Prizes, Fellowships, and Awards

Our graduate students excel as scholars, writers, and teachers. This page trumpets the awards they have won at many levels: the English Department, the College, the university, and beyond. While not an exhaustive list, it documents most recent award-winners in Research and Teaching. Our thanks go out to the donors who have made these awards possible.  

Research and Scholarship Awards

Lewis P. Simpson Distinguished Dissertation Award

For half a century a leading voice in American letters, Professor Lewis P. Simpson edited The Southern Review for decades.  This award is granted annually in his memory; it goes to the best dissertation in English defended during the previous calendar year.

  • Jordan Von Cannon for “Idling Women: The Domestic Bildungsroman and the American City, 1830-1900." 2017

  • Madoka Kishi for "The Erotics of Race Suicide: The Making of Whiteness and the Death Drive in the Progressive Era, 1880-1920" and Katherine Willis for "Chaucer’s 'Naked Text' and the Tradition of the Medieval Sublime." 2016

  • Michael Griffin for "The Visual Novel: Fictional Space & Print After 1900." 2015

  • Laura Helen Marks for "Erotic Transgressions: Pornographic Uses of the Victorian." 2014

  • Kristopher Mecholsky for "Adaptation as Anarchist: A Complexity Method for Ideology-Critique of American Crime Narratives." 2013

  • Kristi Melancon for "An African American Discourse Community in Black & White: The New Orleans Tribune." 2012

  • Dan Mangiavellano for "Invisible Links, Abject Chains: Habit in Nineteenth-Century British Literature." 2011

  • Alison Graham-Bertolini for "Home of the Brave: Vigilante Women in Contemporary American Fiction." 2010

  • Sean Flory for "'How to Remember Thee?': Problems of Memorization in English Writing, 1558-1625." 2009

  • Lisa Costello for "Who Speaks and Who Listens? Genre, Gender, and Memory in Holocaust Discourses." 2008

  • Tameka Cage for "Painful Discourses: Borders, Regions, and Representations of Female Circumcision from Africa to America." 2007

  • Dallas Hulsey for "The Iconography of Nationalism: Icons, Popular Culture, and American Nationalism." 2006

  • Judith Kemerait for "Routes of Freedom: Slave Resistance and the Politics of Literary Geography." 2005

  • Bradley Bankston for "Against Biopoetics: On the Use and Misuse of the Concept of Evolution in Contemporary Literary Theory." 2004

  • Camille Martin, for "Radical Dialectics in the Experimental Poetry of Berssenbrugge, Hejinian, Harryman, Weiner, and Scalapino." 2003

  • Christopher Rieger, "Clear-Cutting Eden: Representations of Nature in Southern Fiction, 1930-1950." 2002

James Olney Distinguished Dissertation Award

Awarded annually, to the best dissertation by an English PhD who graduated during the previous calendar year, to honor our emeritus English Professor James Olney.  A renowned autobiography theorist and scholar, Professor Olney brilliantly edited The Southern Review for many years.  

  •  Logan Wiedenfeld for “A Novel Without a Self: Decentering The Protagonist in The Modernist Bildungsroman”

  • Matt Dischinger for "Post-Southern Melancholia: Revising the Region in the Twenty-First Century." 2016

  • Dena Marks for “'Gathering Thinglessness': Samuel Beckett’s Essayistic Approach to Nothing." 2015

  • Corrie Kiesel for "Blame: Marriage, Folklore, and the Victorian Novel." 2014

  • Kristopher Mecholsky for "Adaptation as Anarchist: A Complexity Method for Ideology-Critique of American Crime Narratives." 2013

  • James Long for "Revolutionary Republics: U.S. National Narratives and the Independence of Latin America, 1810-1846." 2012

  • Jessica Ketcham Webber for "Ephemeral Media, Persistent Action: Public Pedagogies of Collective Resistance." 2011

  • Lisa Moody for "Religion and Realism in Late Nineteenth-Century American Literature, 2010." This dissertation also received the College-level nomination for the Josephine Roberts Award.

Josephine A Roberts Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Awarded annually to the best dissertation at LSU in non-science fields.  We are proud that so many of our students have won this university-wide award.  It commemorates our colleague Professor Josephine Roberts, who revolutionized the study of early modern women writers, particularly Lady Mary Wroth.

