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The Charles Bernheimer Prize Citations 2010

2010 Prize Winner:

This year's Bernheimer Prize Award for Best Dissertation by a Graduate Student in Comparative Literature goes to Elizabeth Young of Wellesley College, for her dissertation, "The Mediated Muse: Catullan Lyricism and Roman Translation."

Perhaps the most striking feature of this multi-faceted exploration of translation and literary belatedness in the ancient Roman lyric tradition is its methodological pluralism. Young judiciously draws on tactics from a range of methodologies sometimes seen as antagonists rather than allies: precise philological and textual attention; an ear for the fine points of material versification; challenging theoretical questions and urgent cultural concerns. Evincing a literary sensibility as alert to the play of single letters in a prosodic line as to the contours of Greek and Roman culture in their broadest outlines, the moves from etymology to empire are wholly convincing. Indeed, all the readers praised the exceptionally well-written prose: stylish and energetic, without being mannered; lucid, without simplifying. Although deeply enmeshed in the linguistic and material particulars of the ancient Roman world, Young's work also raises broad and compelling questions about the ways in which literary form and genre relate to history. Her explorations of the dynamics and contexts of Roman translation offer valuable lessons for scholars working in almost any national literature or period . “The Mediated Muse: Catullan Lyricism and Roman Translation” represents, in sum, an original, significant, and finely executed contribution to comparative literary studies.

2010 Bernheimer Prize Committee:
Chris Bush, Northwestern University (Chair)
Craig Dworkin, University of Utah
Yopie Prins, University of Michigan