April 4, 2011 — Jahan Ramazani, an English professor in the University of Virginia's College of Arts & Sciences, won the Harry Levin Prize for "A Transnational Poetics," recognized as the best book in comparative literary history published in the years 2008 to 2010. He was honored April 2 at the annual meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Ramazani, Edgar F. Shannon Professor in Modern and Contemporary Poetry, and Postcolonial Literature, was cited for producing "a volume breathtaking in its global scope and critical incisiveness."
In "A Transnational Poetics," Ramazani uncovers the poetic imagination without borders – in modernism and the Harlem Renaissance; in post-World War II North America and the North Atlantic; and in ethnic American, postcolonial and black British writing. Cross-cultural exchange and influence are, he argues, among the chief engines of poetic development in the 20th and 21st centuries.
The American Comparative Literature Association, founded in 1960, is the principal learned society in the United States for scholars whose work involves several literatures and cultures, as well as the premises of cross-cultural literary study itself.