The members of the Trollope Prize committee at the University of Kansas are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Trollope Prize.
The winner of the undergraduate prize is Devon Boyers of the College of William and Mary. Boyers will receive a $1000 award, and the award-winning essay will be published by The Fortnightly Review, the twenty-first-century online edition of Trollope’s nineteenth-century periodical. Boyers’ faculty sponsor was Professor Deborah Denenholz Morse.
The judges commended Ms. Boyers’ essay, “In Medias Res’: Liminal Space in The Duke’s Children,” for its subtle argument and well-constructed analysis. The essay traces the impact of Charles Darwin’s ideas on Trollope’s novel The Duke’s Children, at the level of its themes (the power of chance over patriarchal will), narrative structure (a narrator who positions himself as both empirical observer and intentional creator), and generic conventions (its elements of allegory and realism). The Duke’s Children, Boyers argues, ultimately resists easy categorization as solely allegorical or realist, reflecting the Victorian dialectic between natural theology and natural selection.
The judges declined to award a graduate prize this year.
The judges for this year’s competition were Mary Poovey, Emeritus Professor of English at New York University and author, most recently, of Finance in America: An Unfinished Story (with Kevin Brine), Genres of the Credit Economy and A History of the Modern Fact; Gordon Bigelow, Professor of English at Rhodes College and author of Fiction, Famine, and the Rise of Economics in Victorian Britain and Ireland; and Dorice Williams Elliott, a Conger-Gabel Teaching Professor and Associate Professor of English at the University of Kansas and author of The Angel out of the House: Philanthropy and Gender in Nineteenth-Century England.
The Trollope Prize is administered by the English department at the University of Kansas, with support from the Hall Center for the Humanities. It is awarded annually to the best undergraduate and graduate essays in English on the works of Anthony Trollope. The Prize was established to focus attention on Trollope's work and career, to promote the study of Trollope in college classrooms and to encourage student engagement with both Trollope's work and Victorian literary history through intensive research and writing. Please see the website (http://trollopeprize.ku.edu) for more information on the Prize.