February 6, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass. - Dale Peterson's Up from Bondage: The Literatures of Russian and African American Soul (Duke University Press, 2000), the first study to consider the evolution of Russian and African-American cultural nationalism in literature, was named the Best Book in Literary and Cultural Studies for 2002 by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages at its annual meeting. Peterson, Eliza J. Clark Folger Professor of English and Russian at Amherst College, "has made a generous gift to both Russian and African American literary studies in opening this rich field for sustained study, and fellow scholars will surely be inspired," according to the association's citation.

"Dale Peterson's book will surprise and delight readers with its elaboration of the provocative parallel trajectories taken by these two literary and philosophical traditions" the citation also noted. "Peterson's study represents intellectual history at its finest, offering readers a new perspective on canonical figures in Russian and American literary history, and encouraging us to think in broader interdisciplinary terms about our cultural fields of interest."

Peterson, who studied history and literature at Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in American studies and an M.A. in Russian studies at Yale University, has taught at Amherst College since 1968.