At last week’s 9th International Conference On The State of Mark Twain Studies, the Mark Twain Circle of America introduced a new award, to be presented every four years to the author of an exceptional published paper by a graduate student, contingent or junior faculty member (pre-tenure). Winners of the Mark Twain Circle Emerging Scholar Award will also receive a monetary prize to help assist their ongoing research and professionalization.
This year, the award went to Mika Turim-Nygren for her essay in J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists titled “Mark Twain’s Modernism: The Death of Speech in Huckleberry Finn as the Birth of a New Aesthetic.” At the time of publication, Turim-Nygren was a graduate student at University of Illinois at Chicago, working on her dissertation, “Dialects of The Tribe: The Unexpected Origins of American Literary Modernism.” She has since completed her PhD. This coming Fall she will join the English faculty at Howard University.
Since publishing “Mark Twain’s Modernism,” Turim-Nygren has been a Quarry Farm Fellow and Park Church lecturer, continuing her exploration of indigeneity, nativity, and cultural appropriation in 19th-century U.S. literature. She is also the host and co-producer of the most recent season of The American Vandal Podcast, in which she dives deep into the composition and reception of Mark Twain Among The Indians. And, most recently, she presented her work-in-progress at the quadrennial conference under the title “Huckleberry Finn‘s ‘Effect of Indigeneity’: Native Erasure in Law & Literature” and was also a panelist for the Flash Session, “Mark Twain Studies: Surviving Change, Embracing The Future.”
Congratulations to Dr. Turim-Nygren, an exciting, emerging voice in Twain Studies!