The Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center’s Prize Essay Committee has announced that Bryan Conn, PhD., a member of the English Department of Case Western Reserve University has won the Center’s 2010 essay competition for his essay “Clinging to Love, Loving to Cling – Race and Sexuality in James Baldwin’s Another Country “. The competition, established in 2009 by a $1000 gift from Tom Peterson and augmented by Dr. Anna Janicki, was established to promote interest in psychoanalytic scholarship in northeast Ohio. It is awarded for the best psychoanalytically informed essay in the bio-behavioral sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities, and is open to anyone regardless of institutional status or affiliation.
Dr. Conn received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University; his particular interests have been in American and African-American Literature. His prize essay examines Baldwin’s exploration of the varieties of loving relationships that he saw in the post WWII period, focusing particularly on the racial and sexual orientation mixings. He uses psychoanalytic theoretical writings to help understand those connections. Conn will be presenting the full paper at a public meeting of the Center on December 3, 2010, at which time he will be awarded his prize. The committee will also help him in seeking publication of the essay.
The CPC plans to make the essay competition a yearly event, and is grateful to Dr. Janicki for agreeing to sponsor the prize. Interestingly, last year’s winner, T. Kenneth Fountain is also from the CWRU English faculty. His winning essay was entitled “The Lack of Sources: Or, What Reading Lacan Can Teach Us about Academic Writing”. Details on the December 3rd presentation will be forthcoming.