The Story of Joy, by Adam Potkay, was recently named a co-winner of the Harry Levin Prize awarded by the American Comparative Literature Association.
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Potkay is professor of English at the College of William and Mary and a recipient of a Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence; he has recently been designated William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Humanities, beginning August 2009. The full title of his winning book is The Story of Joy, from the Bible to Late Romanticism. Published by Cambridge University Press, Potkay’s 2007 book outlines an intellectual and literary history of joy, especially the treatments of joy in works of literature, philosophy and religion. Emphasis is on British and German works from the Reformation through the Romantic period.
“I am surprised and delighted to receive this honor,” Potkay said upon being notified of the award in early March.
The ACLA web site notes that books considered for the Levin Prize emphasize literary history or criticism, as opposed to theory, and should address more than one nation’s literature. Awarded every other year, the 2009 Levin Prize will be presented at the ACLA Annual Meeting at Harvard University.