Awards

MELUS offers several competitive prizes: the Katharine Rodier Graduate Student Travel Award, the MELUS Graduate Student Travel Award, the MELUS President’s Contingent Faculty Travel Award, and the MELUS Best Essay Award.

The MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies or the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Society’s highest accolades, honors esteemed colleagues and scholars in multiethnic studies.

Katharine Rodier Graduate Student Travel Award

Amount: $300.00

To apply: Submit your conference abstract to the MELUS graduate student representative by the yearly conference CFP deadline. If accepted into the conference program, your abstract will then move into the second phase of consideration by the travel awards committee.

Criteria: The committee bases their selection on relevance of the paper to conference theme and to interests of general MELUS membership; the extent to which the paper makes a contribution to/intervention in ethnic studies; the originality/uniqueness of the abstract; and when needed (i.e., if two abstracts are equal in the extent to which they fulfill the above criteria), consideration of distance from the applicant’s institution to the conference site.

Eligible: Applicants for the two graduate student awards must be current graduate students and must submit individual abstracts, rather than panel submissions. Because there are two graduate student awards, graduate students are not eligible for the contingent faculty award. While the MELUS executive committee recognizes that many graduate students also work as contingent faculty, we reserve the contingent faculty award for faculty that typically have less access to institutional funding. Award winners must attend the conference in order to receive their award and be recognized at the awards ceremony.

MELUS Graduate Student Travel Award

Description: In support of the professional development and growth toward the future of the academic study of multi-ethnic literature that graduate students represent, the MELUS Graduate Student Travel Award supports current graduate students who wish to attend the organization’s yearly conference.

Amount: $300.00

To apply: Submit your conference abstract to the MELUS graduate student representative by the yearly conference CFP deadline. If accepted into the conference program, your abstract will then move into the second phase of consideration by the travel awards committee.

Criteria: The committee bases their selection on relevance of the paper to conference theme and to interests of general MELUS membership; the extent to which the paper makes a contribution to/intervention in ethnic studies; the originality/uniqueness of the abstract; and when needed (i.e., if two abstracts are equal in the extent to which they fulfill the above criteria), consideration of distance from the applicant’s institution to the conference site.

Eligible: Applicants for the two graduate student awards must be current graduate students and must submit individual abstracts, rather than panel submissions. Because there are two graduate student awards, graduate students are not eligible for the contingent faculty award. While the MELUS executive committee recognizes that many graduate students also work as contingent faculty, we reserve the contingent faculty award for faculty that typically have less access to institutional funding. Award winners must attend the conference in order to receive their award and be recognized at the awards ceremony.

MELUS President’s Contingent Faculty Award

Description: In support of the valuable work of contingent faculty, the MELUS President’s Contingent Faculty Award supports non-tenure-track terminal degree holders who wish to attend the organization’s yearly conference.

Amount: $400.00

To apply: Submit your conference abstract to the MELUS graduate student representative by the yearly conference CFP deadline. If accepted into the conference program, your abstract will then move into the second phase of consideration by the travel awards committee.

Criteria: The committee bases their selection on relevance of the paper to conference theme and to interests of general MELUS membership; the extent to which the paper makes a contribution to/intervention in ethnic studies; the originality/uniqueness of the abstract; and when needed (i.e., if two abstracts are equal in the extent to which they fulfill the above criteria), consideration of distance from the applicant’s institution to the conference site.

Eligible: Applicants for the contingent faculty travel award must be non-tenure track faculty who possess terminal degrees, including adjuncts, visiting assistant professors, independent scholars, etc. While the MELUS executive committee recognizes that many graduate students also work as contingent faculty, we reserve the contingent faculty award for faculty that typically have less access to institutional funding. Award winners must attend the conference in order to receive their award and be recognized at the awards ceremony.

