Thursday, September 13, 2007

9th Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship

The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University is pleased to announce the award of its 9th Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship to Lois Parkinson Zamora, Professor of Comparative Literature and Art History at the University of Houston, for her book The Inordinate Eye: New World Baroque and Latin American Fiction (University of Chicago Press, 2006).

Zamora will give a public lecture and accept the book prize for 2007 on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 at 4:00 p.m. in the Glasscock Building, Room 311.
The Inordinate Eye uncovers the transnational influences on Baroque art in the New World to determine how those relationships influence contemporary narratives and form points of resistance to European colonization. Latin American artists create a discourse of “counterconquest” that Zamora terms the “New World Baroque,” a hybrid form combining the diverse influences of indigenous, African, and European cultures in an effort to challenge the hegemony of Catholic and monarchical ideologies.

Zamora combines critique of visual art with discussion of fictional narratives to argue that an integrated understanding of each provides a better perspective to examine the epistemological structures that underpin modern and contemporary art in Latin America. The discussion ranges from the murals of Diego Rivera in the National Palace of Mexico City to the fictions of Jorge Luis Borges and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. Zamora examines these artists and many more, and in The Inordinant Eye offers a comparative study that goes beyond the interartistic, exploring how diverse artistic media influence one another and provide a unified challenge to the colonizer’s gaze.

The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship was endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock, Texas A&M University Class of '59, in honor of his wife. Mr. Glasscock, CEO of Texas Aromatics, L.P. in Houston, Texas, and has, with his wife, made numerous other gifts to Texas A&M University. In July 2002 they generously endowed the Center for Humanities Research, which was renamed in Mr. Glasscock’s honor.

The Book Prize is chosen by a committee of two humanities scholars from Texas A&M and one from another university. This year’s committee was Suzanne Poirier (Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago), David McWhirter (Department of English, Texas A&M University), and Cynthia Werner (Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University).

Last year’s Book Prize winner was Beth Fowkes Tobin, Professor of English at Arizona State University, for her book Colonizing Nature: The Tropics in British Arts and Letters, 1760-1820. A complete list of previous Book Prize winners can be found on the Glasscock Center website at