  • Katherine Willis for Chaucer’s “Naked Text” and the Tradition of the Medieval Sublime. 2016.
  • Monica Miller for Lopsided, Scarred, and Squint-Eyed: Ugly Women in the Work of Southern Women Writers. 2015
  • James Weldon Long for Revolutionary Republics: U.S. National Narratives and the Independence of Latin America, 1810-1846. 2012
  • Lisa Costello for Who Speaks and Who Listens? Genre, Gender, and Memory in Holocaust Discourses. 2007
  • Anthony J. Bolden, All Blues: A Study of African-American Resistance Poetry. 1998
  • Sigrid Marika King, “Vertue vanish’d”: Censorship of Early English Women Dramatists. 1994
  • Mary A. Villeponteaux, “Her excellence to Marre”: The Problem of Feminine Authority in Spenser's Faerie Queene. 1990
  • Constance A. Douglas, Rebirth through Narrative: John Bunyan’s Autobiographies (Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners). 1987 

Gale Carrithers Outstanding Essay Award

Awarded each year for the best essay or essays written by a graduate student in English to honor the memory of Professor Gale Carrithers, our former chair and esteemed Renaissance scholar who mentored graduate students with great care. 

  • Mary Pappalardo for “Writing from the New Colony: Place, Subjectivity, and Textual Production in Guantánamo Diary"

  • Kelly Vines for “A Drama of Class and Race: Southern Progressivism in Paul Green’s The House of Connelly.” 2016

  • Logan Wiedenfeld for “Excess and Economy in Sons and Lovers.” 2015

  • Madoka Kishi for “The Ecstasy of the Martyr”: Lesbianism, Sacrifice, and Morbidness in The Bostonians.” 2014

  • Madoka Kishi for “More Than Anything Else, I Like My Closets: Willa Cather's Melancholic Erotics of the Closet in The Professor's House.” 2013

  • Corrie Kiesel for “Victorian Charivari and Hardy’s ‘Proud Piece of Silk and Wax-Work.’” 2012

  • Mitch Frye for “Westward Expansion, Economic Contraction: The Semi-Cowboy Politics of Fitzgerald’s Last Tycoon.” 2011

  • Jennifer Ellis West for “Technology Knows Best: The Cultural Work of Hospital Birth in 21st Century Film.” 2010

  • Daniel R. Mangiavellano for “The Source of First Principles: Habit, Education, and Moulding the Imagination.” 2009

  • Lisa Moody for “The American ‘Lives’ of Jesus: The Malleable Figure of Christ as a Man of the People.” 2008

  • Lisa Moody for “Mediating Social Consciousness: George Eliot’s Approach to Religion and Realism.” 2007

  • Ilana Xinos for “Narrating Captivity and Identity: Christophorus Castani’s Greek Exile and the Genesis of the Greek-American.” 2006

  • Lisa Costello for “History and Memory in a Dialogic of ‘Performative Memorialization’ in Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.” 2005  

  • Terri Ruckel for “‘To Speak of My Own Situation’: Touring the Mother Periphery in Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother.” 2004

Dickens Project at LSU Essay Award

Awarded annually in an essay competition to determine who will attend the Dickens Universe. 

  •  Leah Powell for "'Truth Stranger than Fiction': The Pedagogical Experience of William Wells Brown's Disorienting Discourse"

  • Mary Pappalardo for “Writing from the New Colony: Place, Subjectivity, and Textual Production in Guantanamo Diary

  • Stacey Amo for “Tasting Otherness, Othering Tastiness: Monique Truong’s Bitter in the Mouth.”

  • Caleb Doan for “The Reciprocity of the Gift in Typee’s Emerging Global Pacific​”

  • Helena Brigman for “Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery in All Its Branches (Longman, 1845).”

  • Logan Wiedenfeld for “The Other Ancient Quarrel: Ulysses and Classical Rhetoric”

  • Lindsay Dearinger for “Recentering Victorian Jewish Education.”

  • Matt Dischinger for “‘The Lowest Thing’?: Faulkner and the New Southern Jew”

  • Monica Miller for “The Petrifying Women: The Figure of the Ugly Woman in Eudora Welty’s Curtain of Green.”

