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The Gildersleeve Prize for the Best Article Published in the AJP in 2012 awarded to Rachel Ahern Knudsen, PhD '09 Stanford Classics.

THE GILDERSLEEVE PRIZE FOR THE BEST ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE IN 2012 HAS BEEN PRESENTED TO Rachel Ahern Knudsen, University of Oklahoma, for her contribution to scholarship in “Poetic Speakers, Sophistic Words,” 133.1:31–60. Full article: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/american_journal_of_philology/v133/133.1.knudsen.html

Knudsen here presents and studies four showpieces of sophistic rhetoric as a literary and educational experiment that sheds light on a fascinating cultural moment in which poetic, forensic, and philosophic discourses were beginning to crystallize in their classical forms. In the works examined here, Gorgias’ (Self)-Defense of Palamedes, Alcidamas’ Odysseus-impersonating Against the Treachery of Palamedes, and Antisthenes’ paired Ajax and Odysseus, the sophists appropriate the characters of epic to showcase the techniques of rhetoric, a didactic approach more appealing and more accessible than that of rhetorical handbooks. The literary achievement of these speeches suggests tantalizing parallels with the confluence of myth and philosophy and other forms of generic hybridization in this period. Knudsen shows, moreover, just how ahead of their time these mytho-forensic forays from the classical period turn out to be, anticipating as they do the progymnasmata of the Second Sophistic era. Judges for The Johns Hopkins University Press Ralph M. Rosen, Chair Ellen Greene Cynthia Damon

Rachel received her PhD in Classics from Stanford University in 2009.