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Freelance writer Rhoda Feng wins 2022-23 Nathan Award

Freelance writer Rhoda Feng has been named winner of the 2022-23 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism.

Rhoda Feng

In selecting Feng, the Nathan Award committee noted that freelancers who must ply their trade in a shrinking number of receptive publications merit special commendation and admiration. The committee comprises the heads of the English departments of Cornell, Princeton and Yale Universities, and is administered by Cornell’s Department of Literatures in English in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The committee praised the verve, precision, and wry wit of Feng’s criticism, observing that she also brings historically and culturally informed sensibilities to all her reviewing. “Feng’s evocative prose succinctly conveys the somatic, poetic, and emotional essence of a production,” the committee concluded in singling out her combined review of Shaina Taub’s “Suffs” and Ntozake Shange’s “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” published in LIBER: A Feminist Review.

Feng has stated that “representation matters a great deal in criticism.” She has prioritized covering works that focus on race and gender, arguing that her positionality allows her “to surface different parts” of the plays she reviews. Such perspectives are essential for “the stimulation of intelligent playgoing” that grounds the Nathan Award.

Read the story on the College of Arts and Sciences website.

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