Walter James Miller Memorial Award

Walter James MillerWalter James Miller (1918–2010) was an American literary critic, playwright, poet, and translator. He was the author, co-author, editor and/or translator of more than sixty books, including four landmark critical editions of Jules Verne, several collections of original poetry, and critical commentaries and editions of Beckett, Bradbury, Conrad, Dickens, Doctorow, Dumas, Heller, Homer, Shakespeare, and Vonnegut. He wrote extensively for television and radio, and his verse drama was staged and revived off-Broadway. During a distinguished career as an educator and advocate for the liberal arts he taught at Hofstra University, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, Colorado State University, and for over 40 years at New York University, where he created a popular “Great Books” course, and in 1980 received the NYU Alumni Great Teacher Award. In the 1960s and 1970s, he scripted, produced, and hosted numerous television and radio series on the arts, literature, and technology, and his Peabody Award-winning show Reader’s Almanac was a fixture on WNYC, public radio in New York City.

A pioneering figure of modern Jules Verne studies, Miller’s 1965 Washington Square Press edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea was the first unabridged English translation of the novel. In the now-famous preface to that edition, Miller documented the shocking abridgments and mistranslations of Verne in previous English language editions. Miller’s call for accurate and complete English renderings of the works of this founding figure of the modern fantastic initiated a major reassessment of Verne’s importance and is widely credited with fostering the publication of many new English editions of Verne and the emergence of Verne studies as a serious academic discipline in the Anglophone world.

The Walter James Miller Memorial Award for Student Scholarship in the International Fantastic is given annually to the author of the best ICFA student paper devoted to a work or works of the fantastic originally created in a language other than English. (The IAFA defines the fantastic to include science fiction, folklore, and related genres in literature, drama, film, art and graphic design, and related disciplines.) In addition to its scholarly excellence, the winning paper must also demonstrate the author’s command of the relevant linguistic, national, and cultural contexts of the work or works discussed.

Submission criteria:

•    Papers may be submitted by graduate students in any discipline and at any level of training.

•    Only one paper may be submitted per person each year. Jointly-authored papers may be submitted if all authors of the paper meet the criteria for the award.

•   Submitted papers must be no longer than 5,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography).

•    Papers submitted for the Award also must have been submitted to the International Fantastic division of the forthcoming ICFA. Papers cross-listed in other conference divisions will be accepted for consideration so long as the paper’s home is in the IF division.

•    Only papers accepted for presentation at the forthcoming ICFA are eligible for the Award.

•    Papers submitted must not have been published prior to the submission deadline. Chapters of completed or in-progress dissertations and theses may be submitted if they have not been published prior to the submission deadline.

•    Papers comparing non-Anglophone to Anglophone works will be considered so long as the paper is devoted primarily to non-Anglophone works.

•    An abstract must accompany all submissions.

•    Submissions must include proof of the author’s student status in electronic format. Acceptable forms of proof include an image of a current student ID or a letter from a supervising faculty member or department Chair.

Deadline for submission: January 1

Prize:  A stipend of $US 250, a plaque honoring the winner, and one year’s free membership in the IAFA, to be awarded at the annual International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Winning papers will also be considered for publication in the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.

Please direct all inquiries and submissions to:

Terry Harpold
Department of English
4008 Turlington Hall
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611-7310 USA
Email: <tharpold AT ufl.edu>

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