Two students of English Literature have won the BGU English Award for Research Excellence 2022 in recognition of the excellence of their research in final year dissertations.

The winners, Victoria Dalton and Tilly Firth, developed their research with support from supervisors in BGU’s English department. All students of English are given the opportunity to pursue their own research interests during the final year of their studies. Dalton and Firth’s dissertations were judged to have shown the strongest research skills of all work submitted by single and joint-honours students of English.

Firth’s dissertation, ‘Cultural Odysseys’, asked how ancient mythology has been adapted for the twenty-first century, focusing particularly on feminist retellings of classical storylines. Her dual focus on unheard voices and the complexity of translating myths for the modern age was commended by the judges.

Meanwhile, Dalton’s project drew on the department’s strengths in nineteenth-century literature by asking how the governess figure challenged Victorian gender stereotypes. Drawing on novels by Anne Brontë, Charlotte Brontë and Henry James, Dalton argued that the governess figure both subverted and conformed to the popular Victorian feminized stereotype of the ‘Angel in the House’.

When asked what winning the BGU English Award for Research Excellence 2022 meant to her, Dalton said: “I am proud and honoured to receive the research award and earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received.

“Going back to education as a mature student after many years away from academic study was challenging, but the support, patience, and reassurance from the wonderful English department helped me to reach a stage where I can proudly accept this award as a mark of my achievement.”

15th August 2022

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