James Russell Lowell Prize Winners


  • Anna Brickhouse, University of Virginia, for The Unsettlement of America: Translation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560–1945 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2014)

  • Honorable mention: Ramie Targoff, Brandeis University, for Posthumous Love: Eros and the Afterlife in Renaissance England (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2014)


  • David Rosen, Trinity College, and Aaron Santesso, Georgia Institute of Technology, for The Watchman in Pieces: Surveillance, Literature, and Liberal Personhood (Yale Univ. Press, 2013)

  • Honorable mention: Michael North, University of California, Los Angeles, for Novelty: A History of the New (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013)


  • Sianne Ngai, Stanford University, for Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting (Harvard Univ. Press, 2012)

  • Honorable mention: Leah Price, Harvard University, for How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (Princeton Univ. Press, 2012)


  • Simon Gikandi, Princeton University, for Slavery and the Culture of Taste (Princeton Univ. Press, 2011)

  • Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University, for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (W. W. Norton, 2011)

  • Honorable mention: Andrew F. Jones, University of California, Berkeley, for Developmental Fairy Tales: Evolutionary Thinking and Modern Chinese Culture (Harvard Univ. Press, 2011)


  • Phillip H. Round, University of Iowa, for Removable Type: Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663–1880 (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2010)


  • Laura Dassow Walls, University of South Carolina, for The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2009)

  • Honorable mention: Joseph Litvak, Tufts University, for The Un-Americans: Jews, the Blacklist, and Stoolpigeon Culture (Duke Univ. Press, 2009)


  • Isobel Armstrong, University of London, for Victorian Glassworlds: Glass Culture and the Imagination 1830–1880 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2008)


  • Laura Marcus, University of Edinburgh, for The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period (Oxford Univ. Press, 2007)


  • Martin Puchner, Columbia University, for Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes (Princeton Univ. Press, 2006)

  • Honorable mention: Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University, for Through Other Continents: American Literature across Deep Time (Princeton Univ. Press, 2006)

  • Honorable mention: Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia, for The Prose of Things: Transformations of Description in the Eighteenth Century (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2006)


  • Paula R. Backscheider, Auburn University, for Eighteenth-Century Women Poets and Their Poetry: Inventing Agency, Inventing Genre (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2005)

  • W. J. T. Mitchell, University of Chicago, for What Do Pictures Want?: The Lives and Loves of Images (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2005)


  • Diana Fuss, Princeton University, for The Sense of an Interior: Four Writers and the Rooms That Shaped Them (Routledge, 2004)

  • Honorable mention: Alan Liu, University of California, Santa Barbara, for The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2004)


  • Giancarlo Maiorino, Indiana University, Bloomington, for At the Margins of the Renaissance: Lazarillo de Tormes and the Picaresque Art of Survival (Penn State Univ. Press, 2003)

  • Honorable mention: Brent Hayes Edwards, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, for The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Harvard Univ. Press, 2003)

  • Honorable mention: Robert Pogue Harrison, Stanford University, for The Dominion of the Dead (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2003)


  • María Antonia Garcés, Cornell University, for Cervantes in Algiers: A Captive’s Tale (Vanderbilt Univ. Press, 2002)

  • Honorable mention: Susan Stewart, University of Pennsylvania, for Poetry and the Fate of the Senses (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2002)

  • Honorable mention: Wendy L. Wall, Northwestern University, for Staging Domesticity: Household Work and English Identity in Early Modern Drama (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2002)


  • Jerome McGann, University of Virginia, for Radiant Textuality: Literature after the World Wide Web (Palgrave, 2001)

  • Honorable mention: Eric L. Santner, University of Chicago, for On the Psychotheology of Everyday Life: Reflections on Freud and Rosenzweig (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2001)


  • Ann Rosalind Jones, Smith College, and Peter Stallybrass, University of Pennsylvania, for Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000)


  • Mary Baine Campbell, Brandeis University, for Wonder and Science: Imagining Worlds in Early Modern Europe (Cornell Univ. Press, 1999)


  • Gauri Viswanathan, Columbia University, for Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief (Princeton Univ. Press, 1998)

  • Honorable mention: Phyllis Blum Cole, Penn State University, Delaware County, for Mary Moody Emerson and the Origins of Transcendentalism: A Family History (Oxford Univ. Press, 1998)


  • David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania, for Chaucerian Polity: Absolutist Lineages and Associational Forms in England and Italy (Stanford Univ. Press, 1997)

  • Honorable mention: Joan DeJean, University of Pennsylvania, for Ancients against Moderns: Culture Wars and the Making of a Fin de Siècle (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1997)

  • Honorable mention: Geoffrey H. Hartman, Yale University and George Washington University, for The Fateful Question of Culture (Columbia Univ. Press, 1997)


  • Joseph Roach, Yale University, for Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (Columbia Univ. Press, 1996)

  • Honorable mention: Wai Chee Dimock, Yale University, for Residues of Justice: Literature, Law, Philosophy (Univ. of California Press, 1996)


  • Rey Chow, University of California, Irvine, for Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema (Columbia Univ. Press, 1995)

  • Honorable mention: John Felstiner, Stanford University, for Paul Celan (Yale Univ. Press, 1995)

  • Honorable mention: Claudia L. Johnson, Princeton University, for Equivocal Beings: Politics, Gender, and Sentimentality in the 1790s—Wollstonecraft, Radcliffe, Burney, Austen (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1995)


  • Catherine Gallagher, University of California, Berkeley, for Nobody's Story: Women Writers in the Marketplace (Univ. of California Press, 1994)


