Cóilín Parsons has been awarded the Robert Rhodes Prize for Books on Literature from the American Conference for Irish Studies (ACIS), or An Chomhdháil Mheiriceánach do Léann na hÉireann in Gaelic.
Cóilín's book The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature was chosen by this year's committee because it embodies "...the transformative thinking encouraged and celebrated by the Rhodes prize..." The committee expounded upon their reasons for selecting Cóilín's work:
The committee unanimously agreed that The Ordnance Survey and Modern Irish Literature is elegantly and unpretentiously written, approaching abstract theoretical issues with a refreshingly clear style. Parsons succeeds in using a popular critical tool—the concept of topography and space—to engender new readings of his subjects. He analyzes, specifically, the complicated colonial negotiations performed during the production of the state-sponsored map and demonstrates how Irish writers as different as James Clarence Mangan, Synge, and Joyce subsequently appropriated and refigured the representational strategies deployed in the map, including notably its attention to scale. In doing so Parsons convincingly situates the map as part of the modernizing project and suggests its relationship to the development of Irish literary modernism.
The winners were honored at the General Business Meeting at the ACIS National Meeting at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, March 30, 2017. Congratulations, Cóilín!