Riché Richardson, professor of African American literature in the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University in Ithaca New York, has been awarded the C. Hugh Holman Award from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature. The award will be presented to Professor Richardson at the Modern Language Association conference in January 2024.
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.
Professor Richardson was honored for her book Emancipation’s Daughters: Reimagining Black Femininity and the National Body (Duke University Press, 2021). The judges 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.
Dr. Richsrdson joined the Cornell University faculty in 2008 after teaching at the University of California, Davis. She is a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, where she majored in English. She holds a Ph.D. in American literature from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.