2017 Prize Winner:
This year's Presidential Master's Prize for Best Graduate thesis on a Comparative Topic goes to Karolina Watroba (University of Oxford) for her thesis, "World Literature and Literary Value: Is 'Global' the New 'Lowbrow'?".
Watroba’s essay achieves a schematization of issues of tremendous significance across the broad range of conversations and methods in comparative literature, namely the inescapable questions of literary value that trouble even the most materialist attempts at “comparison” in a global frame. The essay lays ground for future work by highlighting the impasse that literary critics are dogged by our methodological suspicion of value questions even as value would prove the most robust and disciplinarily-specific rubric for engaging with the world of literature.2017 Presidential Master's Prize Committee
Anna Kornbluh (Commitee Chair 2016-2017), University of Illinois, Chicago
Zita Nunes, University of Maryland
Susannah Gottlieb, Northwestern University