions. Finally, it builds upon the recent turn away from strictly symptomatic readings of the gothic to examine how this genre works on the surface to depict emerging rather than repressed threats to Anglo-American culture.

You can read the reports on the research results achieved here:

The Literary Encyclopedia Travel Award 2015

The awards went to:

Robert Imes, PhD candidate, University of Saskatchevan‘A History of Leicestershire Chorographies: From Leland to Burton’
Imes’ research surveys the development of early modern chorographies (regional geographical texts) of Leicestershire, focusing in particular on the corpus of cartographer William Smith (1550-1618) in order to contextualize a uniquely sophisticated map of Leicestershire that he published in William Burton’s (1575-1645) Description of Leicestershire (1622). His research engages dynamically the work of scholars who study early modern chorography and cartography, but the analyses of original primary texts that he will undertake in Oxford with the help of this travel grant will facilitate the inclusion of these lesser-known texts in the larger scholarly community. In its conjunction of primary textual analysis with larger geographical, bibliographical and cartographic contexts, this project tunes in with our desire to explore and encourage intellectual and scholarly research into all aspects of cultural geography.


Dr Anne Markey, Dublin City University, Editor for the Irish Literature volume of The Literary Encyclopedia‘The Godwins’ Juvenile Library’
This project aims to compare and contrast the extent to which the Juvenile Library, established in 1805 by William Godwin and his second wife, Mary Jane, can be described as a vehicle for social and political reform and the extent to which its output reflected the demands and constraints of the early nineteenth-century market in children's books. The grant will enable Anne to complete research (by consulting the Osborne Collection of Children’s books in Toronto, whose holdings include approximately 40 Juvenile Library publications) which will contribute significantly to critical revaluations of Georgian children’s literature as well as to ongoing assessments of William Godwin’s work and legacy.

You can read the reports on the research results achieved here:

The Emory Elliott Undergraduate Memorial Prize

This prize was discontinued in 2012 and replaced by our Research Travel Award, a competition launched in January every year.

Click here to see the 2011 Prize-winning Essays.

Click here to see the 2010 Prize-winning Essays.

Click here to see the 2009 Prize-winning Essays.