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Presidential Master's Prize Citation 2011

2011 Prize Winner:

This year's Presidential Master's Prize for Best Graduate thesis on a Comparative Topic goes to Michal Raizen of University of Texas at Austin, for her thesis, “Reflections of a Jewish ibn 'arab: Language, Identity, and Collectivity in Eli Amir's Yasmin.”

Michal Raizen demonstrates the promising work of a young scholar who probes the significatory processes that underwrite the literary work of Eli Amir and the ways in which he situates the term "ibn 'arab" vis-a-vis notions of modernity, enlightenment, and indigenity. In an explorative and deeply reflective study, Michal Raizen brings the strengths of Comparative Literature as a discipline and her deep knowledge of both the Hebrew and Arabic literary traditions to bear on a complex text that renegotiates confrontational identities and different lines of cultural poetics. Impressed by the strength of her scholarship, the judging committee was also intrigued by some of the challenging theoretical questions her work raised regarding the frameworks of a "poetics of exile," "allegory of the family," and "indigenity." The committee is delighted to commend a strong critical voice in the making.

2011 Presidential Undergraduate Prize Committee:
Helmut Illbruck, Texas A&M University (Chair)
Brenda Machosky, University of Hawaii
Linn Cary Mehta, Barnard College