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Doreen Thierauf with Walter Arnstein
Doreen Thierauf with Walter Arnstein, in whose honor the Walter L. Arnstein Prize for Dissertation Research in Victorian Studies was launched 25 years ago

Doreen Thierauf, a doctoral candidate in English at UNC-Chapel Hill, recently received a prestigious dissertation research award from the Midwest Victorian Studies Association.

Presented at the organization’s annual spring meeting, the Walter L. Arnstein Prize for Dissertation Research in Victorian Studies recognizes scholarship of interest to scholars across disciplines and focusing on Victorian Britain. The award, presented to a doctoral student at a U.S. or Canadian university, comes with a $1,500 prize.

Thierauf’s dissertation is titled “Spectacularly Conceived: Sexual Violence and Burdened Motherhood in Nineteenth-Century British Literature.” It studies major 19th-century British fiction and poetry in relation to important medical and cultural texts to make visible the underlying rules structuring the otherwise taboo representation of female characters’ experiences of sexual assault and pregnancy.

Thierauf is a recipient of UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2015 Fred and Joan Thomson Award for outstanding dissertation work and has won three teaching awards at UNC-Chapel Hill, among them the 2014 Lawrence G. Avery Award for Outstanding Teaching in Undergraduate Literature. She co-chairs the British Women Writers Conference steering committee for the 25th Anniversary Conference in Chapel Hill, which will be held in June 2017.

She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and history from the University of Rostock in Germany.

The Midwest Victorian Studies Association is an interdisciplinary organization of scholars studying 19th-century British history, literature and culture. Membership includes about 200 individuals from more than 100 colleges and universities.

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