The Cultural Studies Department is proud to announce the winners of this year’s Gregory R. Frith Memorial Prize and Andrew Wernick Essay Prize. The Frith Prize, awarded for outstanding work in the arts, goes to Katy Catchpole. The Wernick Prize, awarded to the student with the best essay of the year, goes to Tyler Pocock.
The Frith Prize goes to Katy Catchpole, who produced a video, "Own Undoing" (digital, colour, sound), for Professor Kelly Egan’s CUST-MDST 4586H: Cinema in the Digital Age. It explores notions of gender and gender identity, specifically with regard to the artist's own sense of becoming within a digital context. "In this work, I undergo a process of construction and deconstruction, as my face and body are repeatedly fragmented into scattered pieces, occasionally threading together to reveal my figure," Katy writes of her work. The Committee appreciated the tension displayed in the work between the surface of the screen and the surface of the canvas; this tension responds to the commonplace understanding of the digital screen as flat, smooth, and featureless, instead drawing the viewer's attention to its painterly, sculptural, and embodied qualities of the digital screen. Katy's work can be found alongside the other Frith Prize entrants on the Artwork page at https://www.trentu.ca/culturalstudies/community/artwork.
The Wernick Prize goes to Tyler Pocock for an essay titled “Comparing British and American Reporting on the Blitz” produced in Professor Alan O'Connor's CUST-MDST 3531H: Media and War. Drawing on a well-selected set of sources from 1940-1941, the paper initially compared the enthusiasm of the British newspapers’ coverage of the Blitz to the skepticism of American radio’s coverage, but then extended beyond this comparison to explain the multiple factors that explained the bias behind the British stiff upper lip. The writing, which one of the Committee members described as “crisp” and “mature,” complemented the argumentation. The paper is an excellent example of historically grounded work attentive to the complicated relationship between culture, media, and politics.
The Department offers sincere congratulations to Katy and Tyler, and wishes them luck in their future work.
More information on the Frith and Wernick Prizes, including a list of previous recipients, can be found on our Academic Prizes page.