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Fred Jameson Wins Literature Award
DURHAM, NC - Duke University's Fredric R. Jameson will receive the fifth annual Holberg International Memorial Prize, the Board of the Ludvig Holberg Memorial Fund announced Tuesday in Norway. The professor of literature was cited for his many contributions, grounded in literary studies, to cultural theory and cultural studies, hermeneutics, architectural and postcolonial theory, aesthetics, film and television studies, and history.
The prize, worth $900,000, will be presented Nov. 26 at a ceremony in Bergen, Norway. It is awarded annually for outstanding scholarly work in the fields of the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology.
In part, the committee's citation for Jameson's award reads:
"Famous for his dictum âAlways historicize!' Jameson understands the cultural artifact within the context of a given social and historical formation, while reorienting the tradition of Western Marxist cultural theory. Resisting the temptation to see each work as simply the expression of its social context, Jameson looks for the extent to which writers or other artists have tried to âescape from history.' Characteristic of Jameson's work is its openness to a great diversity of views, including those far from the Marxist tradition, and his capacity to incorporate and acknowledge them in his own syntheses."
The full text of the award citation, along with a video of Jameson and a discussion of his work, is online here.
"This is a wonderful award for Fred, one recognizing a lifetime of outstanding and consistent accomplishment," said Duke Provost Peter Lange, the university's chief academic officer. "Fred has not only been a leading scholar but a field-changer, a person whose research and writing have inspired others to re-examine what they were doing and how they were doing it. He has also been an academic leader, creating and leading a department that has been at the cutting edge of graduate teaching and research, forging a truly original path of interdisciplinary studies in the humanities and their interaction with the qualitative social sciences."
Jameson is the William A. Lane Jr. Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of Romance Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1959 and taught at Harvard, Yale and the University of California before coming to Duke in 1985.
Jameson's most recent books include "Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" (1991, which won the MLA Lowell Award), "Seeds of Time" (1994), "Brecht and Method" (1998), "The Cultural Turn" (1998) and "A Singular Modernity" (2002). His forthcoming books include a new edition of "Ideologies of Theory" (2008), "Valences of the Dialectic" (2009), and "Capital in its Time and Space."
His research interests have extended from studying literature as an encoding of political and social imperatives to the interpretation of modernist and postmodernist assumptions through a rethinking of Marxist methodology.
Jameson has taught courses at Duke and other institutions on topics such as modernism, Third World literature and cinema, Marx and Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, the modern French novel and cinema and the Frankfurt School.
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