Category Archives: Awards


Several travel awards are available: the Katharine Rodier Graduate Student Travel Award, the MELUS Graduate Student Travel Award, and the MELUS President’s Contingent Faculty Travel Award. To submit a travel award application, please email your conference abstract to Amy Gore, MELUS Graduate Student Representative, at and specify the travel award(s) for which you wish to apply.

Visit also the conference website, and note that the deadline for submitting a conference abstract is November 15, 2016.

MELUS Awards 2015

The recipients of the MELUS Awards for Distinguished Contribution in Ethnic Studies and for Lifetime Achievement are Professor Bonnie TuSmith and Professor Karla FC Holloway.

Professor Karla FC Holloway will receive the MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution in Ethnic Studies. She is the James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University. She is a cross-disciplinary scholar also holding appointments in the School of Law, the Program in Women’s Studies, and the Department of African and African American Studies. She is an affiliated faculty with the Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life and with the Trent Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities. Dr. Holloway is a member of the Greenwall Foundation’s Advisory Board in Bioethics, the Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, the Princeton University Council on the Study of Women and Gender, and was elected to the Hastings Center Fellows Association (bioethics). She also is the founding co-director of the John Hope Franklin Center and the Franklin Humanities Institute as well as a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship.

Professor Karla FC Holloway’s numerous scholarly publications include Passed On: African American Mourning Stories (2002), Private Bodies/Public Texts: Race, Gender, and Cultural Bioethics (2011), Legal Fictions: Constituting Race, Composing Literature (2014), and five other books. Professor Holloway’s scholarship in literary studies engages issues in biocultural studies, African American culture, as well as United States’ ethics and law. She spans the cultural landscape of the United States and locates the complex intersections of ethnicity and race, gender, science, and citizenship.

Professor Bonnie TuSmith will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor TuSmith joined MELUS in 1985. As a member of the Society, she co-founded the Women of Color Caucus (WOCC) in 1997 and, in 2002, she established the MELUS Action Committee for Equity in Education (ACEE). The WOCC is now a standing group in MELUS, and its members regularly organize panels at the annual conferences. Dr. TuSmith was MELUS Program Chair from 1995-1997 and was elected MELUS President in 2000, serving in that capacity from 2000-2003. As MELUS President, she spearheaded the MELUS Family Cookbook and launched a successful fundraising campaign for the Society.

Professor Bonnie TuSmith is on the faculty in the Department of English at Northeastern University. She is an award-winning scholar and the author, editor, or co-editor of five books, including All My Relatives: Community in Ethnic American Literatures (1994), Race in the College Classroom: Pedagogy and Politics (2002), and Critical Essays on John Edgar Wideman (2006). She co-edited a special issue of MELUS titled Pedagogy, Praxis, Politics, and Multiethnic Literatures (2005) and has published articles that engage a variety of topics in multiethnic literature. Her co-edited volume, Race in the College Classroom received the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award and the Critics Choice Award.

Professor TuSmith’s contributions to MELUS will be an enduring part of our legacy.

We will honor professors Holloway and TuSmith on Saturday 11 April 2015 at the MELUS Conference in Athens, Georgia.

Congratulations to Professor Fred Gardaphe

Prof. Fred Gardaphe received the 2014 MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution to Ethnic Studies during the MLA 2014 Convention in Chicago on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Fred Gardaphe is Distinguished Professor of English and Italian American Studies at Queens College/CUNY, the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, and one of the most prominent scholars of Italian American literature and criticism in the academy. He directs the Italian/American Studies Program at Queens College and formerly directed the programs in Italian American and American Studies at SUNY at Stony Brook. He is editor of the Italian American Culture Series at SUNY Press, and co-founding editor of Voices in Italian Americana. Prof. Gardaphe has published seven monographs: Italian Signs, American Streets: The Evolution of Italian American Narrative; Dagoes Read: Tradition and the Italian/American Writer; Moustache Pete Is Dead!; Italian/American Oral Tradition Preserved in Print; Leaving Little Italy: Essaying Italian American Studies; From Wiseguys to Wise Men: Masculinities and the Italian American Gangster; and The Art of Reading Italian Americana. His edited books include: New Chicago Stories, Italian American Ways; and From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana and Anti-Italianism. His most recent book is Importato dall’Italia, a collection of short fiction, translated into Italian. A former President of MELUS from 2007-2009 and 2003-2006, Prof. Gardaphe is a highly accomplished MELUS scholar on Italian American and American multiethnic literary and cultural studies, an outstanding, dedicated, and beloved leader of MELUS, a terrific colleague, and a generous mentor to junior scholars in MELUS.

Congratulations to Professor Lisa Lowe

Professor Lisa Lowe of Tufts University received the 2013 MELUS Award for Distinguished Contribution in Ethnic Studies, at a reception at the Boston Public Library (Courtyard Restaurant) on Saturday, January 5, 2013.