William Riley Parker Prize Winners


  • Christopher Cannon, New York University, for “From Literacy to Literature: Elementary Learning and the Middle English Poet” (PMLA, May 2014)
  • Honorable mention: John Levi Barnard, College of Wooster, for “Ancient History, American Time: Chesnutt’s Outsider Classicism and the Present Past” (PMLA, January 2014)


  • Margaret Ronda, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, for “‘Work and Wait Unwearying’: Dunbar’s Georgics” (PMLA, October 2012


  • Tobias Menely, Miami University, Oxford, for “‘The Present Obfuscation’: Cowper’s Task and the Time of Climate Change” (PMLA, May 2012)


  • Toral Jatin Gajarawala, New York University, for “Some Time between Revisionist and Revolutionary: Unreading History in Dalit Literature” (PMLA, May 2011)


  • Paul Benzon, Temple University, for “Lost in Transcription: Postwar Typewriting Culture, Andy Warhol’s Bad Book, and the Standardization of Error” (PMLA, January 2010)


  • Enrique García Santo-Tomás, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for “Fortunes of the Occhiali Politici in Early Modern Spain: Optics, Vision, Points of View” (PMLA, January 2009)


  • Nergis Ertürk, Pennsylvania State University, for "Modernity and Its Fallen Languages: Tanpınar's Hasret, Benjamin's Melancholy" (PMLA, January 2008)


  • Pauline Yu, American Council of Learned Societies, for "'Your Alabaster in This Porcelain': Judith Gautier's Le livre de jade" (March 2007)
  • Honorable mention: Joseph R. Slaughter, Columbia University, for "Enabling Fictions and Novel Subjects: The Bildungsroman and International Human Rights Law" (October 2006)


  • Lorraine Piroux, Rutgers University, for "The Encyclopedist and the Peruvian Princess: The Poetics of Illegibility in French Enlightenment Book Culture" (January 2006)


  • Bill Brown, University of Chicago, for "The Dark Wood of Postmodernity (Space, Faith, Allegory)" (May 2005)
  • Honorable mention: Feisal G. Mohamed, Texas Tech University, for "Confronting Religious Violence: Milton's Samson Agonistes" (March 2005)


  • Rolf J. Goebel, University of Alabama, Huntsville, for "Berlin's Architectural Citations: Reconstruction, Simulation, and the Problems of Historical Authenticity" (October 2003)


  • Anne Mallory, University of Georgia, for "Burke, Boredom, and the Theater of Counterrevolution" (March 2003)
  • Honorable mention: Paul Giles, University of Oxford, for "Transnationalism and Classic American Literature" (January 2003)


  • Geoffrey Sanborn, Bard College, for "Keeping Her Distance: Cisneros, Dickinson, and the Politics of Private Enjoyment" (October 2001)


  • Ian Baucom, Duke University, for "Globalit, Inc.; or, The Cultural Logic of Global Literary Studies" (January 2001)


  • Rita Felski, University of Virginia, for "Nothing to Declare: Identity, Shame, and the Lower Middle Class" (January 2000)


  • Phillip Novak, Le Moyne College, for "'Circles and Circles of Sorrow': In the Wake of Morrison's Sula" (March 1999)


  • Henry Staten, University of Washington, for "Ethnic Authenticity, Class, and Autobiography: The Case of Hunger of Memory" (January 1998)


  • Jahan Ramazani, University of Virginia, for "The Wound of History: Walcott's Omeros and the Postcolonial Poetics of Affliction" (May 1997)


  • Lawrence Lipking, Northwestern University, for "The Genius of the Shore: Lycidas, Adamastor, and the Poetics of Nationalism" (March 1996)
  • Honorable mention: Ann Louise Kibbie, Bowdoin College, for "Monstrous Generation: The Birth of Capital in Defoe's Moll Flanders and Roxana" (October 1995)


  • David Wayne Thomas, University of California, Davis, for "Gödel's Theorem and Postmodern Theory" (March 1995)


  • Claire Cavanagh, University of Wisconsin, Madison, for "Rereading the Poet's Ending: Mandelstam, Chaplin, and Stalin" (January 1994)


  • Alan Nadel, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for "God's Law and the Wide Screen: The Ten Commandments as Cold War 'Epic'" (May 1993)


  • Edward Hirsch, University of Houston, for "The Imaginary Irish Peasant" (October 1991)


  • Beth S. Newman, Southern Methodist University, for "'The Situation of the Looker-On': Gender, Narration, and Gaze in Wuthering Heights" (October 1990), and David K. Herzberger, University of Connecticut, for "Narrating the Past: History and the Novel of Memory in Postwar Spain" (January 1991)


  • William L. Andrews, University of Kansas, for "The Novelization of Voice in Early African American Narrative" (January 1990)


  • Margaret Waller, Pomona College, for "Cherchez la Femme: Male Malady and Narrative Politics in the French Romantic Novel" (March 1989)


  • Thomas C. Caramagno, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, for "Manic-Depressive Psychosis and Critical Approaches to Virginia Woolf's Life and Work" (January 1988)


  • Donald W. Foster, Vassar College, for "Master W. H., R.I.P." (January 1987)


  • Thomas Hyde, Yale University, for "Boccaccio: The Genealogies of Myth" (October 1985)


  • Terry Castle, Stanford University, for "The Carnivalization of Eighteenth-Century English Narrative" (October 1984)


