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Southern Appalachian Student Conference on Literature

Department of Literature and Language


The Southern Appalachian Student Conference on Literature offers awards for achievement in essay.

We are happy to announce the recipients of the awards for our 2015 conference.

Danielle Byington

Our 2015 Undergraduate "Achievement in Essay Award" went to Danielle Byington for "Zoomorphic Birth and Fallen Troy's Inability to Be Reborn." Ms. Byington received her BA from East Tennessee State University in May 2015 and has joined our MA program. She will serve as the editor of the ETSU student literature and arts journal, The Mockingbird, for its 2016-2017 publication year. Our Graduate "Achievement in Essay Award" went to Jessica Hall for "Visions and Waking Dreams: Keats's Ambivalent Assessment of the Visionary Imagination." By coincidence, Ms. Hall is the editor of The Mockingbird's 2015-2016 publication year.

Jessica Hall and Thomas Alan Holmes

Our first award for achievement in essay went to University of Tennessee-Knoxville student Jesse Graves, for his paper, “Lattice Work: Formal Tendencies in the Poetry of Robert Morgan and Ron Rash.” We are pleased to announce that an extended version of his paper has been published in a special issue of Southern Quarterly dedicated to "poetry in the South." Coincidentally, (now Dr.) Jesse Graves joined the ETSU English faculty in fall 2009, practicing his specialization in poetry. We appreciate Karen Kornweibel for judging the 2007 competition.

Our second award for achievement in essay went to East Tennessee State University undergraduate Jessica Gilley for “’From last year, and from the year before last, and from the year before that again’: History and Culture in Beckett." We wish her continued success with her work, and are pleased to announce that in fall 2009 she entered the Master's program in English at Queens University in Belfast. Thanks go to Jennifer Barker for judging the 2008 competition.

The third award for achievement in essay, presented during our 2009 conference, went to Robert Kottage of ETSU for his "Reading the 'Four of Cups': Divination versus Christianity in McCarthy's Blood Meridian."  Robert completed his Master's degree in literature at ETSU in 2014  and has been pursuing his studies as an independent scholar.

For the 2010 SASCOL confererence, Kim Steger of ETSU won the third place award for "The Role of Disguise in Shakespeare's Plays," which Dr. Westover noted for "sound arguments about its subject matter; . . . demonstrat[ing] an awareness of what, if anything, has already been written on the topic; and . . . maintain[ing] interest by being articulately and stylishly written." Second place went to Mark Michaelson of Georgia State University, whose "The Redemptive Function of Allegory in The House of the Seven Gables" offers an "articulate and convincing" argument, "put[ting] to good use contemporary critical theory without being wholly dependent upon it." ETSU's Jennifer Daniel earned the first place award for "Hester's Half of the Sky: Chinese Support of Nina Baym's Scarlet Conclusions," which offers "compelling" conclusions "informed by both close reading and global awareness."

Westover, Daniel, Steger, Michaelson

Professor Dan Westover congratulates 2010 Essay Achievement Award winners Jennifer Daniel, Kim Steger, and Mark Michaelson.

Kottage and Graves 2009 "Achievement in Award" recipient Robert Kottage (l) congratulated by 2007 recipient and now ETSU English Department Professor Jesse Graves (photo courtesy ETSU Photo Lab) Barker and Gilley 2008 "Achievement in Essay" award recipient Jessica Gilley (r) congratulated by Professor Jennifer Barker (photo courtesy ETSU Photo Lab).

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