The Priscilla H. Costello Award for Literary Criticism
Zarah-Mikayla Lattimore’s paper, “‘An American Story Incomplete’: Color-Conscious Casting and Representations of the Black Past in Hamilton: The Revolution” tackles a controversial issue -color-conscious casting in Hamilton- in an original way by questioning how color-conscious casting in a literary (theatrical) adaptation of U.S. history functions to erase and distort the experiences of Black people in U.S. history. She sets up her claim clearly; establishes a theoretical framework; practices close reading; and steps back to make a broad claim about how the literary reality and its presentation may have consequences. Her style is crisp; her argument dialectical; and the conclusions relevant to current events in literature, art, and society. Furthermore, Zarah’s paper considers sources from varied disciplines, including the social sciences and the arts.
Read her full work here.
The Carol Camper Award for Essay Writing
Kasey Dugan’s essay “Anti-Semitism in Sir Gawain and The Green Knight” is a well-constructed and fresh re-reading of the Sir Gawain text as “a manifestation of the medieval anxiety surrounding Jews” (Dugan 1). The essay offers detailed and nuanced close reading of the romance, engages in productive dialogue with critical sources, and delights the reader with vivid, sophisticated language.
Read her full essay here.