La Marr Jurelle Bruce, an associate professor of American studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, was awarded the 2022 MLA Prize for a First Book from the Modern Language Association. The Modern Language Association is the world’s largest scholarly humanities association.
Dr. Bruce’s prize-winning book, How to Go Mad without Losing Your Mind: Madness and Black Radical Creativity (Duke University Press, 2021), is a sweeping study of black artists who activate madness in radical literature and performance — and in broader projects of art-making, self-making, and world-making. According to the selection committee’s citation, “Bruce develops original and provocative readings across media and genres, and the impact of his work will be felt in multiple fields and disciplines.” The book also received the 2022 Nicolás Cristóbal Guillén Batista Outstanding Book Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association.
Dr. Bruce is a graduate of Columbia University, where he majored in African American studies and English and comparative literature. He holds a Ph.D. in African American studies and American studies from Yale University. Dr. Bruce joined the faculty at the University of Maryland in 2014 and was promoted to associate professor in 2020.