Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize

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 three prizes of £100, £50, and £30 and the winning entrants are also given one-year free BCLA membership. The deadline for this year’s competition is noon on Friday 1 September 2017.

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 should have been written in English (maximum 6000 words).

3      The essay should be submitted electronically, accompanied by a completed cover sheet, to both Prof Naomi Segal ( and Dr Emily Finer ( 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 2016 prize were announced at the BCLA Postgraduate Reception, which took place on 7 November 2016. The jury, which consisted of members of the BCLA Executive Committee, awarded the following:

First prize: Susannah Stevenson (UCL) for “(Artificial) silk girls: Silk as a social signifier in the changing consumer societies of Émile Zola’s Au Bonheur des Dames and Irmgard Keun’s Das kunstseidene Mädchen”.

Second prize: Hajer Gam (UCL) for “Death, Life and Love as forms of consumption in Emile Zola’s Au Bonheur des Dames and Thérèse Raquin”.

Third prize: Benjamin Mappin-Kasirer (Oxford) for “Renewing Minor Literature: Laferrière, Deleuze, and Guattari at the ‘Académie française’”.

We congratulate them all for their success.

Winning entries are eligible for publication in full on the website.

* 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.