The Edmund Keeley Book Prize is awarded to an academic book dealing with modern Greece or a Hellenic theme published originally in the English language.
At the MGSA Executive Board meeting of November 2005, it was resolved that the MGSA Book Prize should be named in honor of Edmund Keeley, founding member and first president of the MGSA, in recognition of his distinguished contributions, as pioneering translator and critic, to the broad dissemination and scholarly study of modern Greek literature in the English speaking world and to the field of Modern Greek Studies in the United States.
The committee is composed of three eligible members. Their selection is based on the need for disciplinary representation on the committee, with one of the members being an active member of the MGSA Executive Board and serving as the chair of the Edmund Keeley Book Prize Selection Committee, a second being a member of the MGSA but not holding a seat on the Association's Board and a third member. For each competition, a new committee is comprised and no committee member shall serve two consecutive terms.
Appointment of the committee takes place during and after the autumn MGSA Executive Board meeting preceding a Symposium year. At that meeting, the President of the MGSA shall ask members of the Board to appoint a committee chair and to make additional nominations of committee members to the chair of the Edmund Keeley Book Prize Selection Committee. Using these nominations, it shall be the duty of the chair of the Book Prize Selection Committee to appoint the additional two members to the committee, with disciplinary representation as a basis for their selection. It is also advisable that gender and academic standing be taken into consideration when making these appointments. Once a committee has been convened, members of the committee must review its procedures and establish an appropriate timetable for its work.
The committee's service begins on April 1 of each competition year and, while the work of the committee is generally completed by the time the prize is announced at the MGSA Symposium, the committee remains operative until a subsequent committee is appointed after the autumn Executive Board meeting preceding the following competition year. The chairperson of the committee is a voting member of the committee. Committee members are not permitted to submit their own books while serving on the Edmund Keeley Book Prize Selection Committee.
Each committee member independently reads and rates the books entered in the competition and communicates the results of his/her evaluation to the chairperson of the committee via email. Criteria to be used in making this evaluation include
The evaluation results of each committee member should reflect a rank-ordering of the submissions.
Once a decision has been made, the chair announces the winner of the competition to the MGSA Executive Director and to the members of the Edmund Keeley Book Prize Selection Committee. The winner as well as the other authors who submitted books are notified in writing by the chair of the committee. The award is publicly made at the next scheduled MGSA Symposium and the MGSA Executive Director mails the $1,000 award to the winner.
Edmund Keeley was the author of seven novels, ten volumes of non-fiction, and fourteen volumes of poetry in translation. He taught English, Creative Writing, and Hellenic Studies at Princeton for forty years and retired in 1994 as Charles Barnwell Straut Class of 1923 Professor of English. His books include Inventing Paradise: The Greek Journey, 1937-47, On Translation: Reflections and Conversations, Some Wine for Remembrance (a novel), and Borderlines: A Memoir.
His work received the Rome Prize for fiction and the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Landon Award for Translation from the Academy of American Poets, the PEN-Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation from American PEN, and the Criticos Prize of the London Hellenic Society for non-fiction.
He served as President of the Modern Greek Studies Association, Vice President of the Poetry Society of America, and President of PEN American Center. He also was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens, and a member of the American PEN Advisory Committee.
In 2001 the President of Greece named him Commander of the Order of the Phoenix for his contribution to Greek culture, and in 2002 he was elected Honorary Member of the Hellenic Authors' Society.
On the Passing of Professor Edmund (Mike) Keeley
The Conquered: Byzantium and America on the Cusp of Modernity
(Dumbarton Oaks, 2020).
Transnational Patriotism in the Mediterranean, 1800-1850, Stammering the Nation
Oxford University Press, 2018
Jewish Salonica: Between the Ottoman Empire and Modern Greece, Stanford University Press, 2016.
Children of the Dictatorship: Student Resistance, Cultural Politics, and the ‘Long 1960s’ in Greece. Berghahn Books, 2013
The Balkan Prospect: Identity, Culture, and Politics in Greece after 1989 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and
Loring Danforth and Riki van Boeschoten Children of the Greek Civil War: Refugees and the Politics of Memory (U-Chicago Press, 2012), shared First Prize
Theodora Dragostinova, Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949 (Cornell University Press, 2011)
Dangerous Citizens: The Greek Left and the Terror of the State,
Fordham University Press 2009
The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece, Oxford University Press 2007
Greece and the Cold War: Frontline State, 1952-1967. London and New York: Routledge, 2006.
Famine and Death in Occupied Greece, 1941-1944 Cambridge: CUP, 2006
Experiencing Dominion: Culture, Identity, and Power in the British Mediterranean, University of Notre Dame Press 2002
Submissions are due by 1 April 2024 covering books published since April 2022.
Prize: $1,000.00 and one year MGSA membership
Submissions from all disciplines within the field of Modern Greek Studies are welcomed.
Authors must submit three copies of their book(s), not to be returned after the competition, for consideration to The Modern Greek Studies Association. For the committee to consider books submitted by third parties (publishers or someone other than the original author), the MGSA must also receive a letter to the address below or an email to [email protected] requesting that the published book be considered for the prize.
Multiple submissions of different books by the same author are acceptable.
Authors must be current MGSA members when submitting their work; however, they may not be members of the Edmund Keeley Book Prize Selection Committee.
MGSA Keeley Book Prize
Modern Greek Studies Association
c/o Vangelis Calotychos
Department of Classics
48 College St., Box 1856
Providence, RI 02912-1856