Emory Elliott Endowed Memorial Award

Emory ElliottThe Emory Elliott Endowed Memorial Student Award has been established by Georgia Elliott and her family in honor of University Professor Emory Elliott, distinguished scholar of American Literature and member of the UCR English Department faculty from 1989-2009. The award is designed to support English graduate and undergraduate students who have done outstanding work in the area of American literature and culture.


Emory Elliott was an internationally recognized distinguished scholar of American Studies. He published two groundbreaking books on early American literature, but his scholarship and teaching encompassed all of American literature, from the Puritans to Postmodernism. Emory dedicated himself to the most generous understanding of what the field of American Studies might be, and what an academic department can do. Emory joined UCR’s English department as Professor of English in 1989 and was appointed University Professor in 2001. He was a passionate and dedicated teacher, who mentored countless students. An advocate for a rigorously inclusive University, Emory championed diversity in faculty hiring and new areas of inquiry.

Emory was an exceptionally generous individual. He always found time to listen, review, and mentor his graduate and undergraduate students and junior and senior professorial colleagues and gave invaluable moral and material support to their academic and life pursuits.

Scholars across the country and across the world came to know UCR through Emory’s inspired and dedicated work as director of UCR’s Center for Ideas and Society. As Director, Emory brought major initiatives funded by grants from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations to the campus, and sponsored landmark conferences, such as “Aesthetics and Difference”, which placed Riverside at the center of national discussions of a progressive future for the Humanities. As President of the American Studies Association, Emory took great pride in furthering opportunities for international exchange and collaboration, believing that scholarship and education were crucial to a more peaceful and just world.

Criteria and Selection Process

The Emory Elliott Endowed Memorial Student Award is given annually at the end of the year.  Calls for application will be sent out each April.  All papers (graduate or undergraduate) should be submitted to C. Jacob Marcos in the English Department Office, 1202 HMNSS.



• This award recognizes distinguished work by a junior or senior English major in any field of American literature and/or culture. Criteria include GPA in English courses and outstanding work in courses that focus on these fields.
• To nominate yourself, please submit a brief statement (500-750 words) explaining what interests you about American Literature and your accomplishments in the field. (Faculty will also be polled for nominations.)
• Send your statement with your full name, student ID#, email address, and the names of two professors who know your work well in an email attachment to Jacob Marcos (cjacob.marcos@ucr.edu)



• You must be an English graduate student to submit an essay.
• Essays must focus on an aspect of any field of American literature and/or culture. Submissions are limited to essays submitted during the preceding three quarters for the Qual. I or Qual. II examination or as a dissertation chapter. Eligible dissertation chapters are those which have been submitted to the dissertation director(s) sometime between the beginning of S’13 and the end of W’14.
• No more than one essay may be submitted for the Emory Elliott Award. It cannot be an essay already submitted to the English Graduate Essay Contest.
• No previous award-winning essays may be submitted.

Submissions must include:
A cover sheet with the award name “Emory Elliott Endowed Memorial Award,” the author’s name and phone number, the title of the essay, and the quarter when the essay was submitted for Qualifying Exam I, Qualifying Exam II, or (if a dissertation chapter) to the dissertation chair.

The paper itself must be anonymous. The first page should include the essay’s title, but no other information. The author’s name must not appear anywhere except on the cover sheet.

Three separate paper copies must be submitted, but only one cover sheet is needed.

Winners will be announced at the English Department’s year-end party in June.
The author of the winning essay will
be awarded $500.




  • Juana Rodriguez


  • Melanie Masterton Sherazi for her essay, “Toward an Ecstatic Reading of the Posthumous Text: The Play of Temporal Excess in Ralph Ellison’s Unbound Manuscript.”



  • Liz Gumm for her essay, “Failed Reading: Symbolic Failure of Books, Collections, and Libraries in The House of Mirth and The Great Gatsby



  • Jaime Gonzalez for his essay, “Constructing the “New World” Through Discourse: Colonial Cataloguing and Epistemic Violence in Hans Staden’s True History”


  • Rubén Mendoza for his essay, “Portrait of the Artist-Educator as a Rhetorician: Affect and the Production of Presence In Harry Gamboa Jr.’s Pedagogico-Aesthetic Praxis”


Lauren Benard, Rochelle Gold, Kimberly Hall

From left to right: Lauren Benard, Rochelle Gold, and Kimberly Hall


  • Lauren Benard for her essay, “Taking on a Mourning Her Mother Never Bothered With: Esther’s Anguished Memory and Her Resistance to a Domestic Life in Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar”


  • Rochelle Gold for her essay, “The Author-Function and Digital Functionality: The Male Celebrity Author at the Crossroads of the Networked Public Sphere”
  • Kimberly Hall for her essay, “Aperture into Memory: Joy Harjo’s Ekphrastic Mode in Secrets from the Center of the World”


  • Mark Michel
  • Elizabeth Perez