We congratulate doctoral student Helen Hunter, who has been awarded the prestigious Constance Naden Medal for the best MPhil thesis in the former Faculty of Arts in the University of Birmingham.

Helen completed an MPhil in Modern European Cultures in September 2010. Her thesis was entitled “‘The Sins of the Sons: Acomparative analysis of guilt, atonement and redemption in Kafka’s “Die Verwandlung”, and Thomas Mann’s “Der Erwählte”, with reference to Hartmann von Aue’s “Gregorius”’.

Her examiners commented that Helen’s MPhil thesis was intellectually sophisticated, outstandingly well argued, and impeccably presented throughout. The external examiner commented further that Helen’s thesis was an “outstanding piece of work, which demonstrates an appreciation of the complexity and subtlety of these difficult texts, of a kind one rarely encounters. This thesis is, to my knowledge, the most comprehensive and perceptive discussion of this aspect of these texts yet written.”

Helen has been awarded a College of Arts and Law PhD Scholarship to work on a PhD thesis entitled “The Son as Adam and Christ: Literary uses of biblical imagery in Hartmann von Aue’s Gregorius, Kafka’s Die Verwandlung and Thomas Mann’s Der Erwählte”, under the supervision of Dr Nick Martin and Dr Nigel Harris.