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Department of English Language and Literature


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Professor David Cowart Honored for Outstanding Scholarship in American Fiction

English Professor Receives Prestigious Scholarly Award


David Cowart, Louise Fry Scudder Professor Emeritus, has received the Eugene Current-Garcia Award for 2018. This award honors “Alabamians who have distinguished themselves as men or women of letters, specifically in scholarly reflection and writing on literary topics.” It recognizes “the respect of the scholar’s peers in the academic community and signals to the citizenry at large the lasting importance of the pursuit of knowledge and the contribution of literature to the culture.”

The award, given by the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama, comes with a $5000 prize. The Association lauds the remarkable breadth and rigor of Professor Cowart’s scholarship on postmodern American fiction, which currently spans eight books, including The Tribe of Pyn: Literary Generations in the Postmodern Period (2015), Thomas Pynchon and the Dark Passages of History (2012), Trailing Clouds: Immigrant Fiction in Contemporary America (2006), and Don DeLillo: The Physics of Language (2003), as well as over a hundred articles.  

The Association praises Professor Cowart as “the greatest living specialist in American fiction” and cites Stephen Burns of the University of Glasgow: “Across the world, audiences look to Cowart’s scholarship for a reliable guide to what is significant about recent literary productions.”

Professor Cowart was born in Alabama and received his BA from The University of Alabama.