The GAPS Dissertation Award recognizes outstanding dissertations on new anglophone literatures and cultures as well as varieties of English. It is awarded once every two years. More details about the award, including our latest call for nominations can be accessed here.
Recipient of the third GAPS Dissertation Award is Geoffrey Rodoreda. He received the prize for his outstanding dissertation entitled “The Mabo Turn in Contemporary Australian Fiction”, which was submitted at the University of Stuttgart.
Based on an in-depth study of Australian fiction writing from the last quarter of a century, Geoffrey Rodoreda’s thesis proposes a re-assessment of Australian literary historiography to account for what he describes as the ‘Mabo turn’ in contemporary Australian fiction. Central to this assessment is the observation that in the quarter of a century since the Australian High Court’s historic Mabo decision of 1992, novels examining Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations have attained unprecedented prominence in Australian literary discourse.
Recipient of the second GAPS Dissertation Award is James Ogone. He received the prize for his outstanding dissertation entitled “Domesticating Modernity in Africa: Local Epistemologies, Foreign Technologies and Dynamics of Mediation”, which was submitted at the University of Potsdam.
James Ogone’s work examines the impact of new media technologies – from the radio to the mobile phone – on African cultures. It explores the ways in which local African epistemologies and knowledge cultures disrupt, challenge and re-configure global media technologies that have borne the stamp of Western modernity. The dissertation analyzes the intricate relationship between media technologies and African (particularly Kenyan) oral traditions as well as the histories of film, video and audio recordings in African societies. Ogone’s considerations render his dissertation a truly innovative contribution to current scholarship in the field of Postcolonial Studies that grapples with the push and pull of global and local modernities.
Recipient of the first GAPS Dissertation Award is Doreen Strauhs. She received the prize for her outstanding dissertation entitled “African Literary NGOs: Power, Politics, and Participation”, which was submitted at Goethe University (Frankfurt) in 2012 and published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013.
Doreen Strauhs’ work is marked by an innovative approach to literary NGOs in Africa and their involvement in the Anglophone literary production on the continent. Her historiographic analyses offer fresh insights into how influential institutionally organized and sponsored socio-political literary activities have been since the late 1950s. Her concept of LINGO, designating the literary NGO, provides a theoretical framework with which she scrutinizes the social, political and literary networks in which these organizations are embedded. The writers are placed in the contexts of local politics, academic goals and curricula, as well as development aid. Thus, Doreen Strauhs conclusively shows what LINGOs can and cannot achieve, how they function as support network, as interlocutor and control mechanism for writers and readers in Africa and beyond. She provides an innovative literary historiography that sheds new light on African literary production, distribution and reception in a postcolonial and globalized Anglophone world.