  • Recipients of the 2017 MELUS prizes:

MELUS President’s Contingent Faculty Travel Award: Sue Shon, Univ. of Washington, for “Runaway Slave Portraiture and the Emergence of Racial Blackness”

MELUS Graduate Student Travel Award: Ande Davis, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City for “After Jim Kelly: Hip Hop and Kung Fu Hybridization in the New Millennium,”

Katharine Rodier Graduate Student Travel Award: Ryan Charlton, Univ. of Mississippi  for “‘[T]o all intents an Esquimo’: The Inuit in Matthew Henson’s A Negro Explorer at the North Pole

Best Essay Award: 41.2 (Summer): Marlene Hansen Esplin, “Self-translation and Accommodation: Strategies of Multilingualism in Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza and Margarita Cota-Cárdenas’s Puppet.” AND 41.4 (Winter): Elisabeth Windle, “‘It Never Really Was the Same’: Brother to Brother’sBlack and White and Queer Nostalgia.”

  • Recipients of the 2016 MELUS prizes:

MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies: Rey Chow

Lifetime Achievement Award: Wenying Xu

President’s Contingent Faculty Award: Nancy El Gendy, “Veiling, Unveiling, Reveiling in Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf”

Graduate Student Travel Awards:
Katherine Newman Graduate Student Travel: Justin Mellete, “’You didn’t see color you saw dirt’: Southern Racial Ideology in the Works of Monique Truing and Cynthia Kadohata”; Katharine Rodier Graduate Student Travel Award: Savannah Hall, “Going Suntan: Fashion-Forward Performances of Race in 1920s American Literary and Visual Culture of the Suntan Vogue.”

Katherine Newman MELUS Best Essay Award:
Kinohi Nishikawa, “The Archive on Its Own: Black Politics, Independent Publishing, and The Negotiations” (Fall 2015); Honorable mention: Mark Sussman, “Charles W. Chesnutt’s Stenographic Realism” (Winter 2015)

  • Recipients of the 2015 MELUS prizes:

MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies: Karla F.C. Holloway

Lifetime Achievement Award: Bonnie Tu Smith

  • Recipients of the 2014 MELUS prizes:

MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies
Fred Gardaphe

Katharine Rodier Graduate Student Travel Award
Mevi Hova, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
“Redefining the Black Diaspora: Identity and Migration Narratives in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah

Graduate Student Travel Award
Coleen Eils, The University of Texas at Austin
“The Limits of Literature in Salvador Plascencia’s The People of Paper

President’s Contingent Faculty Award
Cathryn Josefina Merla-Watson
“Feeling Chicana: Decolonial Feminism and Love as Resistance in Lorna Dee Cervantes’s Ciento

Katherine Newman MELUS Best Essay Award
Margaret Hillenbrand, Institute for Chinese Studies, University of Oxford, UK
“Letters of Penance: Writing America in Chinese and the Location of Chinese American Literature” MELUS 38.3 (Fall 2013)


Previous winners of the MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies

2016 Rey Chow
2015 Karla F.C. Holloway
2014 Fred Gardaphe
2013 Lisa Lowe
2012 Houston Baker
2011 Gerald Vizenor
2010 Cheng Lok Chua
2009 Shirley Geok-lin Lim
2008 John Lowe
2007 Amritjit Singh, Thadious Davis
2005 Tey Diana Rebolledo
2004 Joe Skerrett
2003 Werner Sollors
2000 Helen Barolini
1998 Helen Jaskoski
1997 Amy Ling
1996 Eric Sundquist and Nellie McKay
1995 Michael S. Harper and Jules Chametzky
1994 Barbara Christian
1993 Daniel Walden
1992 Charles Nilon
1991 Jean Fagan Yellin
1990 Paul Lauter
1989 Mitsuye Yamada
1988 Charles Nichols
1987 John M. Reilly
1986 A. LaVonne Ruoff
1985 Blyden Jackson
1983 Brom Weber
1982 Katherine Newman
1979 Nicolas Kanellos
1974 Robert E. Spiller