Penn State University


A. Owen Aldridge Prize Competition

Comparative Literature Studies announces that it will publish an annual prize-paper written by a graduate student. The competition is named in honor of A. Owen Aldridge, founder of CLS. The purpose of this competition is to encourage and recognize excellence in scholarship among graduate students and to reward the highest achievement by publication. This project is sponsored by CLS in cooperation with the American Comparative Literature Association ( and supported by the Department of Comparative Literature at Penn State. The award carries a monetary prize as well, including an honorarium and help with travel expenses to attend the 2014 ACLA meeting.



1. Any graduate student currently enrolled in an M.A. or Ph.D. program in Comparative Literature or the equivalent designation (e.g., Comparative Cultural Studies) anywhere in the world may submit one paper annually. Programs with less obvious designations may prove their comparitivism via institutional membership in their national comparative literature organization.

2. Papers may be on any comparative topic and deal with any language areas.  They should be scholarly articles—on literary research, theory, or criticism—and address more than one language area. They should not, for example, be interviews, translations, or editions of texts.

3. Papers should be of normal length for journal submission, 6000–13000 words, and be written in English. Any professional citational style is acceptable, though the winner will need to revise to conform to CLS style (modified Chicago).

4. Submissions consist of: 1) one copy of the article prepared as in #5 and 2) a note on letterhead from the program head or faculty adviser indicating that the student is enrolled in a graduate program as stated in #1.

5. Papers should be prepared for anonymous evaluation.  A separate cover letter should give the paper's title, author's name, and contact information. The first page of the paper itself should include the title of the work, but not the author's name.

6. Digital submissions (Word or PDF files only) via email will also be accepted at The letterhead note from the program head or adviser may be substituted by an email message sent by that person with an institutional domain address in the “From” line.

7. The winning paper must conform to CLS standards and will be copy-edited and subject to the same editorial recommendations as other CLS materials. The intention of CLS is to publish the winning paper within 12 months.  A note will indicate that the paper is the winner of the Aldridge competition and that it has been selected by the ACLA and CLS.

8. Papers will be evaluated by a panel of judges appointed by the ACLA.

15 November (Please note the changed date vis-à-vis prior years)

Send submissions to:
Thomas Beebee, Editor-in-Chief
Comparative Literature Studies
442 Burrowes Building
University Park, PA 16802

Past Winners


2017 Winner "Stammering Hebrew-Y.H. Brenner’s Deferred Beginnings" by Roni Henig, Columbia University

2016 Winner "Globalizing Finance: Nostalgia, Desire, and the Market in Contemporary Shanghai" by Laura Finch, University of Pennsylvania

2015 Winner [Issue 53.3 (2016)] "Psychological Realism in Early Prose Narrative: Dreams in The 1001 Nights and the Greek Novel" by Henry Bowles, Harvard University

2014 Winner [Issue 52.3 (2015)]: "'Our Natural and Original Illness': Tracking the Human/Animal in Montaigne and Nietzsche" by James Ramsey Wallen, University of California, Santa Cruz

2013 Winner [Issue 51.4 (2014)]: "What is a Digital Author? The Faulknerian Author Function in Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme" by Lauren Du Graf, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2012 Winner [Issue 50.3 (2013)]: "The Victorian Counterarchive: Mikimoto Ryuzo, John Ruskin, and Affirmative Reading" by Joseph Lavery, University of Pennsylvania

2011 Winner [Issue 49.3 (2012)]: "Exchange and the Eidolon: Analyzing Forgiveness in Euripides' Helen" by Michelle Jansen, SUNY Binghamton

2010 Winner [Issue 48.2 (2011)]: "The Task(s) of the Translators: Multiplicity as Problem in Renaissance European Thought" by Belén Bistué, University of California, Davis

2009 Winner [Issue 47.2 (2010)]: "Havana Reads the Harlem Renaissance: Mistranslation and the Dialectics of Transnational American Literature" by John Patrick Leary, New York University

2008 Winner [Issue 46.3 (2009)]: "When Robinson Crusoe Meets Ximen Quing: Material Egoism in the First Chinese and English Novels" by Ning Ma, Princeton University

2007 Winner [Issue 45.3 (2008)]: "Apprenticeship of the Novel: The Bildungsroman and the Invention of History, ca. 1770-1820" by Tobias Boes, Yale University

2006 Winner [Issue 44.1-2 (2007)]: "Reading With One Eye, Speaking With One Tongue--On the Problem of Address in World Literature" by Michael Allan, University of California - Berkeley

