Category Archives: Awards

2019 Winners of the 1921 Prize in American Literature

On behalf of the 1921 Prize Committee (Helane Androne [chair], Tara Bynum, Cristina Herrera, Christopher Pexa, Jane Thrailkill), we are pleased to announce the winners of the 1921 Prizes in American Literature. Congratulations!

Graduate Students, Scholars in Contingent Positions, and Untenured Category:

  • Gordon Fraser, “Distributed Agency: David Walker’s Appeal, Black Readership, and the Politics of Self-Deportation.” ESQ vol. 65, no. 2, 2019, pp. 221-256.
  • Fraser is Presidential Academic Fellow and Lecturer in English, American Studies, and Creative Writing at the University of Manchester

Tenured Category:

  • Gregory Laski, “Reconstructing Revenge: Race and Justice after the Civil War.” American Literature vol. 91, no. 4, 2019.
  • Laski is Associate Professor of English at the United States Airforce Academy

Lauren Berlant is the Recipient of the 2019 Hubbell Award

2019 Hubbell Medal: 

The winner of the 2019 Hubbell Medal for Lifetime Achievement is Lauren Berlant, George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor, Department of English, University of Chicago.

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We will recognize Professor Berlant during the MLA Awards Ceremony on Saturday, January 11, 2020, from 7-8 pm in the Sheraton, Grand A. Thanks to the Hubbell Committee, chaired by Susan Griffin (with Jay Watson, Elizabeth Dillon, Rodrigo Lazo, and Herman Beavers), for your work this year. Of Berlant, Griffin writes:

“What takes place in her thinking and writing is NOT the performance of the powerful critic who condescends to uncover the unwitting ideologies of subjects and texts. Citizens, as Berlant sees them, are not the helpless and unknowing victims of an all-powerful, uniform, enforced normativity. Instead of such—I want to say ‘professional’—disdain, what Berlant expresses, again and again is respect for and curiosity about our multiple, varied attachments and aspirations. [….] This is a pedagogy of curiosity—her students’ and her own. For curiosity is, I would venture, precisely what drives Berlant’s more-than-considerable body of work: how do citizens and lovers feel? Why do they feel that way? How else might they feel?”

William Andrews is the recipient of the 2017 Hubbell Award

William Andrews is the recipient of the 2017 Hubbell Award. John Ernest will present the award to Professor Andrews at the Americanist reception (cohosted with C19, SEA, AAS, and other groups) on Friday January 5, 4:00-6:00 pm in the Trustees Room of the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd and Fifth Avenue.

William L. Andrews

The E. Maynard Adams Professor of English & Comparative Literature at UNC-Chapel Hill, William Andrews is the author or editor of numerous books, including The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt, To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760-1865, The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, The Oxford Companion to African American Literature, and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, among countless others. He is general editor of Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography, a book series published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and he is series editor of North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920, a complete digitized library of autobiographies and biographies of North American slaves and ex-slaves, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ameritech, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Andrews’s influence on the field of African American studies has been immense, immeasurable. Through DocSouth (the digital archive), he has made hundreds of texts available that have not been accessible before, changing the field significantly in the process. And through his other work, he has done much to shape how we respond to that archive.

The 1921 Prize in American Literature

The American Literature Society is pleased to invite submissions for the 1921 prize, which is awarded annually for the best article in any field of American literature. The prize is named for the year the organization was initially founded “to promote and diversify the study of American Literature.” Judged by a panel comprised of members of the American Literature Society Advisory Board and other scholars in the field, the competition will be divided in two categories: one for tenured faculty and one for graduate students, scholars in contingent positions, and untenured faculty members. The winner will be announced at the 2018 MLA awards ceremony. For any questions, please contact ALS chair Claudia Stokes at

Rules for competition:

  • Submissions must be published during the calendar year of 2017. For submissions that have not yet appeared in print by the September 1 deadline, authors are requested to provide verification that their essay will be published within the calendar year.
  • Articles must appear in one of the following journals: African American Review; American Literary History; American Literature; American Periodicals; Callaloo; Early American Literature; ESQ; J19; Legacy; MELUS; Studies in American Fiction; and Studies in American Indian Literatures. Essays that appear elsewhere will not be considered.
  • Please send an electronic copy of the nominated essay (PDF preferred) to the Prize Committee by September 1, 2017 at
  • Authors must be members of the American Literature Society to be eligible for consideration. Membership is free of charge. To join the society, please visit
  • No person may nominate more than one essay in a given year.