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The Horst Frenz Prize Citations 2013 HM

2013 Honorable Mention:

Be it known that Tom Nurmi, of the University of Arizona, was awarded honorable mention in the competition for the 2013 Horst Frenz Prize for the best presentation by a graduate student at the annual conference of the American Comparative Literature Association, which, in 2012, was held at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Tom Nurmi's paper, “Corpse Traffic: Trans-Pacific Geographies and the Ethics of Writing in Twain’s Roughing It,” is a moving and compelling account of the treatment of Chinese laborers in the United States in the 19th century, as well as an astute analysis of the subtlety of the early Mark Twain's satirical description of Chinese immigrants in Roughing It. One of the virtues of this essay is its easy application of contemporary literary theory to explore the multi-layered character of Twain's writing, which both embodies the prejudices he is critiquing, and satirizing it. It is impossible to read this essay not to be shocked at a neglected portion of U.S. history, or to avoid gaining a greater appreciation for Mark Twain as a deeply moral, socially committed writer.

The American Comparative Literature Association takes pride in making this award to Tom Nurmi, and congratulates him on his outstanding achievement.

2013 Frenz Prize Committee:
Eugene Eoyang, Lingnan University and Indiana University (Chair)
Virginia Jackson (Tufts),
Kathleen Komar (UCLA)