  • A. Kent Hieatt, University of Western Ontario, for "The Genesis of Shakespeare's Sonnets: Spenser's Ruines of Rome: by Bellay" (October 1983)
  • Honorable mention: Marshall Brown, University of Colorado, for "'Errours Endlesse Traine': On Turning Points and the Dialectical Imagination" (January 1984)


  • Paul B. Armstrong, Georgia Institute of Technology, for "The Conflict of Interpretations and the Limits of Pluralism" (May 1983)


  • Hans Eichner, University of Toronto, for "The Rise of Modern Science and the Genesis of Romanticism" (January 1982)


  • George T. Wright, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, for "Hendiadys and Hamlet" (March 1981)
  • Honorable mention: Gerhard Joseph, Lehman College, City University of New York, for "The Antigone as Cultural Touchstone: Matthew Arnold, Hegel, George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and Margaret Drabble" (January 1981)
  • Honorable mention: Marshall Brown, University of Colorado, for "The Logic of Realism: A Hegelian Approach" (March 1981)


  • Roger W. Herzel, State University of New York, Albany, for "'Much Depends on the Acting': The Original Cast of Le Misanthrope" (May 1980)


  • David H. Miles, University of Virginia, for "Portrait of the Marxist as a Young Hegelian: Lukács' Theory of the Novel" (January 1979)


  • Morris E. Eaves, University of New Mexico, for "Blake and the Artistic Machine: An Essay in Decorum and Technology" (October 1977)


  • Evelyn J. Hinz, University of Manitoba, for "Hierogamy versus Wedlock: Types of Marriage Plots and Their Relationship to Genres of Prose Fiction" (October 1976)


  • R. G. Peterson, Saint Olaf College, for "Critical Calculations: Measure and Symmetry in Literature" (May 1976)


  • Walter J. Ong, SJ, Saint Louis University, for "The Writer's Audience Is Always a Fiction" (January 1975)
  • Honorable mention: A. Dwight Culler, Yale University, for "Monodrama and the Dramatic Monologue" (May 1975)


  • George T. Wright, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, for "The Lyric Present: Simple Present Verbs in English Poems" (May 1974)


  • Elisabeth Schneider, University of California, Santa Barbara, for "Prufrock and After: The Theme of Change" (October 1972)
  • Honorable mention: Frances W. Weber, University of Michigan, for "Unamuno's Niebla: From Novel to Dream" (March 1973)


  • R. A. Yoder, Northeastern University, for "Toward the 'Titmouse Dimension': The Development of Emerson's Poetic Style" (March 1972)


  • Fredric R. Jameson, University of California, San Diego, for "Metacommentary" (January 1971) and "La Cousine Bette and Allegorical Realism" (March 1971)
  • Honorable mention: Alan E. Knight, Pennsylvania State University, for "The Medieval Theater of the Absurd" (March 1971)
  • Honorable mention: Robert Champigny, Indiana University, for "Implicitness in Narrative Fiction" (October 1970)


  • E. D. Lowry, Dunbarton College of Holy Cross, for "The Lively Art of Manhattan Transfer" (October 1969)
  • Honorable mention: W. B. Carnochan, Stanford University, for "Satire, Sublimity, and Sentiment: Theory and Practice in Post-Augustan Satire" (March 1970)
  • Honorable mention: William V. Spanos, State University of New York, Binghamton, for "'Wanna Go Home, Baby?': Sweeney Agonistes as Drama of the Absurd" (January 1970)


  • Rudolf B. Gottfried, Indiana University, Bloomington, for "Our New Poet: Archetypal Criticism and The Faerie Queene" (October 1968)
  • Honorable mention: Leon Gottfried, Washington University, for "Death's Other Kingdom: Dantesque and Theological Symbolism in 'Flowering Judas'" (January 1969)
  • Honorable mention: Jules Brody, City University of New York, for "Don Juan and Le Misanthrope, or the Esthetics of Individualism in Molière" (May 1969)
  • Honorable mention: L. A. Beaurline, University of Virginia, for "Ben Jonson and the Illusion of Completeness" (January 1969)
  • Honorable mention: Nina Baym, University of Illinois, for "Fleda Vetch and the Plot of The Spoils of Poynton" (January 1969)


  • Stanley B. Greenfield, University of Oregon, for "Grammar and Meaning in Poetry" (October 1967)
  • Honorable mention: Joseph J. Moldenhauer, University of Texas, for "Murder as a Fine Art: Basic Connections between Poe's Aesthetics, Psychology, and Moral Vision" (May 1968)
  • Honorable mention: Glauco Cambon, Rutgers University, for "Eugenio Montale's 'Motets': The Occasions of Epiphany" (December 1967)


  • Donald Rackin, Temple University, for "Alice's Journey to the End of Night" (October 1966)


  • Elisabeth Schneider, University of California, Santa Barbara, for "The Wreck of the Deutschland: A New Reading" (March 1966)


  • René Girard, Johns Hopkins University, for "Camus's Stranger Retried" (December 1964)


  • David J. DeLaura, University of Texas, Austin, for "Arnold and Carlyle" (March 1964)
  • Honorable mention: William M. Manly, Simmons College, for "Journey to Consciousness: The Symbolic Pattern of Camus's L'étranger" (June 1964)
  • Honorable mention: Isidore Silver, Washington University, for "Ronsard's Reflections on Cosmogony and Nature" (June 1964)