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The Harry Levin Prize Citation 2007 (Honorable Mention)

Wai Chee Dimock, Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2006)

2007's Harry Levin Prize Honorable mention goes to Wai Chee Dimock's Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time, published by Princeton University Press. Rediscovering the global dimensions of American literature, this book is extraordinarily wide-ranging in its historical reach and in the radically different cultural contexts brought to bear on American texts that should never look the same again. Tackling the troubled confluence of Comparative Literature and American Studies, where an incorrigible vocation devoted to comparisons clashes with a cultural exceptionalism that historically has deemed itself incomparable, Dimock's book deftly negotiates those cross-currents, helping to open up U.S. cultural history by examining it as interlinked part of the rest of the world. Through Other Continents illustrates the potential of American Studies as an international field that is part of a larger global intellectual community.