  • Jordan Stone for “‘Creating America from a ‘Favorable Position’: The Autoethnography of William Dean Howells”

  • Emily Kobayashi, “Detective or Defective Fiction: A Matter of Breathing or Dying in Bleak House.”

  • Laura Helen Marks, “Re-Sexualizing Scrooge: Gender, Spectatorship, and the Subversion of Genre in Shaun Costello’s The Passions of Carol.”

  • Ali Rezaie, “Translation without Original in Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner.”

  • Laura Faulk, “‘Was it Death or Life that Moved Us?’: Death and Maternity in Aurora Leigh.”

  • Jerrod Hollyfield, “Imperial Matrimony: Domestic Epics in the Victorian Novel.”

  • Doris Raab, “Warring Ideologies: Tennyson’s Princess and Gilbert’s Burlesque.”

  • James Long, “Exploring Atlantic Contact: Transnational Currents in Nineteenth Century American Literature.”

  • Laura Kiegan, “A Knights Tale: Feminine Heroism and Female Monstrosity in Anna Jameson’s Shakespeare’s Heroines.”

  • Lisa Moody, “Mediating Social Consciousness: George Eliot’s Approach to Religion and Realism.” 2008

  • dCorrie Kiesel, “‘Don’t be a Naughty Blue Beard’: Dangerous Romances in David Copperfield.” 2008

  • Dan Mangiavellano, “Diagnosing the Uncontrollable Body in Joanna Baillie and Dr. John Hunter.” 2007

Graduate School Dissertation-Year Fellowship

University-wide competitive fellowship:  we are very proud of our record of winning this award.

  • Jordan Von Cannon, 2015-2016
  • Michael Von Cannon, 2014-15
  • Matthew Dischinger, 2014-2015
  • Madoka Kishi, 2014-2015
  • Laura Faulk, 2013-14
  • Laura Jones and Laura Marks, 2012-2013
  • Mitch Frye, 2011-2012
  • James Long, 2010-2011
  • Jessica Ketcham Weber, 2009-2010
  • Joseph Brown and Alison Graham Bertolini, 2008-2009
  • Denise Millstein, 2006-2007

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Doctoral Scholarship

  • Cara Jones, 2012
  • Jessica Ketcham Weber, 2008

Tom W. Dutton Scholarship Award

  • Jessica Ketcham Weber, 2007

Harvey Jay and Betty Adele Jacobs Schwartzberg Fellowship

  • Anna Wilson, 2012
  • Emily Nemens, 2011

Teaching Awards

Department of English Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award 

  • Ben Bergholtz, 2017
  • Maggie Callahan and Cristina Rossell, 2016
  • Megan Feifer, 2015
  • Jaime Cantrell, 2014
  • David Riche, 2013
  • Kevin Casper and Kris Mecholsky, 2012
  • Laura Helen Marks, 2011
  • Corrie Kiesel, 2010
  • Jennifer West, 2009
  • Alison Graham-Bertolini, 2008
  • Jessica Ketcham Weber, 2007
  • Lisa Costello, 2006
  • Erica Locklear, 2005
  • Terri Ruckel, 2004
  • Margaret Clark, 2003
  • Nat Hardy, 2002

College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

  • Corrie Kiesel, 2010
  • Jennifer West, 2009
  • Alison Graham-Bertolini, 2008 


LSU Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

  • Jordan Von Cannon, 2015
  • David Riche, 2014
  • Laura Marks, 2013
  • Kevin Casper, 2012
  • Kristi Melancon, 2010
  • Casey Kayser, 2009
  • Jennifer West, 2008

Sarah Liggett Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award

Awarded annually by the English Graduate Student Association, this prize honors Professor Sarah Liggett, Director of Communication across the Curriculum and formerly Director of University Writing.

  • Ben Bergholtz, 2017
  • Vicki Davis, 2016
  • Michael Von Cannon, 2015
  • Matt Dischinger, 2014
  • Cara Jones and David Riche, 2013
  • Amanda Wicks, 2012
  • Erin Breaux, 2011
  • Laura Marks, 2010
  • Jennifer West, 2009
  • Dan Mangiavellano, 2008
  • Sean Flory, 2007