New York University Professors Jane Tylus and Crystal Parikh have received awards from the Modern Language Association (MLA) for their recently published works. They will be formally honored during MLA’s annual convention, to be held January 7, 2011 in Los Angeles.
Tylus, a professor in the Department of Italian Studies, vice provost for Academic Affairs, and faculty director for the Humanities Initiative, received the Howard R. Marraro Prize for Reclaiming Catherine of Siena: Literacy, Literature, and the Signs of Others (University of Chicago Press, 2009). She shares the prize, awarded biennially for an outstanding book in the field of Italian literature or comparative literature involving Italian, with the University of Pennsylvania’s Christine Poggi, who was recognized for her work Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism.
“By painstakingly researching her sources and intelligently shifting the basis of the discussion from one of autography to one of intentionality, Tylus shows that Catherine understood her use of the Italian vernacular as emanating from a miraculous mission entrusted her by God to spread his word and her own,” the award committee wrote of Tylus’ work, which makes the case for placing Catherine (1347-1380) alongside Dante and Petrarch in the Italian literary canon.
Tylus’ other works include Writing and Vulnerability in the Late Renaissance and co-edited volumes The Poetics of Early Modern Masculinity in Italy and Spain, Gaspara Stampa: The Complete Poems, and Epic Traditions in the Contemporary World. Her translation of Sacred Narratives: The Poetry of Lucrezia Tornabuoni de’Medici received a translation award from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.
Parikh, an associate professor in the Department of English and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis (SCA), received the MLA Prize in United States Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies for An Ethics of Betrayal: The Politics of Otherness in Emergent U.S. Literatures and Cultures (Fordham University Press, 2009). The prize is awarded for an outstanding scholarly study of Latina or Latino or Chicana or Chicano literature or culture.
“Crystal Parikh’s An Ethics of Betrayal: The Politics of Otherness in Emergent U.S. Literatures and Cultures is original, theoretically sophisticated, and broadly comparative in the best sense of the term,” the award committee wrote of its selection. “Her comparative analysis is truly innovative, providing a new model that challenges ethnic-specific literary studies and points toward new genealogies in 21st century cultural studies.”
Parikh, director of undergraduate studies in SCA, is currently working on a book about human rights discourses and contemporary U.S. writers of color.