2005 Winner [Issue 43.1-2 (2006)]: "To the Letter: The Material Text as Space of Ajudication in Pope's First Satire" by Katherine Mannheimer, Yale University

2004 Winner [Issue 42.1 (2005)]: "Captain Cook and the Discovery of Antarctica’s Modern Specificity: Towards a Critique of Globalization" by Mariano Siskind, New York University

2003 Winner [Issue 41.2 (2004)]: "Parasitism and Pale Fire's Camouflage: The King-Bot, the Crown Jewels, and the Man in the Brown Macintosh" by James Ramey, University of California - Berkeley

2002 Winner [Issue 40.1 (2003)]: "Anagrams in Psychoanalysis: Retroping Concepts by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Jean-Francois Lyotard" by Andrea Bachner, Harvard University

2001 Winner [Issue 41.2 (2002)]: "Stalled Flight: Baudelaire's Rewriting of Horace's Memorial Swan" by Kate Elkins, University of California - Berkeley

2000 Winner [Issue 38.2 (2001)]: "Translating Ruskin: Marcel Proust's Orient of Devotion" by Daniel Simon, University of Oklahoma

1999 Winner [Issue 37.3 (2000)]: "Nietzche: Utility, Aesthetics, History" by Robert Herbert Doran, Stanford University

1998 Winner [Issue 36.3 (1999)]: "Spectacular Desires: Orpheus and Pygmalion as Aesthetic Paradigms in Petrarch's Rime sparse" by Théresè Migraine-George, University of Colorado

1997 Winner [Issue 35.1 (1998)]: "Allegorical Dismemberment and Rescue in Book III of The Faerie Queene" by Mary Frances Fahey, University of California - Davis

1996 Winner [Issue 33.4 (1996)]: "Benjamin and Zola Narrative, the Individual and Crowds in an Age of Mass Production" by Nicholas Rennie, Yale University

1995 Winner [Issue 33.1 (1996)]: "Writing China: Legitimacy and Representation 1606-1773" by David Porter, Stanford University

1994 Winner [Issue 32.3 (1995)]: "Enlightenment's Other in Patrick Süskind’s Das Parfum: Adorno and the Ineffable Utopia of Modern Art” by Bradley Butterfield, University of Oregon

1993 Winner [Issue 31.2 (1994)]: "The Leopardskin of Dao and the Icon of Truth: Natural Birth Versus Mimesis in Chinese and Western Literary Theories" by Liang Shi, University of Massachusetts

1991 Winner [Issue 29.3 (1992)]: "Deconstruction and Taoism: Comparisons Reconsidered" By Hongchu Fu, University of California - Los Angeles

1990 Winner [Issue 28.1 (1991)]: "Socrates as Untragic Hero: Satyric Pedagogy in Modern European Narrative" by Lynne S. Vieth, University of Illinois - Chicago

1989 Winner [Issue 27.2 (1990)]: "Nothing: Reading Paul Celan’s ‘Engführung’" by Aris Fioretos, Yale University

1988 Winner [Issue 25.4 (1988)]: "Proustian Time and Modern Drama: Beckett, Brecht, and Fugard" by Edward S. Brinkley, Cornell University

In Memoriam

Alfred Owen Aldridge

December 16, 1915 - January 29, 2005

A man of many facets and talents, A. Owen Aldridge will be remembered by some as a pioneer of colonial American literary studies, by others for his explorations in East-West literary relations, and by still others as a former president of the American Comparative Literature Association. For those of us associated with this journal however, he will forever be remembered as the founder of Comparative Literature Studies.

Perhaps Owen's many interests were reflected in the different forms of his name appearing at the top of the CLS masthead from 1963 to 1986: Alfred Owen Aldridge; A. O. Aldridge; and A. Owen Aldridge, as though he had packed three scholarly lives into the space of one--which may indeed be true enough. His name has continued at the top since the first issue of 1987 (26.1), but as editor emeritus. This journal, then, and the Aldridge Prize for the best comparative essay by a graduate student that is associated with it, the fruits of his own efforts and genius, memorialize Owen better than our own poor power to do so. Turn the pages of our journal to find Owen's name on the Aldridge Prize essay, and indeed in all the learned prose of this issue. It is perhaps the best memorial an academic could hope for--the living word.

*At the request of his surviving daughter, those wishing to remember A. Owen Aldridge may send donations to be used towards the Aldridge Prize, which pays an honorarium and travel expenses to the ACLA Convention for prizewinners. Checks should be made payable to "Penn State University" and sent to the CLS editorial address. (Comparative Literature Studies, 442 Burrowes Building, University Park, PA 16802)


Updated 21 April 2017 by Kendra McDuffie