Literature professor Sharon Kinoshita receives MLA prize

Sharon Kinoshita

Literature professor Sharon Kinoshita has received an honorable mention award from The Modern Language Association of America (MLA) as part of its 15th annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Literary Studies. Kinoshita received the honor for her book, Medieval Boundaries: Rethinking Difference in Old French Literature, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding book in its field--a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography. The committee's citation for Kinoshita's book noted:

"Medieval Boundaries traces the rich vein of cross-cultural negotiation and influence at work in the literature of the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. Beginning with the simple observation that many of the major works of early French medieval literature situate their action on or beyond the borders of what is now France, Sharon Kinoshita argues brilliantly against the 'clash of civilizations' model for the cultural history of the early Middle Ages.This is an important and beautifully written study whose impact will be felt in the fields of medieval literature, art, history, and culture."

Kinoshita teaches French and world literature and is codirector of the UCSC Humanities Division's research unit in Mediterranean Studies. She is also co-organizer of a residential research group at the UC Humanities Research Institute in Irvine and an NEH summer institute in Barcelona, Spain.

Kinoshita received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in comparative literature from UC Berkeley. She is the author of numerous articles that have appeared in the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and PMLA. She is currently working on two book projects: "The Medieval Culture of Empire: Old French Literature and Beyond" and "Medieval Mediterranean Literature."

The MLA is the largest and one of the oldest American academic societies in the humanities that promotes the advancement of literary and linguistic studies. Its 30,000 members come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as from Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Approximately 9,500 members of the MLA and its allied and affiliate organizations attend the association's annual convention each December.