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The Horst Frenz Prize Citations 2004

2004 Prize Winner:

Sarah Casteel (Columbia University), for her paper, "Joy Kogawa’s Native Envy:
New World Discourse in Obasan and Itsuka," presented at the 2003 Annual Meeting in San Marcos.

"The committee was particularly pleased with the extremely strong group of essays it received from the 2003 ACLA conference in California. It was an adventurous and innovative group of papers, and we found it a difficult task indeed to select only one winner since several of the papers were worthy of recognition. However, the committee is happy to announce that the 2004 Horst Frenz Prize is awarded to Sarah Casteel’s paper entitled, "Joy Kogawa's Native Envy: New World Discourse in Obasan and Itsuka." Sarah was a graduate student at Columbia University at the time she presented her paper and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Sarah’s paper explores the interaction of diasporic writers such as Japanese-Canadian Joy Kogawa with indigenous narratives and traditions. Casteel suggests that Euro-American New World literatures are marked by the problem of establishing a sense of belonging that often leads New World writers to identify with the figure of the Indian. She then focuses on the even more acute problem confronted by diasporic New World writers who participate in neither the European settler narratives nor in the indigenous tales. Casteel argues that many diasporic writers use First Nation characters or images to confront the problem. She is also careful to take a critical look at the location of First Nation peoples in natural landscapes in these texts, arguing that such associations can signal the persistence of a traditional New World discourse about the primitive even in Canada’s preeminent diasporic writer. Sarah Casteel thus produces a carefully reasoned and genuinely insightful study. As the nominator of this paper, Assistant Professor Rachel Adams, put it, “In addition to making a significant contribution to scholarship on Joy Kogawa, Casteel's paper [plays] an important part … in locating Canada within emergent scholarship on New World or Inter-American Studies. Lucidly written and articulately presented, her work shows her to be a skillful reader of literature and someone who is on the way to becoming a major figure within Canadian, post-colonial, and New World Studies. This is precisely the kind of work that makes an organization like the ACLA exciting and timely.” "

2004 Frenz Prize Committee:
Kathleen Komar (University of California - Los Angeles, chair)
Kevin Larsen (University of Wyoming)
Miriam Cooke (Duke University)