Skip to main content

Akshya Saxena Awarded MLA First Book Prize

Posted by on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 in spotlight.

Akshya Saxena’s Vernacular English has been awarded the MLA First Book Prize!

The prize committee writes of Vernacular English:

A highly original contribution to postcolonial studies and comparative literary studies, Akshya Saxena’s Vernacular English: Reading the Anglophone in Postcolonial Indiaargues that English in India has, since Independence, served as a language of everyday life and local struggle, female empowerment, and Dalit self-representation. Writing with verve and theoretical sophistication, Saxena tracks the circulation and repurposing of English through India’s diverse linguistic contexts and media ecologies; in Bollywood films, protest poems, and bestselling novels; as well as in hashtags, slogans, and even a mother’s voice. Vernacular English fundamentally reassesses our understanding of global English, posing profound questions about the social life of language, as a medium of contested meaning and identity but also of touch and desire, alienation and aspiration.


Click here for the full press release.