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Literature professor receives citation from Modern Language Association of America

Literature professor Susan Gillman received an honorable mention from the Modern Language Association of America (MLA) for her book Blood Talk: American Race Melodrama and the Culture of the Occult. She was awarded the certificate in the competition for the third annual William Sanders Scarborough Prize, given for outstanding scholarly study of black American literature or culture. The MLA, the largest and one of the oldest American learned societies in the humanities, promotes the advancement of literary and linguistic studies.

Gillman's book explores the place of race melodrama in a range of literary forms and cultural trends during the period from the end of Reconstruction to World War I. Her MLA citation notes, “This sophisticated and imaginative study interprets 'race literature' produced in the late-nineteenth century United States against the backdrop of a period of crisis and transformation in global race relations…Blood Talk is certain to transform radically the ways in which we understand constructions of race in United States literature at the turn of the century.”

Gillman joined the UCSC faculty in 1986. Her articles have appeared in such journals as PMLA, American Literary History, and Critical Inquiry. She is the author of Dark Twins: Imposture and Identity in Mark Twain's America and coeditor of Mark Twain's Pudd'nhead Wilson: Race, Conflict and Culture. Her current projects include "W. E. B. DuBois and the Gender of the Color Line," coedited with Alys Weinbaum, and "Past Imperfect/Future Perfect: Grammars of Adaptation in the Americas."

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