English Department Annual Undergraduate Awards
The English Department presents the following undergraduate awards every spring. See below for recent winners.
The Henry Clay Stier Award in English: This award is given to the graduating senior English major with the highest GPA.
The Donald Pizer Award in American Literature: This award is given to a graduating senior English major who has done exceptional work in American literature, including outstanding performance in coursework and/or research.
The Pierce Butler Prize for Excellence in English: This prize is given to a graduating senior with an outstanding record or exceptional accomplishment in the English major.
The Virginia Gleaves Lazarus Memorial Award: This prize is awarded for the best essay written by a junior or senior woman.
Lydia Frotscher Award: This prize is awarded for the best essay written by an undergraduate.
Class of 1903 Shakespeare Prize: This prize is awarded for the best essay about Shakespeare written by an undergraduate woman.
Senior Scholar: This prize is given to the highest-achieving honors student based on the quality of the honors thesis.
Department of English Prize for Citizenship: This prize is awarded to the undergraduate who has best served and supported the program and fellow students.
Creative Writing Awards
Studio in the Woods Residency: This prize is given to an Outstanding Senior in Creative Writing
The Dale Edmonds Prize: This prize is awarded to the best short story by an undergraduate.
The Quarante Club Prize: This prize is awarded for the best short story by an undergraduate woman.
The Award for Service to the Literary Community: This prize is awarded to the graduating senior who has best served and supported the writing community.
The Senior Achievement Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing: This award is awarded to the graduating senior with an outstanding record or accomplishment in creative writing.
The Henry Clay Stier Award in English: Benjamin Daniel Hughes
Ben is a truly exceptional student who will graduate having taken, and earned As in, fourteen English courses. As one faculty member puts it, Ben’s academic and creative writing evince a wisdom and maturity far beyond his years; even as a sophomore, he seemed more like an advanced graduate student. Another professor describes Ben as “an absolute joy” to work with: “He ranks easily among the best I have taught in 20 years at Tulane.” (Testimonials from TR Johnson and Tom Albrecht)
The Donald Pizer Award in American Literature: Claire Louise Stephens
Multiple professors nominated Claire, praising her as a remarkable student. Her coursework in American literature ranges from Early US Poetics to Slave Narratives to Native American Modernisms. As a writer and discussant, Claire demonstrates a rare combination of intellectual ambition, creative analysis, and meticulous research. Claire has also been a leader within the department: Fellow students describe her as an academic role model who exemplifies what it means to care passionately about ideas and ethical inquiry. (Nominated by Ed White and Tom Albrecht)
The Pierce Butler Prize for Excellence in English: Isla Beggs Suess
Professor Melissa Bailes describes Isla as an outstanding student and intellectual leader, eager to grapple with difficult texts. But Isla’s commitment to literary studies also reaches beyond the classroom. As an intern at 826! New Orleans, she worked at The Living School and BeLoud Studios, helping young people develop and publish creative writing about their communities. She has also worked at the Amistad Research Collections and edits Pretty Good Pieces, a student-run literary magazine. (Nominated by Melissa Bailes)
The Virginia Gleaves Lazarus Memorial Award: Caitlyn A Pierce
(Jewish Am Lit, Fall 2022) Caitlyn's essay, "Science Fiction Isn't This Sexy," links Marge Piercy’s futuristic novel, He, She, & It, to the romance genre – specifically for its portrayal of relationships between women intellectuals and artificial male beings. However, punning on the Jewish concept of "tikkun olam" ("the repair of the world") Caitlyn argues it must begin with "the repair of patriarchy-based gender relations." In perceptive close readings, she explores Piercy’s reimagining of heteronormative masculinity via tabula rasa non-humans, a golem and an android, who are placed under the tutelage of brilliant women. (Nominated by Joel Dinerstein)
Lydia Frotscher Award: Elizabeth Currie
(ENLS 4190: Enlightenment Lit & Culture F22) Elizabeth Currie's excellent essay, "Oroonoko: The Conjugal Slave," provides a careful, original, and well-researched reading of Aphra Behn's 1688 novella, Oroonoko. Speculating on Behn's motives for portraying her African protagonist in recognizably feminine and European terms, Elizabeth argues that the narrative minimizes experiences of violent racial subjugation under slavery in order to foreground the oppression of white women in European marriages, and thus subtly anticipates works by later women writers such as Mary Astell's Some Reflections Upon Marriage (1700). (Nominated by Melissa Bailes)
Senior Scholar: Molly Elizabeth Graham
Molly’s thesis “‘Little Tranquility’: Beth March’s Death and Why it Still Matters” breaks genuinely new and important ground in scholarship on Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel, Little Women. Analyzing Beth’s characterization from its origin in 19thC sentimentalism through dozens of written, cinematic, and zine adaptations, Molly shows how it reinforces the ongoing fetishization, feminization, and whitening of innocence in US culture. Committee members praised her astute textual analyses, sophisticated engagement with literary criticism and cultural theory, and authoratative -- often funny -- argumentative voice. (Committee: Kate Adams, Tom Albrecht, Clare Daniel)
