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December 1 -- The Modern Language Association of America today announced it is awarding its eighth Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures to Edyta M. Bojanowska, of Rutgers University, for her book Nikolai Gogol: Between Ukrainian and Russian Nationalism, published by Harvard University Press. The prize is awarded biennially for an outstanding scholarly work on the linguistics or literatures of the Slavic languages, including Belarussian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, and Ukrainian.

The prize is one of eighteen awards presented on 28 December 2009 during the association's annual convention, held this year in Philadelphia. The members of the 2009 selection committee were Gabriella Safran (Stanford Univ.); Barry Scherr (Dartmouth Coll.), chair; and William Mills Todd III (Harvard Univ.).

The committee's citation for the winning book reads:

Nikolai Gogol: Between Ukrainian and Russian Nationalism contains a major new interpretation of one of Russia's most difficult writers. As the subtitle indicates, Edyta M. Bojanowska does not place Gogol in one tradition or the other but instead, in a series of carefully nuanced analyses, discusses how his writings contributed to both Ukrainian and Russian nationalist models. She traces in fine detail the development of his ideas and in the process sheds light on works by Gogol that have generally received less attention from critics. Equally at ease in presenting theories of nationalism and in carrying out close textual readings, Bojanowska has produced a study that will have a lasting influence on future Gogol scholarship.

Edyta Bojanowska

Edyta M. Bojanowska is an assistant professor of Russian and comparative literature in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University. She specializes in nineteenth-century century Russian prose. She received her PhD from Harvard University, where she was also a junior fellow at the Society of Fellows and a lecturer in Slavic languages and literatures. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Russian Review, Slavic and East European Journal, and Canadian Slavonic Papers. She has given numerous presentations, most recently at the conferences of the American Comparative Literature Association and of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled "Imperial Nationalism and Russian Culture."

The MLA, the largest and one of the oldest American learned societies in the humanities (est. 1883), exists to advance literary and linguistic studies. The 30,000 members of the association come from all fifty states and the District of Columbia, as well as from Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. PMLA, the association's flagship journal of literary scholarship, has published distinguished scholarly articles for over one hundred years. Approximately 9,500 members of the MLA and its allied and affiliate organizations attend the association's annual convention each December. The MLA is a constituent of the American Council of Learned Societies and the International Federation for Modern Languages and Literatures.

The Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures, awarded under the auspices of the MLA's Committee on Honors and Awards, was presented for the first time in 1995. That year's winner was Robert Maguire; honorable mention was given to Monika Greenleaf. In 1997 the award went to Alexander M. Schenker. In 1999 the award was given to Harriet Murav. The award in 2001 was given to Gabrielle Safran. In 2003, it was given to Irina Sirotkina. In 2005, the award went to Vladimir E. Alexandrov; honorable mention was given to Harsha Ram. The most recent award, in 2005, was given to Julie A. Buckler; Olga Matich received an honorable mention.

Also, this year, Andrew Kahn, of the University of Oxford, is receiving an honorable mention for his book Pushkin's Lyric Intelligence, published by Oxford University Press.  The committee's citation for the honorable mention reads:

Andrew Kahn has produced an extremely erudite study of Pushkin's lyrics, in which he explores and elucidates the intellectual context for these works. Very well read in the contemporary scholarship on English and continental Romanticism, he reveals the extent of Pushkin's profound engagement with the literary and cultural movements of his day. The volume is imaginatively organized around a set of themes that shed light on how Russia's greatest poet formed and developed his ideas about such matters as the role of inspiration in creativity, the classical and the Romantic, the question of commercial success for the artist, concepts of  the hero, and the confrontation with mortality.

Andrew Kahn is university reader in Russian at the University of Oxford, fellow at Saint Edmund Hall, and lecturer at Queen's College. He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to Pushkin and translator of Nicolai Karamzin, Letters of a Russian Traveler. His articles have appeared in journals such as Stanford Slavic Studies, Révue des Études Slaves, and EMF and books such as Remapping the Rise of the European Novel and Self and Story. His research interests include travel literature, Enlightenment Russia in its European context, and the history and theory of translation in Russia (1700-1840).

The Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Endowment Fund was established and donated by Aldo Scaglione to the MLA in 1987. The fund honors the memory of his wife, Jeanne Daman Scaglione. A Roman Catholic, Jeanne Daman taught in a Jewish kindergarten in Brussels, Belgium. When deportation of Jews began in 1942, she helped find hiding places for 2,000 children. She also helped rescue many Jewish men by obtaining false papers for them. Her life and contributions to humanity are commemorated in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Aldo Scaglione, a member of the MLA since 1957, is Erich Maria Remarque Professor of Literature at New York University. A native of Torino, Italy, he received a doctorate in modern letters from the University of Torino. He has taught at the University of Toulouse and the University of Chicago. From 1952 to 1968 he taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and from 1968 to 1987 he was W. R. Kenan Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1987 he came to New York University as professor of Italian and then served as chair of the Department of Italian. He has been a Fulbright fellow and a Guggenheim fellow, has held senior fellowships from the Newberry Library and the German Academic Exchange Service, and has been a visiting professor at Yale University, the City University of New York, and the Humanities Research Institute of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1975 he was named Cavaliere dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. He has been president of the American Boccaccio Association and was a member of the MLA Executive Council from 1981 to 1984. His published books include Nature and Love in the Late Middle Ages (1963); Ars Grammatica (1970); The Classical Theory of Composition (1972); The Theory of German Word Order (1980); The Liberal Arts and the Jesuit College System (1986); Knights at Court: Courtliness, Chivalry, and Courtesy from Ottonian Germany to the Italian Renaissance (1991); and Essays on the Arts of Discourse: Linguistics, Rhetoric, Poetics (1998).

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