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  • 2016 Margaret Church MFS Memorial Prize

The Editors are pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 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 2016 is Robin Blyn, author of "Belonging to the Network: Neoliberalism and Postmodernism in Tropic of Orange," which appeared in volume 62, issue 2 (pages 191-216).

A special thanks to Gregory Castle (Arizona State University) for choosing this year's winner. In making his selection, Professor Castle writes,

Blyn considers Karen Tei Yamashita's novel Tropic of Orange (1997), which is a magical realist tale set in LA and the border region with Mexico that tries to articulate a new vision of social belonging for a world dominated by networks like the World Wide Web. Blyn draws from the work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, whose critique of neoliberalism, postcolonial studies, and the global world order has powerful ramifications for our understanding of postmodernism and the novel. Her essay also advances the provocative idea that the novel's failure to enact a form of "network belonging" is a necessary step; the temporality of "not yet" in Yamashita's novel is the result of a logic of misrecognition that concedes failure as an opportunity to work toward non-dominative forms of belonging in the future. Blyn's essay offers a trenchant analysis of both failure and opportunity, and a glimmer of hope about the world Yamashita's protagonists make every effort to understand.

Robin Blyn received $300 and a certificate, a copy of which appears here. [End Page iv]

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