Gül Bilge Han
Gül Bilge Han

"We are delighted to announce that Gül Bilge Han’s essay "The Poetics of Relational Place-Making and Autonomy in Stevens" is the recipient of the 2016 John N. Serio Award. The award committee (Natalie Gerber, State University of New York at Fredonia; George Lensing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Juliette Utard, University of Paris IV—Sorbonne) commended the essay as follows:

Gül Bilge Han’s essay "The Poetics of Relational Place-Making and Autonomy in Stevens" represents an important contribution to ongoing discussions of Stevens's politics and poetics in the 1930s. Drawing on the work of Jacques Rancière, the essay examines Stevens’ “understanding of autonomy [aesthetic autonomy] not as an escape from the immediate world that presses in upon it, but as an enabling condition for imagining new forms of engagement with the historical crisis surrounding it” (147). In particular, Han argues that Stevens’s “making up places for poetry” [144]) in his poems of the 1930s, particularly those of the Great Depression, presents a “prominent way of envisaging autonomy in Stevens’s work” (149), and thus an alternative to the (mostly negative) notion of aesthetic autonomy as distance and detachment. The potential for applying these ideas to additional poems (e.g., “Mozart, 1935,” in which the house imagery depicting the sufferings in America in the 1930s is overt—“they throw stones on the roof” and “they carry down the stairs / A body in rags”) suggests productive directions for future scholarship.

[...]

Please join us in congratulating Gül and in thanking our donor for the continued and augmented support. The award will be formally announced in January at the MLA Stevens Society roundtable."