  • Eric J. Sundquist, University of California, Los Angeles, for To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature (Harvard Univ. Press, 1993)


  • Richard Helgerson, University of California, Santa Barbara, for Forms of Nationhood: The Elizabethan Writing of England (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1992)

  • Honorable mention: Kwame Anthony Appiah, Harvard University, for In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (Oxford Univ. Press, 1992)

  • Honorable mention: Mary Louise Pratt, Stanford University, for Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (Routledge, 1992)


  • Sacvan Bercovitch, Harvard University, for The Office of The Scarlet Letter (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1991)


  • Fredric Jameson, Duke University, for Postmodernism; or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Duke Univ. Press, 1990)

  • Honorable mention: Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Duke University, for Epistemology of the Closet (Univ. of California Press, 1990)


  • Denis Hollier, Yale University, with R. Howard Bloch, Peter Brooks, Joan DeJean, Barbara Johnson, Philip Lewis, Nancy Miller, François Rigolot, and Nancy J. Vickers, editors, for A New History of French Literature (Harvard Univ. Press, 1989)

  • Honorable mention: Charles Bernheimer, University of Pennsylvania, for Figures of Ill Repute: Representing Prostitution in Nineteenth-Century France (Harvard Univ. Press, 1989)

  • Honorable mention: Ronald Paulson, Johns Hopkins University, for Breaking and Remaking: Aesthetic Practice in England, 1700–1820 (Rutgers Univ. Press, 1989)


  • Stephen Greenblatt, University of California, Berkeley, for Shakespearean Negotiations: The Circulation of Social Energy in Renaissance England (Univ. of California Press, 1988)


  • Michael McKeon, Rutgers University, for The Origins of the English Novel, 1600–1740 (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1987)


  • Joseph Frank, Institute for Advanced Studies and Stanford University, for Dostoevsky: The Stir of Liberation, 1860–1865 (Princeton Univ. Press, 1986)


  • Joel Fineman, University of California, Berkeley, for Shakespeare's Perjured Eye: The Invention of Poetic Subjectivity in the Sonnets (Univ. of California Press, 1985)

  • Honorable mention: Jane Gallop, Rice University, for Reading Lacan (Cornell Univ. Press, 1985)


  • V. A. Kolve, University of Virginia, for Chaucer and the Imagery of Narrative: The First Five Canterbury Tales (Stanford Univ. Press, 1984)


  • Stephen G. Nichols, Jr., University of Pennsylvania, for Romanesque Signs: Early Medieval Narrative and Iconography (Yale Univ. Press, 1983)


  • Thomas M. Greene, Yale University, for The Light in Troy: Imitation and Discovery in Renaissance Poetry (Yale Univ. Press, 1982)

  • Honorable mention: Raymond E. Fitch, Ohio University, for The Poison Sky: Myth and Apocalypse in Ruskin (Ohio Univ. Press, 1982)


  • Gay Wilson Allen, New York University, for Waldo Emerson: A Biography (Viking, 1981)


  • Benjamin Bennett, University of Virginia, for Modern Drama and German Classicism (Cornell Univ. Press, 1980)


  • Barbara Kiefer Lewalski, Brown University, for Protestant Poetics and the Seventeenth-Century Religious Lyric (Princeton Univ. Press, 1979)


  • Andrew Welsh, Rutgers University, for Roots of Lyric: Primitive Poetry and Modern Poetics (Princeton Univ. Press, 1978)

  • Honorable mention: Edwin M. Eigner, University of California, Riverside, for The Metaphysical Novel in England and America (Univ. of California Press, 1978)


  • Stephen Booth, University of California, Berkeley, for Shakespeare's Sonnets (Yale Univ. Press, 1977)


  • Joseph Frank, Princeton University, for Dostoevsky: The Seeds of Revolt, 1821–1849 (Princeton Univ. Press, 1976)


  • Jonathan Culler, Oxford University, for Structuralist Poetics (Cornell Univ. Press, 1975)


  • Josephine Miles, University of California, Berkeley, for Poetry and Change (Univ. of California Press, 1974)


  • Leslie A. Marchand, Rutgers University, for Byron's Letters and Journals (Harvard Univ. Press, 1973)

  • Honorable mention: Stephen J. Greenblatt, University of California, Berkeley, for Sir Walter Raleigh: The Renaissance Man and His Roles (Yale Univ. Press, 1973)


  • Theodore J. Ziolkowski, Princeton University, for Fictional Transfigurations of Jesus (Princeton Univ. Press, 1972)

  • Honorable mention: Jonathan Saville, University of California, San Diego, for The Medieval Erotic Alba: Structure as Meaning (Columbia Univ. Press, 1972)


  • Meyer H. Abrams, Cornell University, for Natural Supernaturalism: Tradition and Revolution in Romantic Literature (Norton, 1971)


  • Bruce A. Rosenberg, Pennsylvania State University, for The Art of the American Folk Preacher (Oxford Univ. Press, 1970)

  • Honorable mention: Don Cameron Allen, Johns Hopkins University, for Mysteriously Meant: The Rediscovery of Pagan Symbolism and Allegorical Interpretation in the Renaissance (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1970)

  • Honorable mention: Lawrence E. Harvey, Dartmouth College, for Samuel Beckett, Poet and Critic (Princeton Univ. Press, 1970)


  • Helen Vendler, Boston University, for On Extended Wings: Wallace Stevens' Longer Poems (Harvard Univ. Press, 1969)

  • Honorable mention: Theodore J. Ziolkowski, Princeton University, for Dimensions of the Modern Novel (Princeton Univ. Press, 1969)

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