Riché Richardson receives literary society award

Riché Richardson, professor of African American literature in the Africana Studies and Research Center, has been awarded the C. Hugh Holman Award from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature (SSSL).

Her research involves American literature, American studies, gender studies, black feminism, Southern studies, and critical theory. She has been interviewed on a variety of news sources, including BBC, NBC, the Washington Post, Forbes, Elle, and the Oprah Magazine. 

"I was delighted and it was truly a blessing to receive the news that my book ‘Emancipation's Daughters’ (2015, Duke University Press) won the 2022 C. Hugh Holman Award,” Richardson said. The award will be presented to Richardson at the Modern Language Association conference in January 2024. 

The Holman Award honors the best book in Southern literary studies published the year before.  

Judges for the 2022 Holman Award commended Richardson for “offering a broad readership of scholars and an interested general public a rich text that demonstrates some of the transdisciplinary possibilities of Southern Studies.”

“As a study of public performances of black womanhood in the United States, with most of her subjects rooted in the ‘Africana South,’ her insightful analysis encompasses a long historical arc, and five very different  women—from Mary McLeod Bethune, Rosa Parks, Condoleeza Rice, and Michelle Obama through Beyoncé—and touches on many more,” they wrote.

The Holman award is named for C. Hugh Holman, who taught southern literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for three decades and helped to establish the National Humanities Center.

Hyrum Edwards ('25) is a communications assistant in the College of Arts & Sciences.

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