The Shelby Wolf AERA Literature SIG Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Literature

In celebration of Shelby Wolf’s extraordinary legacy in language and literacy education through literature, we present the Shelby Wolf AERA Literature SIG Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Literature. This biannual award recognizes an outstanding recent doctoral student (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) whose research contributes significantly to the growing body of work on the teaching and learning of literature. Particular attention will be paid to scholarship that focuses on communities whose voices and stories have been and continue to be marginalized in literature. 

Award Criteria 

Topic: Research that foregrounds the teaching, learning, and/or writing of fiction, poetry, drama, narrative, mythology, folk tales, songs, biography, autobiography, literary criticism, religious texts, belles lettres, digital storytelling, graphic novels, picture books and/or other forms of writing characterized by imagination, creativity, and language use through which a writer conveys ideas of personal, durable, or universal importance. 

Focus: Research that focuses on teaching and learning processes, curriculum and assessment, and/or social and cultural traditions in the teaching and learning of literature. 

Site: Research that is conducted in any educational context, including any level of school site from pre- kindergarten through adult education and any site of teaching and/or learning (e.g., community-based organizations, prison, book clubs, parent/child interactions, etc.); or research that examines the documents through which literature is taught and learned (e.g., content analysis of curriculum documents, literature anthologies, etc.). The award is not presented for literary criticism itself unless that scholarship contributes to a better understanding of the teaching and learning of literature. 

Eligibility: Nominees should have completed their doctorates (as indicated by date of graduation) within two calendar years prior to the year in which the award is presented; e.g., 2020 entrants must have completed their degrees in 2018 or 2019. Nominations may be submitted for each of the two years in which the candidate is eligible for the award. The award is not restricted to Literature SIG members, members of AERA, residents of the United States, or scholars in the field of education. Award winners and their sponsoring professors will be encouraged to join AERA and the Literature SIG if they are not already members.