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The Charles Bernheimer Prize Citations 2013

2013 Prize Winner:

This year's Bernheimer Prize Award for Best Dissertation by a Graduate Student in Comparative Literature goes to Julia Chi Yan Ng of Northwestern University, for her dissertation, "Conditions of Impossibility: Failure and Fictions of Perpetual Peace."

Julia Chi Yan Ng"s dissertation, "Conditions of Impossibility: Failures and Fictions of Perpetual Peace." explores the mathematical foundations of the project for perpetual peace that has served as the frame of reference for modernity's view of law, justice and international politics. Reflecting on the link between the constitution of scientific objectivity and the expression and execution of political power, her work provides an original conception of the connection among three key elements of modern critical thought: those signaled by the names Descartes, Kant, and Walter Benjamin, each of whom proposes a program of perpetual peace on the basis of contemporaneous literary, mathematical, and architectural models. Each of these programs for perpetual peace, as Ng demonstrates, includes a condition under which it is doomed to fail hence the apt title.

2013 Bernheimer Prize Committee:
Sangeeta Ray, University of Maryland (Chair)
Peter Paik, University of Wisconsin
Monica Popescu, McGill University