MacMillan Center awards book prizes to five faculty members, including Bill Rankin

October 11, 2017

Five Yale faculty members have been awarded book prizes by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.

Three faculty members received the Gaddis Smith International Book Prize for best first book: Ayesha Ramachandran, assistant professor of comparative literature, for “The Worldmakers: Global Imaging in Early Modern Europe” (The University of Chicago Press, 2015); William Rankin, assistant professor of the history of science, for “After the Map: Cartography, Navigation, and the Transformation of Territory in the Twentieth Century” (The University of Chicago Press, 2016); and Anna Zayaruznaya, assistant professor of music, for “The Monstrous New Art: Divided Forms in the Late Medieval Motet” (Cambridge University Press, 2015).

The two faculty members received the Gustav Ranis International Book Prize for best book: Alice Kaplan, the John M. Musser Professor of French, for “Looking for the Stranger: Albert Camus and the Life of a Literary Classic” (The University of Chicago Press, 2016) and Kishwar Rizvi, associate professor in the history of art, for “The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East” (The University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

Established in 2004 to recognize the distinguished legacy of two former directors of the MacMillan Center, the prizes are awarded for books on international topics written by current members of the Yale faculty. Award recipients receive a research appointment at the MacMillan Center and a $10,000 research award over two years.

In “After the Map,” Rankin argues that while a shift in mapping practices at the end of the 20th century did not render traditional maps obsolete, it did radically change our experience of geographic knowledge, from the God’s-eye view of the map to the embedded subjectivity of GPS. Likewise, older concerns with geographic truth and objectivity have been upstaged by a new emphasis on simplicity, reliability, and convenience. “After the Map” shows how this change in geographic perspective is ultimately a transformation of the nature of territory, both social and political.

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