Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize

***This year’s prizes will be awarded in a ceremony at 5 pm in Room 116, SOAS main building, after the BCLA Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture.***

Emeritus Professor Arthur Terry
Emeritus Professor Arthur Terry

The British Comparative Literature Association offers an annual prize for an essay written in English on any aspect of comparative literature in memory of Arthur Terry (1927–2004), who served as President of the BCLA for many years. Arthur Terry was Emeritus Professor in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex, and one of the world’s most distinguished critics of Catalan literature for which he received many awards. He was a champion of comparative literature and translation studies (read his obituary in the Guardian).

The aim of the Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize is to recognise work of outstanding merit at Master’s level. There are two prizes of £100 and £60, and the winning entrants are also given one-year free BCLA membership. The deadline for next year’s competition will be 12 noon on Friday 6 September 2019.

Conditions for entry:

1      The essay should have been written in the same academic year by a postgraduate student at Master’s level registered at an institution of higher education in the United Kingdom or Ireland and submitted for assessment within that institution.

2      The essay should be on an aspect of comparative literature and be written in English (maximum 8000 words). For the purposes of the Arthur Terry prize, ‘comparative literature’ is defined as the study of the interaction of at least two bodies of literature (writers, genres, etc.), usually across languages.

3      The essay should be submitted electronically, accompanied by a completed cover sheet, to both Prof Naomi Segal ( and Dr Carole Sweeney ( It should adhere to the presentation guidelines on the cover sheet.

4      The entry requires a message from the student’s supervisor/tutor confirming the student’s status, the originality of the essay, the reasons for the mark awarded and that the essay is being submitted in its original form. This should be emailed separately by the deadline to the same two email addresses.

5      Only one submission per candidate may be accepted, and no supervisor may submit more than three essays in any year.

The winners of the 2018 competition will be announced and their prizes presented at an upcoming meeting of BCLA. The jury, which consisted of members of the BCLA Executive Committee, awarded the following:

  • 1st prize (£100) to Melanie Xang-Er Tang of King’s College London, for her essay ‘Cavafy, Baudelaire & Rimbaud: Voyage, Ephemerality and the Pursuit of Meaning’Melanie Tang – Voyage Essay;
  • 2nd prize (£60) to Danny Shanahan of King’s College London, for his essay ‘Blind ideology: Cyclopean figures in Invisible Man and UlyssesBCLA 2018 winner SHANAHAN.

We congratulate them on their success.

Winning entries are eligible for publication in full on the website. NB: All essays will be published under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 on the BCLA website unless otherwise stated.

See the previous winners of the Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize.