PhD Student Laura Coby wins HRI Prize for Research in the Humanities


English PhD Student Laura Coby wins the HRI Prize for Research in the Humanities for best graduate student research for her entry, “The Specter in Drag: The Afterlives of Ross Laycock.” Her paper explores how artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres gives agency to the specter that resides within his body of work by challenging the finality of death with the queer potentiality of aesthetic afterlives.

Coby’s research interests include 20th century literature, avant-garde and absurdist drama, performance studies, and queer and feminist theory. Additionally, Coby is involved with La Estación Gallery and The Brown Theatre Collective on campus.

The HRI Prizes in the Humanities recognizes and rewards excellence in humanities scholarship at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels. Graduate students have the option to submit an essay written for an Urbana campus course or an excerpt from their thesis, dissertation, or equivalent research project. Applications are evaluated on their scholarly merit, the intellectual rigor of the research question(s), and the quality of writing by a committee comprised of members of the HRI Advisory Committee, invited members of the faculty, and the HRI Director and Deputy Director. The award includes a prize of $500.

Please join the department in celebrating Coby’s achievements!