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Harry Levin Prize

Award Description

The Harry Levin Prize recognizes an outstanding first book in the discipline of comparative literature. Fields may include literary or cultural theory or history, or any other field of comparative literature. The Levin Prize will be awarded to a book published during the calendar years 2023 or 2024 as the author's first book-length publication, and will be awarded at the ACLA annual meeting in 2025. The prize includes complimentary registration for the Annual Meeting, as well as hotel and airfare accommodations** (not including food) to facilitate the recipient attending the ACLA Annual Meeting when meeting in person.  (** up to $550 for roundtrip economy-class airfare will be covered and hotel accommodations for up to 2 nights at the conference hotel rate, or rough equivalent thereof if the conference hotel is booked).

2024 Harry Levin Prize Winner

  • Isabel C. Gómez (University of Massachusetts, Boston), Cannibal Translation: Literary Reciprocity in Contemporary Latin America (Northwestern University Press, 2023). CITATION

Below is a list of previous Levin Prize winners.  Please click on the year of the prize to view further information about the prize winner and the book (including a link to Amazon's web page for the book).

Previous Harry Levin Prize Winners
  • 2023: Gal Gvili (McGill University), Imagining India in Modern China: Literary Decolonization and the Imperial Unconscious, 1895-1962 (Columbia University Press, 2022). CITATION
  • 2023: Honorable Mention: Anjuli Fatima Raza Kolb (University of Toronto), Epidemic Empire: Colonialism, Contagion and Terror, 1817-2020 (University of Chicago Press, 2022). CITATION
  • 2022: Kristin Dickinson (University of Michigan), DisOrientations: German-Turkish Cultural Contact in Translation (1811-1946) (Penn State University Press, 2021). CITATION
  • 2022: Honorable Mention: Bhavya Tiwari (University of Houston), Beyond English: World Literature and India (Bloomsbury, 2021). CITATION
  • 2021: Zakiyyah Iman Jackson (University of Southern California), Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World (New York University Press, 2020). CITATION
  • 2020: Poulomi Saha (UC Berkeley), An Empire of Touch: Women's Political Labor and the Fabrication of East Bengal (Columbia University Press, 2019). CITATION
  • 2020 Honorable Mention: Corey Byrnes (Northwestern University), Fixing Landscape: A Techno-Poetic History of China's Three Gorges (Columbia University Press, 2019). CITATION
  • 2019: Pooja Rangan, Immediations:  the Humanitarian Impulse in Documentary. (Duke, 2017) (CITATION)​
  • 2018:  Aarthi Vadde, Chimeras of Form: Modernist Internationalism Beyond Europe, 1914-2016  (Columbia University Press, 2016) (CITATION)
  • 2017:  Seth Kimmel, Parables of Coercion: Conversion and Knowledge at the End of Islamic Spain (University of Chicago Press, 2015) 
  • 2016: Tamara T. Chin, Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination (Harvard University Press, 2014)
    Jeffrey Sacks, Iterations of Loss: Mutilation and Aesthetic Form, al-Shidyaq to Darwish (Fordham University Press, 2015)
  • 2015: R. John Williams, The Buddha in the Machine: Art, Technology, and the Meeting of East and West (Yale University Press, 2014)
  • 2015 Honorable Mention: Tsitsi Jaji, Africa in Stereo: Modernism, Music and Pan-African Solidarity (Oxford University Press, 2014)
  • 2014: Sunil M. Agnani. Hating Empire Properly: The Two Indies and the Limits of Enlightenment Anticolonialism (Fordham University Press, 2013)
    Gerard Passannante. The Lucretian Renaissance: Philology and the Afterlife of Tradition (University of Chicago Press), 2011.
    2014 Honorable Mention: Hala Halim, Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism: An Archive (Fordham University Press, 2013).
  • 2013: Mary Franklin-Brown. Reading the World: Encyclopedic Writing in the Scholastic Age (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
    2013 Honorable Mention: Jacob Edmond, A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham University Press, 2012) 
    Shaden M. Tageldin, Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt (University of California Press, 2011).
  • 2011: Jahan Ramazani. A Transnational Poetics. (University of Chicago Press, 2009).
    2011 Honorable Mention: Andrew Piper. Dreaming in Books: The Making of the Bibliographic Imagination in the Romantic Age. (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
    Margaret Cohen. The Novel and the Sea. (Princeton University Press, 2010)
  • 2009: Ross Hamilton. Accident: A Philosophical and Literary History. (University of Chicago Press, 2007)
    Adam Potkay. The Story of Joy: From the Bible to Late Romanticism. (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • 2007: Lois Parkinson Zamora. The Inordinate Eye: New World Baroque and Latin American Fiction. (University of Chicago Press, 2006)
    2007 Honorable Mention: Wai Chee Dimock. Through Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time. (Princeton University Press, 2006)
  • 2005: Seth Lerer, Error and The Academic Self: The Scholarly Imagination, Medieval To Modern (Columbia University Press, 2002)
  • 2003: Julie Stone Peters, Theatre of the Book, 1480-1880: Print, Text and Performance in Europe (Oxford University Press, 2000)
    2003 Honorable Mention: Gil Anidjar. ‘Our Place in al-Andalus’: Kabbalah, Philosophy, Literature in Arab Jewish Letters (Stanford University Press, 2002)
    Ian Balfour. The Rhetoric of Romantic Prophecy (Stanford University Press, 2002).
    John C. Shields. The American Aeneas: Classical Origins Of American Self (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2002).
  • 2001: Leonard Barkan, Unearthing the Past: Archeology and Aesthetics in the Making of Renaissance Culture (Yale University Press, 1999)
  • 1999: Gauri Viswanathan, Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton University Press, 1998)
  • 1997: Paul Alpers, What Is Pastoral? (University of Chicago Press, 1996)
  • 1995: Marie-Hélène Huet, Monstrous Imagination (Harvard University Press, 1993)
  • 1993: J. Hillis Miller, Illustration (Harvard University Press,1992)
  • 1990: Mary E. Wack, Lovesickness in the Middle Ages: The Viaticum and Its Commentaries (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990)
  • 1987: Annabel Patterson, Pastoral and Ideology: Virgil to Valéry (University of California Press, 1987)
    David Hayman, Re-Forming the Narrative: Towards a Mechanics of Modernist Fiction (Cornell University Press, 1987)
  • 1985: Virgil Nemoianu, The Taming of Romanticism: European literature and the age of Biedermeier (Princeton University Press, 1985)
  • 1982: Thomas M. Greene, The Light in Troy (Yale University Press, 1982)
  • 1978: Victor Brombert, The Romantic Prison (Princeton University Press,1978)

