Nicholas Rashad Jones '05 Awarded the Katherine Singer Kovacks prize by the MLA
The MMUF alum is currently an Assistant Professor of Spanish at Bucknell
Nicholas Rashad Jones won the prize for his monograph, Staging 'Habla de Negros': Radical Performances of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain (Penn State UP, 2019). This publication also garnered the Outstanding First Book Prize from the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora. Congratulations, Nick!
The Kovacs Prize jurors praised the work with the following citation:
The originality of Staging Habla de Negros: Radical Performances of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain cannot be overstated. In this important, well-founded exploration of an underrepresented topic, Nicholas R. Jones posits that an African diasporic identity was formed in Spain about three hundred years before the typical chronology situates its ascent on the other side of the Atlantic. With authoritative yet delightful prose, Jones remedies the neglect and oversimplification of representations of people of color in early modern Spanish literature. Black African characters and their Africanized Castilian language are studied insightfully in a corpus of dramatic and poetic texts ranging from Rodrigo de Reinosa through Lope de Rueda, Góngora, and Calderón de la Barca. A chapter on dances imported from sub-Saharan Africa and their reception in Spanish discourse is especially informative. Race theory, performance theory, and Black feminist criticism enrich this addition to European Renaissance and baroque, Africana, and Hispanic studies.
At Haverford, Nick majored in Spanish. He was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and graduated with a double concentration in Africana Studies and Latin American and Iberian Studies. He garnered departmental Honors in Spanish, along with the Manuel and Elisa Pi Asensio Prize for his senior essay, which was titled, "Dentro de la Iglesia de San Martín le dice: '¡Ay, negrita, vente tú; danos consuelo': las visiones y las oraciones de Catalina Muñoz."