Yogita Goyal’s book on slavery wins two prizes

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Yogita Goyal’s book, “Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery” received two awards. The book received the René Wellek Prize from the American Comparative Literature Association and the Perkins Prize from the International Society for the Study of Narrative.

Goyal is a professor of English and African-American studies at UCLA. She specializes in modern and contemporary literature and in the study of race and postcolonialism, with a particular focus on African American and African literature. Goyal is also editor-in-chief of the journal Littérature contemporaine and past president of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present.

The René Wellek Prize rewards outstanding books in the discipline of comparative literature that cross national, linguistic, geographical or disciplinary boundaries. The Perkins Prize is awarded annually to “the book which makes the most significant contribution to the study of storytelling”.

In “Runaway Genres: The Global Afterlives of Slavery,” published October 2019 by NYU Press, Goyal argues that the slave narrative is a new global literary genre. It tracks the emergence of slavery as the defining model through which current human rights violations such as unlawful detention, sex trafficking, the refugee crisis and genocide are understood.

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