College of Liberal Arts

UT English Professor Awarded for Book on Indigenous American Literatures

Wed, Dec 7, 2016
James H. Cox and the cover of
James H. Cox and the cover of "The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literatures" (Oxford University Press, 2014).

The Modern Language Association of America awarded its second MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures and Languages to University of Texas at Austin English professor James H. Cox and University of British Columbia Indigenous studies professor Daniel Heath Justice for their book “The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literatures.

The MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures or Languages is one of seventeen awards to be presented on January 7, 2017 during the association’s annual convention in Philadelphia. The prize is awarded for an outstanding scholarly study of Native American literature, culture or languages written by a member of the association.

The committee’s citation for the winning book reads:

  • "The Oxford Handbook of Indigenous American Literature” showcases the combined efforts of a truly extraordinary array of scholars—established and emerging, Indigenous and non-Indigenous—working across Native North American, Central American, South American and Oceanic literatures in all historical periods. James H. Cox and Daniel Heath Justice’s edition, divided into sections covering histories, genres, methods and geographies, represents both the culmination of the field to date and a defining blueprint for its future work. Since its publication in 2014, the Oxford Handbook has quickly become the standard reference text for the study of Indigenous American literatures.

Cox is a faculty affiliate of the Center for Mexican American Studies and of the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies, and the cofounder of Native American and Indigenous Studies at UT Austin. He is the author of “Muting White Noise: Native American and European American Novel Traditions” and “The Red Land to the South: American Indian Writers and Indigenous Mexico,” as well as the former coeditor of “Studies in American Indian Literatures” and the current coeditor of “Texas Studies in Literature and Language.”

Justice is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture and a professor of First Nation Indigenous studies and English at the University of British Columbia. A Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation, Justice is the author of “Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History,” “Badger,” and the forthcoming “Why Indigenous Literatures Matter.” He is coeditor of a number of critical and creative anthologies and journals, including “Sovereign Erotics: A Collection of Two-Spirit Literature.”

The Modern Language Association of America and its 25,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. Founded in 1883, the MLA provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy.

The MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures and Languages was established in 2014 and is awarded under the auspices of the Committee on Honors and Awards. 

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