Previous Essay Competitions

 

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #8 (2016)

The Katherine Mansfield Society is delighted to announce that this year's £200 essay prize, on the theme of ‘Katherine Mansfield and Russia’, has been awarded to Professor David Rampton. The judges who came to this decision, having evaluated a strong group of excellent entries, were: Dr Rebecca Beasley (The Queen’s College, University of Oxford), Professor Claire Davison (Sorbonne Nouvelle), and Dr Joanna Woods (author of Katerina: The Russian World of Katherine Mansfield).

Chair of the Judging Panel, Professor Galya Diment (University of Washington, Seattle), commented, summarizing the panel’s reactions: ‘David Rampton’s essay, “Underground Men” sheds new light on a much discussed short story, “Je ne parle pas français” and Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. It goes beyond any existing criticism and is particularly interesting at its moments of close analysis, which are always convincing – and appealingly open – rather than just stating or interpreting. Such reading reveals some of the more shady spaces of this well-known Mansfield story. The essay is original, nuanced, beautifully written, and fully worthy of the prize.’ The essay will be published next year in Katherine Mansfield and Russia, volume 9 of Katherine Mansfield Studies, the annual yearbook of the Katherine Mansfield Society, published by Edinburgh University Press.

David Rampton is Professor of English at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He served as Chair of the Department of English from 2002-2007. A specialist in American and Comparative Literature, his publications include studies of the work of Vladimir Nabokov and William Faulkner. He has edited a number of anthologies, including The Government Inspector and Other Works (2014) and Notes From Underground and Other Stories (2015).

 

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #7

The Katherine Mansfield Society is delighted to announce that this year's prize for the best essay on the theme of 'Katherine Mansfield and Psychology’ has been awarded to Polly Dickson. The judges, Professor Laura Marcus (Goldsmith’s Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford), Dr Isobel Maddison (Director of Studies in English, Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge) and Professor Clare Hanson (Professor of Twentieth Century Literature, University of Southampton) were unanimous in choosing this essay from a wide field of excellent entries.

Chair of the Judging Panel Professor Clare Hanson comments: 'Polly Dickson’s winning essay “Interior Matters: Hunger and Secrecy in Katherine Mansfield’s ‘Bliss’” is a subtle, finely nuanced essay which allows us to see this much-discussed story in a new light. It adopts a mode of enquiry in which psychoanalysis is not applied to Mansfield’s texts, rather the essay explores the implication of psychoanalysis within them. This yields a reading which is supremely alert to textual detail and which opens up new perspectives on this familiar story. The essay is innovative, beautifully written throughout and announces the arrival of a fresh and original critical voice’.

Polly Dickson is a Ph.D. student with the departments of German and French at the University of Cambridge (UK). Her dissertation focuses on mimesis and mimicry in the works of E. T. A. Hoffmann and Honoré de Balzac. She is currently a visiting research scholar at New York University. She will receive a prize of NZ$ 500 (£211), and her essay will appear in the annual book series Katherine Mansfield Studies (Volume 8), on Katherine Mansfield and Psychology, to be published in October 2016 by Edinburgh University Press (sent free to all members of the Society).

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #6 

The Katherine Mansfield Society is delighted to announce that this year's prize for the best essay on the theme of 'Katherine Mansfield and Translation' has been awarded to Chris Mourant. The judges, Professor Maurizio Ascari  (Professor of English, University of Bologna), Dr Gerri Kimber (Senior Lecturer in English, University of Northampton) and Professor Claire Davison (Professor of Modernist Studies, University Sorbonne-Nouvelle - Paris III), chose the winner unanimously, from a wide choice of excellent entries.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Professor Claire Davison, explains the judges' decision: 'Chris Mourant's winning essay entitled "Parodic Translation: Katherine Mansfield and the 'Boris Petrovsky' pseudonym" explores the fascinating story behind Mansfield's intriguing nom-de-plume  for the series of poems she published in Rhythm in 1912. By removing the poems from what has become their more familiar place in collections of poems by Mansfield, and situating them in their original context in the little review, Chris Mourant reconstructs a fascinating account of what inspired and motivated them, and how they were intended to be read. The essay is clever, innovative and surprising from beginning to end,  confirming once again that Chris Mourant is not only a talented scholar but also a gifted literary detective, opening up perspectives on Mansfield's life and works that we never even knew existed'.

Chris Mourant is completing his PhD at King's College London, researching Katherine Mansfield and periodical culture. He is a co-founder of the Modernist Magazines Research Seminar at the Institute of English Studies, and a postgraduate representative of the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS). He will receive a prize of NZ$ 410 (£200), and his essay will appear in the annual book seriesKatherine Mansfield Studies (Volume 7), to be published in October 2015 by Edinburgh University Press (sent free to all members of the Society).

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #5

The Katherine Mansfield Society is pleased to announce the winner of its fifth international essay competition, on the theme of ‘Katherine Mansfield and World War One’. The judges, Professor Sydney Janet Kaplan (Professor of English, University of Washington, Seattle), Dr Santanu Das (Reader in English Literature, King’s College London) and Professor Margaret Higonnet (Professor of English, University of Connecticut), agreed on the winner unanimously, from a wide field of excellent entries.

The winning essay by Professor Josiane Paccaud-Huguet. entitled ‘“By what name are we to call death?”: The case of “An Indiscreet Journey”’, examines the connections between death and eroticism in Mansfield’s war writings. Drawing on a wide range of references (Agamben, Freud, Lacan), Professor Paccaud-Huguet illuminates Mansfield’s famous war story through a close reading alongside the genres of the fairy tale and the mystery play, whilst simultaneously suggesting that the story ‘deals with the real substance of war experience’. The judges praised both the originality of her argument, and the elegance and fluidity of her writing.

