News & Events

Matt Bayne Awarded Gilman Prize

June 13, 2016

Congratulations to Matt Bayne! Matt is the winner of this year's William H. Gilman Memorial Prize, awarded annually by the department to an "outstanding PhD candidate in English or American Literature." 

Last month Matt defended his dissertation, entitled "Tarrying with Useless Things: Reparative Readings of Victorian Social Inequality." In it, he argues that Victorian authors employed images of garbage to symbolize marginalized members of society -- single women, queer men, colonized peoples, the poor -- but that, perhaps unexpectedly, the metaphor works "reparatively," helping, ultimately, to endow these populations with positive value. 

Professor William H. Gilman was one of the foremost scholars of American literature in his day. He taught at the University of Rochester for nearly 30 years, until his death in 1976. After publishing a definitive study of Herman Melville, he became a founding editor, and then chief editor, of the journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson.