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Please join us in congratulating Joshua Bennett, Professor of English and Creative Writing, winner of the MLA's twentieth annual William Sanders Scarborough Prize for his book Being Property Once Myself: Blackness and the End of Man, published by Harvard University Press. The prize is awarded annually "for an outstanding scholarly study of black American literature or culture."
From the MLA Press Release:
The William Sanders Scarborough Prize is one of eighteen awards that will be presented on 8 January 2022, during the association's annual convention, to be held in Washington, DC. The members of the selection committee were John Drabinski (Univ. of Maryland, College Park); Christina Sharpe (York Univ.); and Amritjit Singh (Ohio Univ., Athens), chair. The committee's citation for Bennett's book reads:
Brilliant in its approach and gorgeous in its prose, Joshua Bennett's Being Property Once Myself employs conceptual frames from ecological criticism and animal studies to recast and reinterpret the African American literary imagination. His treatments of key figures from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries show the power of these interpretative frames by breathing new life into texts by well-known figures like Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Robert Hayden, and Toni Morrison, as well as opening new dimensions in works by contemporary writers such as Jesmyn Ward. What emerges from this approach is a creative, elegant, and compelling study of the intersections among ecology, the human animal, and the nonhuman animal as sites of thinking. Bennett offers innovative readings and a refreshing model for literary and cultural criticism.
Congratulations, Professor Bennett!