ASLE member Susan Scott Parish, has received honorable mention for the Modern Language Association’s James Russell Lowell award for her work The Flood Year 1927: A Cultural History.
The James Russell Lowell Prize is one of eighteen awards presented on 5 January 2019, during the association’s annual convention,in Chicago. The selection committee members were Laura Schaefer Brown (Cornell Univ.), chair; Jay Clayton (Vanderbilt Univ.); Rita Felski (Univ. of Virginia); Sangeeta Ray (Univ. of Maryland, College Park); and Michael Rothberg (Univ. of California, Los Angeles).
The committee’s citation for Parrish’s book reads: Susan Scott Parrish provides a full and deep account of the most cataclysmic river flood in the history of the United States—the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Her analysis engages with infrastructure, communication, entertainment, literature, race, class, politics, and collective memory to explain and overlay the multiple perspectives that manifest modern apocalypse. Parrish’s account of the role of the press and the radio in making the flood into a media phenomenon, her documentation of the way the conditions for African American evacuees aroused allusions to slavery, and her sense of the profound impact of the flood on the creative imagination display the power and scope of this event. The Flood Year 1927: A Cultural History provides a model for portraying the impact of climate change disaster on cultural history.
Susan Scott Parrish is a professor in the English department and in the Program in the
Environment at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Parrish’s research addresses the
interrelated issues of race, the environment, and knowledge-making in the Atlantic world from
the seventeenth century through the early twenty-first century, with a particular emphasis on
southern and Caribbean plantation zones. Her first book, American Curiosity: Cultures of Natural
History in the Colonial British Atlantic World, is a study of how people in England and in
British-controlled America conceived of—and made knowledge about—American nature within
Atlantic scientific networks. It won both Phi Beta Kappa’s Ralph Waldo Emerson Award and the
Jamestown Prize. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endownment for the Humanities,
the American Antiquarian Society, and Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center, Parrish has
received the John Dewey Award and the University Undergraduate Teaching Award for her
teaching at the University of Michigan.
See the full press release: MLA Press Release James Russell Lowell Award
Learn more about MLA’s James Russel Lowell Award
Learn more about The Flood Years 1927: A Cultural History on our Member Bookshelf