Congratulations to Professor Karla Mallette, recipient of the MLA's 13th annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies
The prize is one of nineteen awards that will be presented on the 6th of January 2023 during the association’s annual convention, to be held in San Francisco. The members of the selection committee were Waïl S. Hassan (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana); Natania Meeker (Univ. of Southern California), chair; and Melissa E. Sanchez (Univ. of Pennsylvania).
The committee’s citation for Mallette’s book reads: At once lyrical, engaged, and profoundly learned, Karla Mallette’s Lives of the Great Languages: Arabic and Latin in the Medieval Mediterranean is a thrilling example of the power, appeal, and breathtaking scope of comparatist literary scholarship at its best. In an account distinguished by both poetic force and scholarly ambition, Mallette limns the trajectories of two megalanguages of literary history: Arabic and Latin. These cosmopolitan languages, Mallette shows, function as agents of connectivity and spurs to desire; they detach themselves from time and place even as they create new geographies. Formally and conceptually inventive and infused with vibrancy, this book is a gorgeous testament to the worlding power of language.