The winner of the 2022 Patrick Scott Award for Best Graduate Paper has been announced:
Shalmi Barman, University of Virginia
“The Factory Girl’s Address: Ellen Johnston and the Politics of Form”
Abstract: Although she was a laboring-class writer who worked in factories all her life, the factory odes of Ellen Johnston, the self-titled “Factory Girl,” have received little consideration as political poems. Yet in “Address to the Factory of Messrs. J. & W. I. Scott & Co.,” Johnston self-consciously manipulates the power dynamics between speaking subject and addressed other through imitation of lyric forms such as panegyric and elegy. Rereading Johnston’s use of rhetorical apostrophe in a poem to, and about, a Scottish textiles factory as politically strategic pushes back against the selection bias in recovery work and canon diversification efforts that predetermines the interpretive frames applied to minoritized writers.
Shalmi Barman is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Virginia where she is writing a dissertation on the ideological representation of work in mid- to late-century Victorian fiction. Her research and teaching interests include the literature of labor, women’s writing, the history of books, and the digital humanities