The American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA) has awarded Comp Lit graduate student, Mariajosé Rodríguez-Pliego, the 2022 Presidential Master’s Prize for her thesis entitled Reading Futures, Reconfiguring Spaces: Indigenous Cosmovisions Behind the Migration Novels of Leslie Marmon Silko and Yuri Herrera. About Mariajosé’s thesis, the ACLA Presidential Prize Committee stated: “Mariajosé Rodríguez-Pliego’s thesis makes a necessary turn in comparative literature by deeply integrating indigenous literatures and critical race theory into the field. Through its close readings and intertwining of temporal and spatial theoretical frames, this work sutures together disparate landscapes and histories of immigration, climate disaster, and literary forms. Beautifully conceptualized, Rodríguez-Pliego’s thesis argues for a hemispheric American & Latin American study that includes and is challenged at its core by two very different indigenous literary traditions.”
The ACLA is the foremost scholarly organization in the US for comparative literature. The Presidential Master’s Prize is awarded to the best thesis nominated by a department at any academic institution. The prize committee evaluates the “theoretical rigor, comparative breadth, and lucidity of exposition.”
Mariajosé is a PhD student in the Comp Lit Department. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2016 with a B.A. in Economics and English. She is proficient in English, Spanish, Modern Huastecan Nahuatl, Classical Nahuatl, and Portuguese, and her dissertation, Foundational Futures: Nation, Migration and Environment in the Literatures of Abiayala, “studies the idea of the nation through the vantage point of Indigenous and Latinx narratives spanning from the twentieth century to the present.”
Please join Comp Lit in congratulating Mariajosé on this great achievement!