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Rolena Adorno receives MLA lifetime achievement award

Rolena Adorno
Credit: Yale University

WASHINGTON (October 28, 2014) — National Council on the Humanities member Rolena Adorno has been awarded the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) Lifetime Scholarly Achievement Award.

Adorno, Sterling Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University, is the seventh recipient of the scholarly association’s prestigious triennial award, which will be presented on January 10, 2015 at the MLA’s annual convention in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In its citation, the MLA described Adorno as “a premier scholar of colonial Spanish American literary and cultural history, a field that she helped bring out of the shadows starting 40 years ago.” Her books on Colonial Latin American literary and cultural history, including The Polemics of Possession in Spanish American Narrative; De Guancane a Macondo: estudios de literatura hispanoamericana; Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: His Account, His Life, and the Expedition of Pánfilo de Narváez, and Guaman Poma: Writing and Resistance in Colonial Peru, have been awarded prizes by the Modern Language Association, the American Historical Association, the Western Historical Association, and the New England Council of Latin American Studies.

An advocate for the digital humanities, Adorno has collaborated on a critical print and digital edition of Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala’s chronicle of ancient Andean history, El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno, and served as a scholarly consultant to the Royal Library of Denmark, which houses the original Peruvian manuscript.

Adorno holds an honorary professorship at La Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, and is an honorary associate of the Hispanic Society of America. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Born and raised in an Iowa farming family of German descent, Adorno holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa, an M.A.T. from the University of Hartford, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has taught at Syracuse, Ohio State, and Princeton Universities and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

In November 2009, Adorno was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, the advisory board of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The MLA, the largest and one of the oldest American learned societies in the humanities, was established in 1883 to advance literary and linguistic studies. It also hosts conventions and symposia, and works with affiliates to sustain an active publishing program. Its 30,000 members come from all 50 U.S. states and more than 100 countries around the world.

Read a press release from Yale University.

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About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

Media Contacts: Paula Wasley at (202) 606-8424 or pwasley@neh.gov