In keeping with our society’s goal of honoring and continuing Lydia Maria Child’s vision of and work toward social justice, the Lydia Maria Child Society is pleased to offer two awards recognizing work on American literature that furthers social change: one for literature scholars at the graduate level and beyond and one for high school and undergraduate students. Child routinely wrote on behalf of the marginalized, emerging as a passionate advocate for slaves, Native Americans, prisoners, prostitutes, and even animals, among a host of others. Our society aims to recognize academic writing that, like Child’s, speaks to pressing social causes, as well as pedagogical endeavors and other projects that foreground the voices of (oftentimes neglected) authors who have worked to produce such writing. To apply for either award or to nominate a colleague, friend, or student, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 1, with “Social justice award” as the subject line of your email, a letter detailing the ways in which your own or your nominee’s literary scholarship engages with current social justice concerns. You are also welcome, though not required, to include a writing sample that demonstrates this engagement. These samples may take the form of essays (or essay excerpts), course syllabi, or descriptions of projects that explore the intersections between American literature and social justice outside the academic classroom.
Applications should be sent as Word documents and should not exceed 15 pages. While we will be happy to receive submissions that consider Child directly, Child need not be included in order for projects to be eligible; we welcome projects on a variety of authors, genres, periods, and concerns. Winners will be recognized at the upcoming ALA conference and will receive a monetary award of $100, though they need not be present at the conference in order to be eligible for the award. We look forward to reading your submissions.