03 December 2003
Three on campus win top MLA awards
A book about colonialism, culture, and the global development of the novel in English, along with a collection of Mark Twain’s correspondence, have earned kudos for the Berkeley campus, following awards announcements by the Modern Language Association of America (MLA).
The association has awarded its 10th annual Prize for a First Book to Priya Joshi, associate professor of English, for In Another Country: Colonialism, Culture, and the English Novel in India (Columbia University Press).
Also honored are Michael B. Frank and Harriet Elinor Smith, principal editors with the Mark Twain Project at the Bancroft Library. They are this year’s winners of the Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters for their editing of Mark Twain’s Letters: Volume 6: 1874-1875 (University of California Press).
The awards of the MLA, which advances literary and linguistic studies, will be presented Dec. 28 in San Diego. Joshi, Frank, and Smith each will receive $500 and a certificate.
Joshi: ‘Innovative and ambitious’
The MLA called Joshi’s book an “innovative and ambitious” work providing “new understandings of how English books were read in India in the 19th century and of the process by which consumers of those books became producers of Indian literature in English.”
In addition to the MLA Prize for a First Book, In Another Country also won the Sonya Rudikoff Prize for best first book in Victorian studies by the Northeast Victorian Studies Association, a Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title award, and honorable mention for the SHARP Book History Prize.
Joshi is the second member of the English department to win this top MLA prize. The first was Associate Professor Steven Justice, who won the 1994 award for Writing and Rebellion: England in 1381 (University of California Press).
The Prize for a First Book is awarded annually for the first book-length publication of a MLA member reflecting a literary or linguistic study, critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography.
Frank and Smith: ‘Required reading’
The MLA noted that in Volume 6 of the Mark Twain Letters, the editors produced “an exemplary collection of the correspondence of a major American author, a book that can be read as a work of literature in its own right.”
The awards committee also said the book’s “Guide to Editorial Practice,” prepared by Twain Project General Editor Robert Hirst, “should be required reading for all editors of letters by modern writers.”
Smith also co-edited Roughing It (The Works of Mark Twain, Vol. 2), which earned the MLA Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition in 1995. Frank, who earned his master’s degree in English at Berkeley, has been affiliated with the Mark Twain Project since 1967.
— Kathleen Maclay
The Wildlife Habitat Council awarded its annual Community Partner of the Year award to Stephen Andrews, coodinator of the campus’s Environmental Sciences Teaching Program, for his contributions to wildlife-habitat conservation.
The Community Partner of the Year award goes to an organization or individual who — through hands-on environmental awareness and enhancement activities — has made a significant contribution and lasting impact on a corporate site’s wildlife-habitat-enhancement programs. Council President Bill Howard, in presenting the award, commended Andrews’ efforts “toward the enhancement of wildlife habitat in partnership with the Dow Wetlands Preserve.”
Andrews has developed a field-based curriculum for East Bay students in the Pittsburg, Antioch, Liberty, Mt. Diablo, and Richmond school districts, using the Dow Wetlands Preserve — the Dow Chemical Company’s 250-acre tidal wetland in Pittsburg — as a “living laboratory.”
The Wildlife Habitat Council is a nonprofit organization that works to increase the quality and quantity of wildlife habitat on corporate, private, and public lands.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Serena Chen has received the Prytanean Alumnae Faculty Award, honoring her work in social psychology, social cognition, and the social bases of self and identity. Chen studies how close relationships influence self-definition, self-evaluation, and self-regulation.
The $15,000 prize is awarded annually to an outstanding female assistant professor at Berkeley. The prize is given by Prytanean Alumnae, a 101-year-old organization of women graduates of Berkeley. Chen was honored at a reception at University House in November.
Arun Majumdar, the Almy and Agnes Maynard Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was recently appointed a member of the Nanotechnology Advisory Group for the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. The group provides the President’s council with technical facts and information on nanotechnology. The appointment is through September 2005.
Professor of Law Harry Scheiber recently delivered the Cassel Lecture at Stockholm University in Sweden. The lecture is given annually by a legal scholar or public figure of international distinction. Scheiber is the second American to have been invited to present the lecture since the program’s founding in 1987. His talk on “Federalism and the Traditions of American Law” provided an analysis of how America’s traditions of state rights, national power, human rights, and judicial review have developed since the nation’s founding. The lecture was attended by Swedish Supreme Court and lower-court justices, as well as university faculty members.
The Korean government has named Clare You, a lecturer in Berkeley’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, as winner of a 2003 National Silver Medal of Culture award.
“Because of your great contribution to the advancement of Korean culture and development of the nation,” her citation reads, “you are awarded the Silver Medal of Culture in accordance with the Korean constitution.”
South Korean Prime Minister Ko Kun presented the medal at the Seoul National Theatre on Oct. 9, with more than 2,000 people attending.
“I received the award from the Prime Minister himself,” says You. “It was a tremendous honor. Although I have not lived in Korea for many years, I felt that I was returning home. I was overcome by the warm reception.”
Oct. 9 is designated as “Hangul Day” to commemorate the promulgation of the hangul, the elegant and easy-to-read Korean alphabet invented in the 1400s. You teaches Korean language, essays, and short stories.
Three new honors have been awarded to Lotfi Zadeh, Professor in the Graduate School from computer science and a leading international authority on fuzzy logic, a linchpin in the development of smart electronics and artificial intelligence. Zadeh recently received an honorary doctorate — his 17th — from the University of Waterloo in Canada. He was also elected a Foreign Member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences, and earned the Norbert Wiener Award from the Society for Systems, Man, and Cybernetics of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.