The Editors are pleased to announce the winner of the 2009 Margaret Church Memorial Prize for the best essay to appear in MFS. The Church Prize was established in 1984 in memory of Dr. Church, professor of English and comparative literature at Purdue University and a longtime editor of this journal.
The winner for 2009 is Rob Nixon, author of “Neoliberalism, Slow Violence, and the Environmental Picaresque,” which appeared in volume 55, issue 3 (pages 443–67).
Special thanks to Richard Godden (University of California, Irvine) for choosing this year’s winner. In making his selection, Prof. Godden writes,
Intrigued by the nature of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal as simultaneously spectacular and occlusive, Nixon reads Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People as an exploration of the temporalities of Neoliberal economic imperatives. Faced with the elusive workings of corporate monies—indifferent, anonymous, and deregulated—as they seek cheaper labor power on a global scale, Nixon explores what he calls “slow violence,” as its often chemical and always denied consequences reach through corporeality and geology “beyond the horizon of imaginable time.” If, put crudely, narrative may be understood as one thing after another becoming one thing because of another, Nixon’s essay, with grace and acuity, problematizes causation and its fictional dramatization during a period of uneven development, when, care of global monies, all time becomes tacitly the time of an aftermath. The essay serves as a significant guide for those interested in the multiple temporalities of capital in its latest form, as those temporalities find expression in literary argument.
Prof. Nixon, who teaches at the University of Wisconsin, received $300 and a certificate, a copy of which appears here. [End Page 231]
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