The Editors are pleased to announce the winner of the 2011 Margaret Church Memorial Prize for the best essay to appear in MFS. The Church Prize was established in 1984 in memory of Dr. Church, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Purdue University and a longtime editor of this journal.
The winner for 2011 is Laura Saltz, author of "'The Vision-Building Faculty': Naturalist Vision in The House of Mirth," which appeared in volume 57, issue 1 (pages 17-46).
Special thanks to David Cowart (University of South Carolina) for choosing this year's winner. In making his selection, Prof. Cowart writes,
Saltz's article, which historicizes Wharton's conceptualization of narrational perspective, . . . reshape[s] our thinking about a literary artist whose greatness becomes more perceptible with the passing years. The class-valenced constructions of gender normally brought under consideration in Wharton studies certainly figure here, but they are relegated to the ideational and hermeneutic background as Professor Saltz looks at the scientific ideas to which Wharton was drawn. The account here of early ideas about vision, photographic representation, and Lamarckian theory makes for an especially rich meditation on Wharton's great novel.
Prof. Saltz, who teaches at Colby College in Maine, received $300 and a certificate, a copy of which appears here. [End Page vi]