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December 7th, 2011 at 6:47 am

MLA Award Winners: Donna Jones and Michael K. Bourdaghs

Donna Jones, The Racial Discourses of Life PhilosophyWe were very excited to learn that two of our authors will be receiving awards at this year’s Modern Language Association’s annual conference. And the winners are:

Donna V. Jones for her book The Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Négritude, Vitalism, and Modernity. From the citation for the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies

Donna V. Jones’s Racial Discourses of Life Philosophy: Négritude, Vitalism, and Modernity is a groundbreaking study of négritude and its major theorists, the poets Léopold Senghor and Aimé Césaire, that examines their adaptation and transformation of the philosophies of vitalism proposed by Henri Bergson. Carefully tracing the tradition of Western modernity that posits the mechanical state and mechanism as its dominant forms, Jones shows how Senghor and Césaire rework “vital force” in their metaphysics and poetics and how—even as it is implicated in forms of racism and colonialism—vitalism remains an important influence on modern discourses of postcolonialism and racial emancipation. Expansive in its range and precise in its readings, the book invites a significant rethinking of important movements and philosophies of the twentieth century.

Michael K. Bourdaghs, Atsuko Ueda, and Joseph Murphy, who won the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature for their translation of Theory and Other Critical Writings, by Natsume Soseki. From the citation:

Theory of Literature and Other Critical Writings, by Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916), provides English language readers with major critical works by Japan’s foremost novelist of the twentieth century. Sōseki aspired to a grand and systematic explanation of literature, focusing on literature’s effects on readers. Based on the cognitive psychology of his day, his account explores how the content of the literary work generates emotional responses. Michael K. Bourdaghs, Atsuko Ueda, and Joseph A. Murphy have done a superb job of supplying the contextual information necessary for today’s non-Japanese reader to appreciate the subtlety and significance of Sōseki’s work.

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