Boston College English Prof. Min Hyoung Song
Wins 2014 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (October 2014) -- Boston College Professor of English Min Hyoung Song has been honored by Alpha Sigma Nu, the honor society for Jesuit higher education institutions, with a 2014 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award for his book, The Children of 1965: On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American (Duke University Press, 2013). Song’s publication is one of only four winners, representing the 31 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and South Korea. This year’s awards recognize excellence in publishing in the humanities.
Established in 1979, the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Book Awards recognize outstanding publishing achievement at Jesuit colleges and universities in three categories: the humanities, the sciences and professional studies. Books are judged on the basis of scholarship, significance of the topic and its continuing importance to scholars in several disciplines, mastery of extensive literature, research findings, authority in interpretation, objectivity, readability and imagination.
In The Children of 1965, Song sought to discover how being Asian-American affected the writing of an emerging cohort of Asian-American authors. The title of the book is connected to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which ushered in an immigration wave from Asia. Based on an analysis of more than 100 works and interviews with several Asian-American writers, Song concludes that race is a factor in much of the writing, but so are other themes, such as income inequality, the role of technology, life post 9/11 and sustainability. [Listen to Song talk about his book in this BC Libraries video.]
"Publishing a book, especially an academic one, is like sending a message into a void. You just never know how it’s going to be received, or who will be reading it," said Song. "[The award] was such an unexpected, but wonderful, acknowledgement of the work I put into the book, and of the importance of the topic. I hope the attention my book receives will help shed more light on the amazing creative work that so many Asian-American writers are producing now, and what makes this work unique."
The Children of 1965 has also received honorable mention in the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present 2014 Book Prize competition. The committee called his book groundbreaking and "essential reading for scholars not only of Asian American writing but of contemporary literature."
Song joined the Boston College English Department in 1999, after serving one year as a visiting assistant professor. He is also the author of Strange Future: Pessimism and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
--Kathleen Sullivan, Office of News & Public Affairs, email@example.com