Literary honors

Professor of English Lindsay Thomas awarded ASAP 2022 Book Prize
Book Prize

Given annually for the book that makes the most significant contribution to the study of the arts, this year’s Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present (ASAP) 2022 Book Prize was awarded to College of Arts & Sciences English Professor Lindsay Thomas for her book, Training for Catastrophe: Fictions of National Security after 9/11.

Thomas“I’m very honored to receive this award from ASAP,” said Thomas, whose research and teaching focus on contemporary US literature, cultural studies, and the digital humanities. “My scholarship has found an intellectual home there for years, and I’m continually inspired by the work of my fellow members. I’m thrilled my book was included among the many stellar works on the shortlist this year."

Thomas’ scholarship and writing have appeared in journals such as American LiteratureContemporary Literature, and the Journal of Cultural Analytics, and she is currently working on a project about length, digital culture, and contemporary US literature. She is an Associate Professor in the English Department and Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Training for Catastrophe is a major statement on how national security influences into questions of art and life. Thomas shows how the US security regime reimagines plausibility to focus on unlikely, and even unreal, events rather than credible ones. She finds fiction at work in unexpected settings, from policy documents and workplace training manuals to comics and video games.

Through these texts, Thomas examines the philosophy of preparedness by interrogating the roots of why it asks us to treat explicitly fictional events as real. In essence, with an in-depth focus on preparedness (a pivotal, emergent national security paradigm since 9/11), Thomas explores how fiction shapes national security.

ASAP is an international, nonprofit association dedicated to discovering and articulating the aesthetic, cultural, ethical, and political identities of the contemporary arts. Book Prize winners are considered without regard to a political point of view, aesthetic position, country of origin, publisher, or topic.

For more information about Thomas’ award-winning book, please visit