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The A. Owen Aldridge Prize Citation 2013

The 2013 A. Owen Aldridge Prize is awarded to Lauren Du Graf, a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, for her essay entitled “’Droits d’auteur’: The Faulknerian Author-Function in Godard’s Film Socialisme .”

The heart of this essay is a straightforward exercise in the recuperation of intertextual references across language (English into French), culture, and media, as the French filmmaker continues a lifelong practice of citing the Nobel prizewinner from Mississippi in his films. Du Graf constructs a complex, interdisciplinary edifice of interpretation on the basis of two related questions: how do the extensive and unacknowledged citations of Faulkner in Film Socialisme (in both its cinematic and its textual versions) adhere or defy Faulkner’s authorial rights; and, how does Godard’s treatment of authorial rights embody or contradict the vision of socialism conveyed in the eponymous film?

In a field of entries that was both numerous and of high quality, this essay received top votes from all three judges. One of the judges wrote that the essay is "ambitious, deals with difficult material, shows impressive range of reference and excellent control of the structure of the paper; it asks interesting questions and employs a good comparative methodology." Another judge commented that it “offers a strong reading of Faulkner's presence in Godard's films, and especially of the important role of language and translation in Film Socialisme." There was no debate among the judges who agreed unanimously that "Droit d'auteur" showcases the qualities of scholarship expected in the field of contemporary comparative literary studies, making its author a most worthy recipient of the Aldridge Prize.

The 2013 A. Owen Aldridge Prize Committee:
Salah D. Hassan (Michigan State University)
Eleni Condouriotis (University of Connecticut)
David Rollo (University of Southern California)