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.

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
Friday 4 September 2020.

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 Rosa Mucignat ( 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.

Winning entries are eligible for publication in full on the website, and may be accessed and downloaded here:

NB: All essays will be published under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 on the BCLA website unless otherwise stated.

Winners of the 2019 Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize

The jury, which consisted of members of the BCLA Executive Committee, awarded the following:

  • 1st prize (£100) to Joanna Cresswell of Goldsmiths College London, for her essay “Wit as a Weapon: Male Anxiety and Female Laughter in Feminist Responses to Epic and Ancient Myth”.
  • 2nd prize (£60) to Henry Coburn of Goldsmiths College London for his essay “Epic Narrative Experience: The Odyssey, Ulysses and Temporal Correspondence”.

We congratulate them on their success.

See the previous winners of the Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize, and read their works.