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The Horst Frenz Prize Citations 2014

Be it known that Katharine Trostel of the University of California, Santa Cruz is the winner of the 2014 Horst Frenz Prize for the best presentation by a graduate student at the annual conference of the American Comparative Literature Association, which, in 2013, was held at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada.

An astute exploration of monuments to the victims of political violence, as moving as it is insightful, this study focuses on Chile, and the atrocities committed by the Maoist group, Shining Path, and by the Peruvian government. The analysis has relevance beyond Peru, and is an attempt to understand memorials in the human landscape, both monumental and literary, The discussion begins with the Dutch artist, Lika Mutal's edifice, "The Eye That Cries", which Katherine Hite describes as follows: “A trickle of water runs continually from the rock, as an eye that cries, that mourns the violence.” Further, "Around this central stone is a labyrinth composed of thousands (about 32,000) smaller stones. Each of these pebbles bears the name of a supposed victim of the conflict." Trostel juxtaposes a description of this monument with an analysis of Karina Pacheco Medrano’s 2010 short story collection Alma Alga. The result is a stunning tribute both to the artistry of a monument builder, Mutal, and of a fiction writer, Pacheco Medrano, in memorializing what is all too common in the world, the heinous assassination of thousands of nameless and helpless victims, popularly known in South America as "the disappeared.” The judges particularly appreciated the tactful and compelling way the author bridges the visual and verbal arts while respecting the integrity of each.

The American Comparative Literature Association takes pride is making this award to Katherine Trostel, and congratulates her on her outstanding achievement.

2014 Frenz Prize Committee:
Eugene Eoyang, Indiana University (Chair)
Kathleen Komar, University of California, Los Angeles
Margaret Higgonet, University of Connecticut