Nomination Guidelines

The ACLA encourages the submission of titles as early as possible, as the committee usually receives a large number of submissions at the end of the year. A selective approach to nominations is also recommended in order that a few books of superior quality may stand out.

First books are also eligible for the Wellek Prize, but no book may be nominated for both prizes. Please note that only single-author books may be nominated for the Levin prize but co-authored and edited volumes may be nominated for the Wellek Prize. Publishers and authors are invited to submit nominations for Levin and Wellek prizes. Further information on the Harry Levin Prize is available below; questions or comments are welcome and may be sent to

If you wish to nominate one or more titles for the 2025 Harry Levin Prize, please complete the form below to provide nominating information including a brief letter and a PDF version of the book. PLEASE NOTE that no book previously nominated for either the Levin or the Wellek Prize may be re-nominated for either prize. A book may be nominated in either of its years of eligibility, but not in both years. Email with any questions.

We are accepting PDF nominations only for 2024-2025. All PDF files must be named beginning with the author's surname (or other primary name identifier) followed by the book title. Example: AuthorName_Book_Title.pdf. Nominations are due by November 15, 2024. Please note that email applications will not be accepted. All applications must be submitted through the website.

2024-2025 Harry Levin Prize Committee 

  • Chair: Juan G. Ramos (College of the Holy Cross), 2022-2025
  • Seth Kimmel (Columbia), 2023-2026
  • Gal Gvili (McGill), 2024-2027
(if applicable)
Files must be less than 20 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf doc docx odt zip.
provide nominating information
Files must be less than 20 MB.
Allowed file types: pdf doc docx odt zip.