The C. Hugh Holman Award

The Holman Award, established in 1985 by the SSSL Executive Council, is named for the late highly esteemed scholar of southern literature, C. Hugh Holman, who taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  The SSSL awards the prize annually for the best book of literary scholarship or literary criticism in the field of southern literature published during the preceding calendar year.  Recipients are honored, typically at either MLA or ALA, with a plaque and a check for $1000.  Books eligible for the award may be literary criticism, literary history, scholarly editions, or bibliographies.  Reprints of previously published books or essays are not eligible.  The Holman Committee has the option to name up to two books as honorable mentions, each recognized with a certificate at the same scholarly meeting at which the winner is named. 

Nominations by publishers and self-nominations by individual authors for this year’s award may be made until February 1, 2024. Books must have been published in 2022 to be eligible for this year’s competition. Please email Prof. Sherita Johnson (Sherita.Johnson [at] usm [dot] edu) for instructions about mailing copies of books to the committee.

2022 C. Hugh Holman Award Winner

Riché Richardson, Emancipation’s Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body (Duke University Press, 2021).

Past Holman Award Winners

2021 Sharon Monteith, SNCC’s Stories: The African American Freedom Movement in the Civil Rights South (University of Georgia Press, 2020); Honorable Mention: Keith Clark, Navigating the Fiction of Ernest J. Gaines: A Roadmap for Readers (Louisiana State University Press, 2020)

2020 Jay Watson, William Faulkner and the Faces of Modernity (Oxford University Press, 2019); Honorable Mention: Kathryn McKee, Reading Reconstruction: Sherwood Bonner and the Literature of the Post-Civil War South (Louisiana State University Press, 2019)

2019 Gina Caison, Red States: Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Southern Studies (University of Georgia Press, 2018); Honorable Mention: Martyn Bone, Where the New World Is: Literature about the U.S. South at Global Scales (University of Georgia Press, 2018)

2018 Brook Thomas, The Literature of Reconstruction: Not in Plain Black and White (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017); Honorable Mention: Lisa Hinrichsen, Gina Caison, and Stephanie Rountree, Small-Screen Souths: Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television (Louisiana State University Press, 2017)

2017  John Wharton Lowe, Calypso Magnolia: The Crosscurrents of Caribbean and Southern Literature (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

2016  Shawn Salvant, Blood Work: Imagining Race in American Literature, 1890–1940 (Louisiana State University Press, 2015); Honorable Mention: Erich Nunn, Sounding the Color Line: Music and Race in the Southern Imagination (University of Georgia Press, 2015)

2015 Taylor Hagood, Faulkner, Writer of Disability (Louisiana State University Press, 2014); Honorable Mention: Angie Maxwell, The Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness (University of North Carolina Press, 2014)

2014 Keith A. Cartwright, Sacral Grooves, Limbo Gateways: Travels in Deep Southern Time, Circum-Caribbean Space, Afro-creole Authority (University of Georgia Press, 2013); Honorable Mention: Jon Smith, Finding Purple America: The South and the Future of American Cultural Studies (University of Georgia Press, 2013)

2013 Tim Armstrong, The Logic of Slavery: Debt, Technology, and Pain in American Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2012); Honorable Mention: Jay Watson, Reading for the Body: The Recalcitrant Materiality of Southern Fiction, 1893-1985 (University of Georgia Press, 2012)

2012 Jean W. Cash, Larry Brown: A Writer’s Life (University Press of Mississippi, 2011); Honorable Mention: Julie Buckner Armstrong, Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching (University of Georgia Press, 2011)

2011 Philip Weinstein, Becoming Faulkner: The Art and Life of William Faulkner (Oxford University Press, 2009)

2010 Jennifer Rae Greeson, Our South: Geographic Fantasy and the Rise of National Literature (Harvard University Press, 2010)

2008 Scott Romine, The Real South: Southern Narrative in the Age of Cultural Reproduction (Louisiana State University Press, 2008)

2007 Gary M. Ciuba, Desire, Violence & Divinity in Modern Southern Fiction (Louisiana State University Press, 2007)

2006 Margaret Bradham Thornton, Ed. Notebooks: Tennessee Williams (Yale University Press, 2007)

2005 Charles Hannon, Faulkner and the Discourses of Culture (Louisiana State University Press, 2005)

2004 Michael O’Brien, Conjectures of Order: Intellectual Life and the American South, 1810-1860 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004)

2003 Paul Elie, The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003)

2002 Adam Gussow, Seems Like Murder Here: Southern Violence and the Blues Tradition (University of Chicago Press, 2002)

2001 Charlotte H. Beck, The Fugitive Legacy: A Critical History (Louisiana State University Press, 2001)

2000 Mary Kemp Davis, Nat Turner Before the Bar of Judgment: Fictional Treatments of the Southampton Slave Insurrection (Louisiana State University Press, 1999)

1999 John D. Burt, The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren (Louisiana State University Press, 1998)

1998 Dale Cockrell, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

1997 John M. Grammer, Pastoral and Politics in the Old South (Louisiana State University Press, 1996)

1996 Janis P. Stout, Katherine Anne Porter: A Sense of the Times (University Press of Virginia, 1995)

1995 Laurence G. Avery, ed. A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green 1916-1981 (University of North Carolina Press, 1994)

1994 Margaret Rose Gladney, ed. How Am I To Be Heard?: Letters of Lillian Smith (University of North Carolina Press, 1994)

1993 Jay Tolson, Pilgrim in the Ruins: A Life of Walker Percy (Simon & Schuster, 1992)

1992 Peter Schmidt, The Heart of the Story: Eudora Welty’s Short Fiction (University Press of Mississippi, 1991)

1991 Richard Nelson, Aesthetic Frontiers: The Machiavellian Tradition and the Southern Imagination (University Press of Mississippi, 1990)

1990 Charles W. Wilson and William Ferris, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 1989)

1989 Elizabeth Fox Genovese, Within the Plantation Household (University of North Carolina Press, 1988)

1988 David Herbert Donald, Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe (Little, Brown, 1987)

1987 Richard Gray, Writing the South: Ideas of an American Region (Cambridge University Press, 1986)

1986 Louis D. Rubin, ed. The History of Southern Literature (Louisiana State University Press, 1985)