Dr May Hawas has won the Balakian Prize of the International Comparative Literature Association for her book Politicising World Literature: Egypt, Between Pedagogy and the Public.
The prize is presented at the triennial Congress of the ICLA in order to reward an exceptional first monograph in the field of comparative literary studies, written by a single author who has not attained the age of 40 years.
Dr May Hawas is a scholar of comparative literature, with particular interest in world literature of the nineteenth and twentieth century. She is Valerie Eliot Fellow in English Literature at Newnham College, and Lecturer in World Literature in the Faculty of English.
The prize panel described Dr Hawas’s book as follows: “a critical work of remarkable originality that is consistently analytical and argumentative in its presentation of ideas, with a strong comparative perspective. … The author demonstrates that against the formulaic and predictable post-colonial critical perspective, a ‘reworlding’ of Egyptian literary texts would help unravel their inherent plurality and polyphony by transcending the limitations of post-colonial historicism.”