Josiane Paccaud-Huguet is Professor of Modern English Literature and Literary Theory at Université Lumière-Lyon 2, France. She has published extensively on Modernist authors (Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Malcolm Lowry, Virginia Woolf). She is currently completing a monograph entitled The Real Thing: The Modernist Moment of Vision, which includes a chapter on Katherine Mansfield. A founding member of the Katherine Mansfield Society, she will receive a prize of £200, and her essay will appear in the Society’s annual yearbook, Katherine Mansfield Studies (Volume 6), to be published in September 2014 by Edinburgh University Press (and sent free to all Society members).

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #4

The Katherine Mansfield Society is pleased to announce the winner of its fourth international essay competition, on the theme of ‘Katherine Mansfield and the (Post)colonial’.  The judges, Professor Elleke Boehmer (Professor of World Literature, University of Oxford), Dr Simone Oettli (Chargée d'enseignement, University of Geneva) and Professor Janet Wilson (Vice Chair, KMS, Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies, University of Northampton), agreed on the winner unanimously from a wide field of excellent entries.

The winning essay is by Aimee Gasston. The abstract of her essay, ‘Katherine Mansfield, Cannibal’, argues that Mansfield engaged with concepts of barbarism throughout her career and displayed a particular fascination with cannibalism that held both political and aesthetic significance for her. The article traces Mansfield’s transition from ‘a negative cannibalism of revenge’ towards a ‘tender anthropophagy of incorporation’. Gasston claims that this transition allowed Mansfield to transgress displacement and find a route to her most accomplished work by returning from Europe to New Zealand through fiction.

Aimee Gasston is a PhD candidate at Birkbeck, University of London, researching the modernist short story with a focus on Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. A member of the New Zealand Studies Network (UK and Ireland) she also read a paper on Katherine Mansfield at the Network’s inaugural conference, ‘New Zealand’s Cultures: Sources, Histories, Futures’ held at Birkbeck, 6-7 July 2012. She will receive a prize of £200, and her essay will appear in the annual journal, Katherine Mansfield Studies (Volume 5), to be published in October 2013 by Edinburgh University Press (sent free to all members of the Katherine Mansfield Society).

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #3

The Katherine Mansfield Society is pleased to announce the winner of its third international essay prize competition, on the theme of ‘Katherine Mansfield and the Fantastic’. The judges, Professor Susan Sellers and Dr Marie Mulvey-Roberts, chaired by Professor Gina Wisker, were unanimous in their view that one of the essays submitted was outstanding in the originality of its approach and in the subtlety of its expression.

The winner is Maria Casado Villanueva’s essay ‘The Little Red Governess: Mansfield and the Demythologisation of the Motif of “Little Red Riding Hood” in “The Little Governess”’. The essay explores the ways in which Mansfield deploys the fairy tale motif of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ in her story ‘The Little Governess’, showing how – as with the fairy tale – it operates as a socialising agent, a perpetuator of gender notions, and how through a modernist game of perspectives Mansfield articulates a criticism of a model of education, which both relegates women to a state of undesirable naïveté and punishes them for their own gullibility. Maria Casado Villanueva, a PhD candidate at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, will receive a prize of NZ$390 (£200), and her essay will appear in the journal Katherine Mansfield Studies (Volume 4), to be published in October 2012 by Edinburgh University Press (sent free to all members of the Katherine Mansfield Society).

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #2

The Katherine Mansfield Society is pleased to announce the name of the winner of its second international essay prize competition, on the theme of ‘Katherine Mansfield and the Arts’. The judges, Kirsty Gunn and Vincent O’Sullivan, chaired by Angela Smith, were unanimous in their view that one of the essays, written by a postgraduate student, was outstanding in the originality of its approach and in the subtlety of its expression.

The winner is Rebecca Bowler’s essay ‘“The beauty of your line – the life behind it”: Katherine Mansfield and the Double Impression’. It explores Katherine Mansfield’s attitude to the relation between what she called ‘life’ and work, the visual and the intellectual, emphasising doubleness in both Mansfield’s selves and in her aesthetics, a doubleness which led her to experiment with the literary Impression. Rebecca Bowler, a PhD student at the University of Sheffield, will receive a prize of NZ$ 420 (£200), and her essay will appear in the journal Katherine Mansfield Studies (Volume 3), to be published in October 2011 by Edinburgh University Press (sent free to all members of the Society).

ESSAY PRIZE COMPETITION #1

The Katherine Mansfield Society is delighted to announce the results of its first annual international essay prize competition, which attracted a broad range of high quality entries on the subject of ‘Katherine Mansfield and D. H. Lawrence’. The judges – C. K. Stead and Andrew Harrison, chaired by Susan Reid – faced a difficult challenge since, as Reid explains, ‘It was impossible to select just one winner from this outstanding selection, so we have awarded a joint first prize, to two very different but equally engaging essays’.

The two winning entries are by Linda Lappin – on ‘A Parallel Quest’ for an authentic self, which led both writers through similar stages of exploration of ancient religions and philosophies – and by Kirsty Martin, on how Lawrence and Mansfield approached the difficulties of writing about happiness. The winners will each receive a prize of £150 and their essays will be published in the journal of Katherine Mansfield Studies (Volume 2), 2010, published by Edinburgh University Press. The judges have also commended as a close runner up, an entry by Elise Brault, which examines marginality in the poetry of Mansfield and Lawrence.

Gerri Kimber, Chair of the Katherine Mansfield Society, said that ‘the response to this essay competition is enormously encouraging for the growing field of Mansfield studies, demonstrating the quality of scholarship and opening up new lines of inquiry’. She also praised the efforts of Susan Reid, who has worked tirelessly on this project over the last year.