Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book prizes!

It is my great pleasure to announce here that J. B. Capino's book Dream Factories of a Former Colony: American Fantasies, Philippine Cinema has been named the best book published in 2010 by the Association of Asian American Studies. He will be honored for the achievement at the annual AAAS conference, in Washington DC, in April.

Actually, J.B. told me this a few weeks ago, but I wasn't sure it was public knowledge yet since the awards will be given out later. A little internet snooping revealed that the award winners had been posted on the AAAS website. Now I want to shout it from the rooftops. This kind of honor means a lot to scholars because it represents the judgment of precisely those specialist readers who are able to judge a book's impact and quality most accurately. And speaking personally, I couldn't be happier for J.B because in addition to being an accomplished and brilliant scholar he is as wonderful a colleague as anyone could wish for.


I was also delighted to discover, just this morning, that Alex Shakar's novel Luminarium has been named as a finalist for a 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the best fiction category. I love this novel, and have been posting about the accolades it has won for months now, but this nomination is a big deal, and winning the award would be even sweeter. Mostly, though, I'm happy about this because the nomination will help ensure that the book finds an even broader audience. Since I think it is an immensely rewarding novel to read, this is, for me, a very Good Thing.


Writing a blog like this is easy when English faculty keep doing so many amazing things. Congrats to both J.B. and Alex!

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