English Academics win Modern Languages Association Prize

Dr Claire Bowditch and Professor Elaine Hobby have won the prestigious Modern Languages Association Prize for a Scholarly Edition for their work on The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn, Volume IV: Plays 1682-1696. The award is presented by The Modern Language Association of America (MLA).

a pink book cover

Professor Hobby and Dr Bowditch worked on the scholarly edition with academics from Keele University, University of Brighton, the Open University and the University of Vienna. Awarded every other year since 1995, the prize is one of 22 awards that will be presented on 5 January 2024 during the association’s annual convention in Philadelphia. The selection committee was comprised of representatives from the University of British Columbia, the University of California, and Mount Allison University. The committee’s citation for the winning edition reads:

“The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Aphra Behn, volume IV: Plays, 1682–1696, a superb edition of five works from the late period of Aphra Behn’s career. It is a worthy testament to the rising importance in literary history of this seventeenth-century woman writer. Guided by sound editorial conventions, the team has meticulously presented Behn’s texts in their original spelling and has created an elegant and accessible apparatus that makes this volume useful for scholars as well as for students, acting companies, and general readers.”

Founded in 1883, The Modern Language Association of America and its over 20,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. the MLA provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy.

Professor Hobby is also leading a project celebrating Aphra Behn through a year’s worth of exciting events and activities. Find out more here.