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Charles Bernheimer Prize

NOTE: Details about the 2019-2020 competition for the Bernheimer Prize will not be available until summer 2019. Contact for further information.

The Bernheimer Prize goes to the best dissertation nominated by a department or program. The dissertation must have been defended in the year prior to July 1, 2018. Each institutional may nominate one dissertation in the field of comparative literature, identified as the best without regard to actual departmental affiliation.  The prize carries an award of $1,000 and a certificate, complimentary registration for the Annual Meeting, as well as airfare and hotel accommodations** (not including food) to facilitate the recipient attending the 2019 ACLA Annual Meeting.  (**economy-class airfare roundtrip from wherever the prize winner is located the week before the conference, and hotel accommodation for up to 4 nights at the conference hotel rate, or rough equivalent thereof if the conference hotel is booked).

Congratulations to the winner of the 2018-2019 Bernheimer Prize:

  • William C. Stroebel (University of Michigan) for his dissertation "Fluid Books Fluid Borders:  Modern Greek and Turkish Book Networks in a Shifting Sea" (CITATION)


The information below is for historical purposes only. As noted above, updated information on the 2019-2020 competition will be available in Summer 2019.

To nominate a dissertation for the 2018-2019 Bernheimer Prize, please notify both the ACLA secretariat, Alexander Beecroft, and the chair of the committee by the deadline of October 1st, 2018.

Nominators should submit a letter or report of one or two pages, outlining the exceptional qualities of the nominated dissertation. Copies of the nominating letter should be sent, along with copies of the dissertation, to each member of the committee. If electronic copies of the materials are available, it is requested that in addition to the hard copies, the electronic copies be e-mailed to the members of the committee.

You may mail submissions to the 2018-2019 Charles Bernheimer Prize Committee at the following addresses (e-mail addresses are linked to the name):

American Comparative Literature Association, University of South Carolina Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, 1620 College Street, Rm. 813A, Columbia SC 29208

The 2018-2019 Charles Bernheimer Committee was:
Brent Hayes Edwards (Columbia University), Department of English and Comparative Literature, 602 Philosophy Hall, Mail Code 4927, Columbia University, 1150 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY 10027.(Committtee Chair 2018-2019)
Anahid Nersessian (University of California, Los Angeles), 149 Humanities Building, Box 951530, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1530 1530
Yomi Braester (University of Washington) Department of Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media / Box 354338 / University of Washington / Seattle, WA 98195
Previous Bernheimer winners:

  • Katherine “Katie” Kadue, (University of California, Berkeley), for her dissertation Domestic Georgic from Rabelais to Milton (CITATION) (2018)

  • Amir Khadem (University of Alberta) for his dissertation  Endemic Pains and Pandemic Traumas: The Narrative Construction of Public Memory in Iran, Palestine, and the United States (CITATION) (2018)

  • Kristin Ann Dickinson (University of California, Berkeley) for her dissertation, "Translation and the Experience of Modernity: A History of German-Turkish Connectivity." (CITATION) (2017)
  • Eugenia Kelbert (Yale University) for her dissertation "Acquiring a Second Literature: Patterns in Translingual Writing from Modernism to the Moderns". (CITATION)
    Ramsey McGlazer (University of California, Berkeley) for his dissertation, "Old Schools: Modernism, Pedagogy, and the Critique of Progress". (CITATION)
  • John H. Kim (Harvard University) for his dissertation "The Poetics of Diagram" (2015). (CITATION)
    Tristram Wolff (University of California, Berkeley) for his dissertation "Romantic Etymology and Language Ecology" (2015).  (CITATION)
  • Shaul Setter (University of California, Berkeley) for his dissertation "After the Fact: Potential Collectivities in Israel/Palestine" (2014). (CITATION)
  • Julia Chi Yan Ng (Northwestern University) for her dissertation "Conditions of Impossibility: Failure and Fictions of Perpetual Peace" (2013). (CITATION)
    David Simon (University of California, Berkeley) for his dissertation "Careless Engagements: Literature, Science, and the Ethics of Indifference in Early Modernity" (2013 Honorable Mention). (CITATION)
  • Lily Gurton-Wachter (University of California - Berkeley) for her dissertation "Keeping Watch: Wartime Attention and the Poetics of Alarm around 1800" (2012). (CITATION)
  • Bishupal Limbu (Northwestern University) for his dissertation "Fiction, Theory, and Social Justice: Dispropriative Readings" (2011). (CITATION)
  • Elizabeth Young (UC Berkley), for her dissertation, "The Mediated Muse: Catullan Lyricism and Roman Translation" (2010). (CITATION)
  • Jonathan Brook Haley (University of California - Irvine) for his dissertation "Atomic Poetry: Materialist Rhythms in Lucretius, Du Bellay, and Mallarmé" (2009). (CITATION)
  • Marisa Galvez (Stanford University), for her dissertation, "Medium as Genre: A Historical Phenomenology of the Medieval Songbook in the Occitan, German, and Castilian Traditions" (2008). (CITATION)
  • Karen Laura Thornber (Harvard University), for "Cultures and Texts in Motion: Negotiating and Reconfiguring Japan and Japanese Literature in Polyintertextual East Asian Contact Zones (Japan, Semicolonial China, Colonial Korea, Colonial Taiwan)" (2007). (CITATION)
  • Ilya Kliger (Yale University), for "Truth, Time and the Novel: Veridiction in Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Balzac" (2006). (CITATION)
    Honorable Mention: Irene Perciali (University of California - Berkeley), for "Personifying Capitalism: Economic Imagination, the Novel, and the Entrepreneur" (2006). (CITATION)
  • Shaden Tageldin (University of California - Berkeley), for "Disarming Words: Reading (Post)Colonial Egypt's Double Bond to Europe" (2005). (CITATION)
    Honorable Mention: Jutta Maria Gsoels-Lorensen (Yale University), for "Epitaphic Remembrance: Representing a Catastrophic Past in Second Generation Texts" (2005). (CITATION)
  • Stephanie Glaser (Indiana University), for "Explorations of the Gothic Cathedral in Nineteenth-Century France" (2004). (CITATION)
  • Emily Wilson (Yale University), for "'Why do I Overlive?' Greek, Latin, and English Tragic Survival" (2003).
  • Christopher Paul Bush (University of California - Los Angeles), for "Ideographies: Figures of China and Japan in Modern French Literature" (2002).
    Runners up: Aiko Okamoto MacPhail (Indiana University), for "Imagining Modernity: European Japonism and Japanese Westernism" (2002) and Max Statkiewicz (State University of New York - Stony Brook), for "Theatrum Platonicum: New Perspectives on the 'Old Quarrel' between Philosophy and the Theater" (2002).