Nasser Mufti Receives 2019 Arlt Award in the Humanities
    December 5, 2019



    Contact: Katherine Hazelrigg  (202) 461-3888 /


    Washington, DC – The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) has awarded the 2019 Gustave O. Arlt Award in the Humanities to Dr. Nasser Mufti, associate professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The awards ceremony was held during the CGS 59th Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN.


    The Arlt Award is given annually to a young scholar-teacher who has written a book deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to scholarship in the humanities. Dr. Mufti becomes the award’s 49th recipient for his book, Civilizing War: Imperial Politics and the Poetics of National Rupture (Northwestern UP, 2017). He received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2012.


    In Civilizing War: Imperial Politics and the Poetics of National Rupture, Mufti situates the place of civil war within the politics of empire by examining the “historical transformation of civil war from a civil affair into an uncivil crisis.” Through comparative readings of Thomas Carlyle, Benjamin Disraeli, Friedrich Engels, Nadine Gordimer, and others, Mufti demonstrates how these authors and intellectuals articulated a “poetics of national rupture” that came to signify the metropolitan nation and its colonial “others.” Through Civilizing War, Mufti “shifts the terms of Edward Said’s influential Orientalism to suggest that imperialism was not only organized around the norms of civility but also around narratives of civil war.”


    “We are so pleased to present this year’s Arlt award to Dr. Mufti for the outstanding scholarship in his recent book Civilizing War. The Arlt award recognizes exceptional work by early-career humanities faculty, and Dr. Mufti’s work is an important contribution to understanding the complexities of imperialism and the inherent incivility of civil war,” said Dr. Suzanne Ortega, president of the Council of Graduate Schools.


    Created in 1971, the Arlt Award honors the first president of CGS, Gustave O. Arlt. The winner must have earned a doctorate within the past seven years, and currently be teaching at a North American university. Nominations are made by CGS member institutions and are reviewed by a panel of scholars in the field of competition, which rotates annually among seven disciplines within the humanities. This year’s field was World Language and Literature, Comparative Literature, and Drama/Theater Arts. The winner receives a $1,000 honorarium and travel to the awards ceremony.



    The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is an organization of approximately 500 institutions of higher education in the United States and Canada engaged in graduate education, research, and the preparation of candidates for advanced degrees. The organization’s mission is to improve and advance graduate education, which it accomplishes through advocacy in the federal policy arena, research, and the development and dissemination of best practices.


    CGS is the leading source of information, data analysis, and trends in graduate education. Our benchmarking data help member institutions to assess performance in key areas, make informed decisions, and develop plans that are suited to their goals.
    CGS Best Practice initiatives address common challenges in graduate education by supporting institutional innovations and sharing effective practices with the graduate community. Our programs have provided millions of dollars of support for improvement and innovation projects at member institutions.
    As the national voice for graduate education, CGS serves as a resource on issues regarding graduate education, research, and scholarship. CGS collaborates with other national stakeholders to advance the graduate education community in the policy and advocacy arenas.  
    CGS is an authority on global trends in graduate education and a leader in the international graduate community. Our resources and meetings on global issues help members internationalize their campuses, develop sustainable collaborations, and prepare their students for a global future.