The Neil MacIntyre Memorial Prize, an annual award, recognizes the best scholarly paper written by an English Department graduate student. The prize stipulates that eligible entries must be written by an English Department graduate student currently enrolled in a graduate degree program of the CWRU English Department and as part of their graduate work at CWRU. Papers originally submitted for courses, dissertation chapters, and papers written for scholarly conferences are all eligible. Revised papers are entirely acceptable as long as they originally were written as part of the student’s graduate study in English at CWRU.

The Prize Committee reads the submissions as complete, independent scholarly essays, comparable to journal articles (i.e., they must stand alone without the context of a larger project or information about the author’s intention, etc.) All submissions should be polished and carefully edited. The prize criteria is simply “the best scholarly paper,” and the Committee is open to submissions on any topic and from any sub-field within English Studies. The most successful papers will clearly describe and argue for the stakes of the project and contain a coherent and fully-developed controlling argument that is backed by careful analysis of the evidence provided.

The winner will be designated as the Neil MacIntyre Memorial Prize winner and awarded a cash prize. The annual prize winner is expected to present a version of the essay at the final Departmental Colloquium meeting in early December. The Graduate School invites the winner to an awards ceremony in the spring.

Rules and Information:

1.       Each entrant may submit only one essay. The essay should not have been submitted to this contest before, and it should be a self-contained scholarly work, including appropriate notes and bibliographic materials in an accepted scholarly documentation style (e.g., MLA, APA, Chicago). The model in format and scope is the type of article appearing in a scholarly journal. A section or chapter of a thesis or dissertation is acceptable, provided that it is internally complete.

2.       Entries may be submitted by students or by faculty nominating students. Faculty intending to nominate a student should consult with the student beforehand to ensure they have the most polished version of the essay and that the student is not intending to submit a different piece of work.

3.       Entries should not exceed 25 pages, double spaced, including notes and bibliography.

4.       Entrants should submit their materials electronically to Susan Grimm ( in early October. The submission should be in the form of a PDF document, from which all identifying information has been removed. The author should not be identifiable in the document or in the file name.  In the body of the email, entrants should include their names and the titles of their essays.

5.       Judging will be done by a committee of faculty from the department, and the winner will be announced in November. The prize winner is expected to present a version of the essay at the final Departmental Colloquium meeting in early December.

Please direct any questions about the award, eligibility, or submission procedures directly to the Director of Graduate Studies.

Neil William Macintyre was a graduate student in the English Department between 1970 and 1978. He earned the MA from CWRU in 1972, passed his doctoral qualifying exams in 1974, and with a prospectus accepted in 1977, began work on a dissertation on the plays of Lady Gregory under the direction of the late Professor William McCollum. In 1976, financial needs forced him into full-time work as a programmer for the Department of the Navy. The demands of this employment – and subsequent work for the Time-Share Corporation of Mountain View California, where he rose to a vice presidency in marketing – compelled him to withdraw from the university in 1978. He died in 1986. The fund that endows the prize was begun in 1988 by a number of his graduate classmates, including Tom and Gail Hemmeter, Allan and Linda Benn, and Leonard and Joanne Podis; Departmental faculty augmented the fund.

Macintyre Memorial Prize Winners

2022 No award given

2021 Charlie Ericson
Shakespeare’s Wonderful Objects

2020 Andrew Petracca
Stalking Yourself: Reading Sam Shepard’s Spy of the First Person
Honorable Mention: Cammy Ring: “Uncumbered” Keeping: The Theological Poetics of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo” and “Heraclitean Fire”

2019 Brita Thielen  
Indigenous Foodways and Rhetorical Healing: How Cookbook Authors Develop Ethos and Reconstitute Cultural Identity in Pursuit of Health and Well-Being
Honorable Mention: Camila Ring: “Supposing You Persevered in your Obstinate Fast”: Starving Bodies, Consuming Souls, and the Durability of Hunger in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights

2018 Daniel Luttrull
The Case for Abstract Didacticism
Honorable Mention: Leah Davydov: “World Within World”: The Calibration of Microscopic Vision in George Eliot’s Middlemarch

2017 Melissa Pompili    
Strange Encounters with Dead Selves: Medical Memoir, Apostrophe, and Reanimating Subjectivity

2016  Megan Griffin       
Unbearable Representations: Dismembering the Sovereign in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko

2014  Eric Earnhardt   
“the sentient plume”: Avian Minds and the Pathetic Fallacy in Arnold, Darwin, and Ruskin

2013  Ray Horton   
“Rituals of the Ordinary”: Marilynne Robinson’s Aesthetics of Belief and Finitude

2012   Matthew Trammell                
The Moonstone’s Moonstone: A Multifaceted Thing

2011  Drew Banghart          
Dark Pools, Desperate Women, and the Body in Adam Bede

2010  Tasia Hane-Devore  
A Difficult Entanglement: Discourses of Disease in Eric Michaels’ Unbecoming

2009  Jamie McDaniel           
Orlando’s ‘house was no longer hers entirely’: Classification, Biographical Narratives, and the Law of Intestacy in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando

2008  Danielle Nielsen           
Traumatic Evolution: Samuel Butler’s Life and Habit and The Way of All Flesh

2007  R. Wells Addington        
Jonathan Swift and Commodity Culture: Indeterminacy in A Tale of a Tub

2006  Barbara Burgess-Van Aken       
Who Reads Shakespeare? Clues from Three Eighteenth-Century Editions

2005  Rachel Goldberg   
Novissima’s Daughter Speaks: Women’s Voice from Story of an African Farm to Mrs. Dalloway

2004  Elizabeth Hayes       
Alexander Bain’s Long Shadow: The Current-Traditional Paragraph in the Classroom

2003  Anne Ryan                  
God’s Sublime Aloneness in Paradise Lost

2002   Brenda R. Smith     
The Construction of Bicultural Identity in African-American Migrant Autobiography

2001  Katie Kickel                
Imagining Illness in Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year

2000  Dian Killian

1999  Heather Kichner     
Who’s Lying Here? Grave Equivocations in Gothic Narrative

1998  Amy Stephenson     
The Representation of Appetite: Women Eating in Three Works of Victorian Fiction

1997  Mike Rectenwald     
The Construction and Deconstruction of Science in Middlemarch

1996  John Kuijper             
Henry James, Authorial Theatrics, and American Technology

1995   Ruth E. Rhodes       
Rich Chains: Seventeenth-Century Visions of Nature and Aemilia Lanyer’s ‘The Description of Cookham’

1994  Mary Griffin

1993  Lisa Maruca                                      
Disappearing, Disembodied and Disposable Women: The Emergence of the New Feminine Man in Richardson’s Clarissa

1992  Sarah Turner

1991 Virginia Chestek
Kathy Kerestman

1990  Dave Roskos