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The A. Owen Aldridge Prize Citation 2017

The 2017 A. Owen Aldridge Prize is awarded to Roni Henig, a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at Columbia University, for her essay entitled "Stammering Hebrew - Y.H. Brenner's Deferred Beginnings."

Using Yosef Haim Brenner’s Hebrew novel From the Beginning (Ketavim) as its proof text, the essay contributes to Dysfluency Studies by examining the role of stammer in Brenner’s narrative.  Consistent stammering and stuttering by its characters reflect an ambivalent attentiveness to Hebrew speech that derives from pedagogical, linguistic, and literary debates on the best way forward for the recently revived Hebrew language. The author constructs a sophisticated platform of theory for stammer from the work of Michel de Certeau, Jacques Derrida, and Marc Shell, among others, on top of which she layers historical and biographical context, language history, and close reading of the novel.

Ms. Henig’s essay reveals, as one Aldridge judges expressed it, “deep insight and nuanced analysis.  By analyzing differences between oral and written word, and offering an excellent analysis of the way rhetorical tropes are inflected by stuttering, it sheds new light on the work of Y.H. Brenner with nuanced reading and brilliant theoretical argumentation.” In its equal parts erudition and originality, “Stammering Hebrew” is a most worthy recipient of the Aldridge Prize.
The 2017 A. Owen Aldridge Prize Committee:
Karen Thornber (Commitee Chair 2016-2017), Harvard University
Tomislav Longinovic, University of Wisconsin
Dennis Tenen, Columbia University