Harris Named Recipient of Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing

  • February 16th, 2018

Dr. Trudier Harris, award-winning author and distinguished research professor, is the recipient of the 2018 Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing.

Dr. Trudier Harris

The award, presented by The University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences, along with the department of journalism and creative media, will be given during a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 2, at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Harris will speak at the luncheon.

As a UA professor and author, Harris’ work focuses on the experiences and writings of women and African-Americans in the Southeast United States.

Her book, “The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South” (2009), was awarded The College Language Association Creative Scholarship Award for 2010 and was named an Outstanding Academic Title by Choice.

A native of Tuscaloosa, Harris received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Stillman College before going on to earn her Master of Arts and doctorate from The Ohio State University. She is the author or editor of more than two dozen books as well as the recipient of multiple awards in writing and teaching.

“Dr. Trudier Harris is an eloquent writer who paints a compelling portrait of African-Americans growing up in the South,” said Dr. Cory Armstrong, department chair for journalism and creative media. “Her impact to both the writing and academic communities has been significant. She is a deserving candidate of this honor.”

Harris’ full-time teaching career spans 36 years, including faculty positions at The University of Alabama, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Emory University and the College of William and Mary. She is a University Distinguished Research Professor in The University of Alabama department of English and a former J. Carlyle Sitterson Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“It is an honor to present the Cason award to Tuscaloosa’s own Dr. Trudier Harris,” said Dr. Mark Nelson, dean of UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences. “Her literary studies of African-American writers as well as her own masterful portrayals and sharp critiques highlight the complexities of Southern, African-American identity and experience.”

Clarence Cason, for whom the award is named, founded UA’s department of journalism in 1928. His most noted work, “Ninety Degrees in the Shade,” took a critical stance on race relations in the South at a time when tensions were nearing a climax. Each year, The University of Alabama bestows the honor on a recipient with a strong connection to Alabama whose writing has made a critical contribution to the journalism and literature of the South.

Tickets for the luncheon are $35 and may be reserved by contacting Sheila Davis at 205-348-4787 by Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.