Sandra Shannon, professor emerita of African American literature at Howard University in Washington, D.C., has been selected to receive the 2022 Career Achievement in Academic Theatre Award from the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. The Career Achievement in Academic Theatre Award honors individuals who are known for remarkable scholarly and creative contributions to the field, whose work has passed the test of time with its original thinking, and whose service has proven significant in shaping the field and future of theater and performance.
Professor Shannon is widely acknowledged as a major scholar in the field of African American drama. She is a leading authority on playwright August Wilson and is president of the August Wilson Society. She is the author of the books The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson (Howard University Press, 1995) and August Wilson’s Fences: A Reference Guide (Greenwood, 2003).
“Truth be told, I am still processing the profound impact of having been named the recipient of ATHE’s prestigious 2022 Career Achievement Award,” expressed Professor Shannon. “My emotions have ranged from excitement to a mixture of honor and humility. I am extremely honored that my scholarship, teaching and service in theater education are being recognized as exemplary by my peers from around the United States and beyond. I am equally honored to receive affirmation at this point in my career that the passion, time, and energy that I have – for decades – invested in my work have made a noticeably lasting difference. I am humbled that this award puts me in the company of giants whose works continue to inform mine and shape the field.”
Dr. Shannon holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English language and literature from Virginia State University. She earned a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Maryland.