Department of English Prize for Citizenship: Madeleine Alice Draper
Professor Isa Hinrichs praises Madeleine’s work for the Tulane community over the past four years, including her service as a Peer Mentor and chief copy editor of the Hullabaloo. Tailoring her approach to individual needs, Madeleine has helped dozens of students become for involved and integrated, academically and socially. Her deep understanding of campus systems of knowledge and power – drawn from majors in History, Philosophy, and English – has proved invaluable when serving as a liaison between students and professors and working to provide equitable access to the (hidden) curriculum and other resources. (Nominated by Isa Hinrichs)
A Studio in the Woofs Residency: Megan (Mae) Ashley Graber
The Old Hotel” by Mae Graber is a delicately told account of a prodigal daughter’s return to her rural hometown. Her relationship with her father, as well as where she has been, are slowly revealed over the course of a meandering drive home during which he narrates the town’s gossip as they pass various landmarks. Full of dark humor and sharp observation, “The Old Hotel” is a haunting study of character and place. (Nominated by Thomas Beller)
The Award for Service to the Literary Community: Bridget Gibbons
“The Winding Road” is told by a youngest daughter, the baby who took forever to emerge after forcing her irritable mother into labor on a hot sweaty Chicago day. The baby girl is her father’s favorite and she loves to brush his jet-black hair after dinner. When she discovers a gray hair, she is plunged into worries about her dad’s mortality. Bridget Gibbons, a sophomore English major from Chicago, hopes to work as a journalist after graduation. (Nominated by Katy Reckdahl)
The Dale Edmonds Prize: Sydney Margareta Soganich
Sydney Soganich’s story “When the Lights Come On” depicts a character who realizes too late that her marriage is over. This brutally brief, tightly controlled scene is a marvel of compression that is also capacious in its understanding of the human heart. And the writing is gorgeous. Currently a first-year student, Soganich is a young writer whose career will be well worth watching. (Nominated by Brad Richard, Chosen by Dale Edmonds)
The Quarante Prize: Ashley L Johnson
A vivid postcard from an eerie, menacing, and uneasily familiar world. In less than three pages, Ashley Johnson creates an intimate portrait of two people escaping something terrible, and destined for a fate even worse. The reader is left with the image of a pet tiger (gentle, raised from birth) who, upon licking its young master's skinned knee, discovers it "likes the taste so much that it ends up eating the kid." (Nominated by Nathanial Rich)
The Senior Achievement Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing: Karlyn Simcox
Karlyn is a dedicated student and poet focused on analyzing relationships and the concept of love in her work. (Nominated by Karisma Price)
The Henry Clay Stier Award in English: Jessica Powers
The Donald Pizer Award in American Literature: Kristin Osborne
The Pierce Butler Prize for Excellence in English: Mia Schneller
The Virginia Gleaves Lazarus Memorial Award: Annie Rosenstein: "The Ecology of Graveyard Poetry"
Lydia Frotscher Award: Anna Johnson: "False Consciousness Self-Destructs: Capitalism is Too Good at its Own Game"
Class of 1903 Shakespeare Prize: Lily Levine: "Constrained Feminism in John Fletcher's The Tamer Tamed"
Senior Scholar: Claire Hines: "Literature in the Necropolis: An Analysis of Disease Metaphors in New Orleans"
Department of English Prize for Citizenship: Reagan McKinney
A Studio in the Woods Residency: C.C. Molaison
The Award for Service to the Literary Community: Maiya Tate
The Dale Edmonds Prize: Michael Naish
The Quarante Prize: Mikey Panner
The Senior Achievement Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing: C.C. Molaison
Winners, May 2018
Henry Clay Stier Award in English (Highest GPA): Laynie Kuhlmann
Donald Pizer Award in American Literature: Avery Werther
Pierce ButlerPrize for Excellence in English: Maddie Parker
Virginia Gleaves Lazarus Memorial Award for Best Essay by a Woman: Maria Gomez-Roas
Class of 1903 Shakespeare Prize for the Best Shakespearean Essay by a Woman: Hannah Newsom
Studio in the Woods Residency for an Outstanding Senior in Creative Writing: Jeremy Arnold
The Dale Edmonds Prize for Best Short Story Written by an Undergraduate: Henry Johnson
The Quarante Club Prize for the Best Short Story by a Woman: Kiera Torpie
The Award for Service to the Literary Community: Claire Weil
The Senior Achievement Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing: Nathaniel Koch
Winners, May 2017
Henry Clay Stier Award: Xiayue (Patrick / John Paul) Li
Pierce Butler Prize for Excellence in English: Charles (Cody) Siler
Don Pizer Award in American Literature: Rose Robinson
Lazarus Prize for Best Essay by a Junior or Senior Woman: Hannah Newsom
1903 Shakespeare Prize for Best Shakespearean Essay by a Woman (Senior): Kathy Le
Studio in the Woods Residency for an Outstanding Senior in Creative Writing: Jamie Logan
Dale Edmonds Prize for the Best Short Story Written by an Undergraduate: Jeremy Arnold
Quarante Club Prize for the Best Short Story by a Woman: Samah Ahmed
Award for Service to the Literary Community: Kayla Jackson
Senior Achievement Prize for Excellence in Creative Writing: Maeve Holler