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UC Berkeley Press Release

Harsha Ram wins MLA award for book on Russian poetry evolution

– The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) has announced that it will award an honorable mention to Harsha Ram, a University of California, Berkeley, associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures, for his book about the evolution of modern Russian poetry.

The Imperial Sublime book coverThe association committee that chose Ram for an honorable mention described his book, "The Imperial Sublime: A Russian Poetics of Empire," as a "visionary, innovative study that builds a bold theoretical argument through thoughtful close readings and a solidly researched literary-historical narrative."

Ram's book -- published in 2003 -- presents with "elegant lucidity" a "groundbreaking exploration" of the relationship between poetry and the development of the new imperial state in Russia during the 18th and 19th centuries, says a committee citation.

His research focuses on the Russian and European avant-garde, Russian and comparative Romanticism and modernism.

Ram is now working on an extensive study of the interaction between Russian and Georgian poets, intellectuals and artists during the revolutionary and early Soviet periods from 1915 to 1930.

His award will be one of 18 presented during the MLA's annual convention in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 28. At that event, Vladimir E. Alexandrov, a Yale University professor of Slavic languages and literature, will be awarded the fifth Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures for his book, "Limits to Interpretation: The Meanings of Anna Karenina."

Aldo Scaglione taught at UC Berkeley from 1952 to 1968 and is now an emeritus professor at New York University.