Valérie Loichot Awarded Top MLA Prize

Loichot-ValerieThe Modern Language Association of America is awarding its 22nd annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Literary Studies to Valérie Loichot, Professor of French and English, for her book The Tropics Bite Back: Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature, published by the University of Minnesota Press. The prize is awarded annually for an outstanding scholarly work in its field—a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work, or a critical biography—written by a member of the association.

The Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Literary Studies is one of 16 awards that will be presented on January 10, 2015, during the association’s annual convention, to be held in Vancouver. The committee’s citation for Loichot’s book reads:

In The Tropics Bite Back: Culinary Coups in Caribbean Literature, Valérie Loichot offers an ambitious, at times audacious, and ultimately compelling analysis of the cultural construction of a Caribbean self, both individual and collective. Judiciously combining archival research, literary analysis, and cultural critique, The Tropics Bite Back presents an insightful reflection on creolization in its culinary, linguistic, literary, cultural, and psychic dimension. Thanks to a series of deftly conducted readings of major Caribbean theorists and authors, Loichot sheds new light on Caribbean writing, providing a fresh and critical understanding of the place the Caribbean occupies in the contemporary cultural imaginary.

The Modern Language Association of America and its 30,000 members in 100 countries work to strengthen the study and teaching of languages and literature. Founded in 1883, the MLA provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. The MLA sustains one of the finest publication programs in the humanities, producing a variety of publications for language and literature professionals and for the general public. The association publishes the MLA International Bibliography, the only comprehensive bibliography in language and literature, available online. The MLA Annual Convention features meetings on a wide variety of subjects; this year’s convention in Vancouver is expected to draw 8,000 attendees. More information on MLA programs is available at