[From the official announcement] – THE MEMBERS OF the Trollope Prize committee at the University of Kansas are pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Trollope Prize.
The winner of the graduate competition is Rebecca Richardson, a graduate student at Stanford University, for her essay titled “A Competitive World: Ambition and Self-Help in Trollope’s An Autobiography and The Three Clerks.” Richardson will receive a $2000 honorarium. In addition, her essay will be published by The Fortnightly Review, which has also provided an additional monetary reward.
Richardson’s essay, the judges noted, “introduces the notion of Trollope’s ‘comparative style,’ a subtle way in which Trollope sets forth character pairs in the hopes not so much of creating a binary moral judgment as of mapping complex moral and epistemological puzzles (or even ‘muddles’) by moving back and forth across them, from one pole to another.” The panel praised the essay for the significance of its argument and its “immersion not only in Trollope’s works but in Trollope scholarship, as well as [its] depth of knowledge about Victorian culture.” The panel also commended the essay’s “incisive and lucid framing of a new way of thinking about the ‘vacillation plot’ in Trollope.”
Honorable mention in the graduate competition goes to “Navigating ‘A System of Shams’: Publicity, Interiority, and The Warden,” written by Andrew Willson, a graduate student at Yale University. The panel noted that Willson’s essay focuses “on Victorian views of publicity as represented in a variety of texts, both journalistic and novelistic.” The judges commended Willson’s compelling essay for demonstrating Trollope’s unusual treatment of publicity and its effects on interiority in The Warden.
The undergraduate prize has not been awarded this year. The Prize committee urges all professors who are teaching Trollope’s works at the undergraduate level to strongly encourage their students to submit essays for next year’s competition.
The judges for this year’s competition were Dorice Williams Elliott, Associate Professor of English at the University of Kansas, and Deborah Denenholz Morse, Professor of English at the College of William & Mary. John Plotz, Professor of English at Brandeis University, graciously stepped in to serve as the third judge when Andrew H. Miller, Professor of English and Director of the Victorian Studies Program at Indiana University, Bloomington, needed to withdraw. All entries in the competition were read and judged anonymously with respect to both the entrants’ names and their institutional affiliations.
The Trollope Prize is administered by the English department at the University of Kansas, with support from the Hall Center for the Humanities. It is awarded annually to the best undergraduate and graduate essays in English on the works of Anthony Trollope. The Prize was established to focus attention on Trollope’s work and career; though he is one of the most important writers in the Victorian period and in the history of the novel, his novels are often overlooked today. The Prize is designed to help promote the study of Trollope in college classrooms and to encourage student engagement with both Trollope’s work and Victorian literary history through their own intensive research and writing.
The deadline for the coming year’s competition is June 1, 2013.