Penn Professor Christine Poggi’s “Inventing Futurism” Wins MLA’s Howard R. Marraro Prize

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Media Contact:Jacquie Posey | | 215-898-6460December 9, 2010


PHILADELPHIA -- The Modern Language Association has awarded University of Pennsylvania History of Art Professor Christine Poggi its Howard R. Marraro Prize for “Inventing Futurism: The Art and Politics of Artificial Optimism.

She shares the prize with Jane Tylus, of New York University, who received the award for “Reclaiming Catherine of Siena: Literacy, Literature and the Signs of Others.”

At Penn, Poggi teaches courses in modern and contemporary art and criticism.  She is co-editor of a new collection of Futurist manifestos, creative texts and images titled “Futurism: An Anthology.”  

Current research projects comprise essays on Picasso's early constructed guitars; newspaper's function as a temporal marker in contemporary art; the nexus of law and image in the performative works of several contemporary artists, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Teching Hsieh, Santiago Sierra and Chantal Akerman; and the multi-media "Meta-Futurist" project of contemporary artist Luca Buvoli.

The selection committee cited Poggi’s book for “diachronically juxtaposing the artistic production and official pronouncements of futurist artists with coeval theories such as those advanced by social theorists like Gabriel Tarde, Gustave Le Bon and Cesare Lombroso, as well as with recent developments in the field of chronophotography and war technology” and said her work “makes a case for a radical reappraisal of futurism that revolutionizes its understanding within the context of Italian modernism.”

The award will be presented Jan. 7 during the MLA convention in Los Angeles.

The Modern Language Association of America, the largest and one of the oldest of American learned societies in the humanities, promotes the advancement of literary and linguistic studies.