Faculty Awards


  • Cheryl Naruse, Assistant Professor of English and the Mellon Assistant Professor of the Humanities, was awarded the 2021-2022 Tulane University Graduate Studies Student Association School of Liberal Arts Faculty Award, which is awarded to the faculty member who best exemplifies excellence in graduate teaching and graduate student professional development.
  • Jesmyn Ward, Professor of English, is the recipient of the 2022 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. At 45, Ward is the youngest person to receive the library’s fiction award. The annual Prize for American Fiction, one of the library’s most prestigious awards, honors an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination. The award seeks to commend strong, unique, enduring voices that — throughout consistently accomplished careers — have told readers something essential about the American experience.
  • Erin J. Kappeler, Assistant Professor of English, was awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the 2021-2022 Academic Year, which provided funding for a year of research leave to work on her book manuscript, White Space, Black Lines: The Racialization of Free Verse and the Invention of Modernist Poetics.
  • Melissa Bailes, Associate Professor of English, received a Residential Fellowship at the Linda Hall Library for Science, Engineering, and Technology in Kansas City, MO to work on her book, Regenerating Romanticism


  • Melissa Bailes, Associate Professor of English, received a Residential Fellowship from the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, NC to work on her book, Regenerating Romanticism.



  • Jesmyn Ward, Professor of English, won the National Book Award for fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing, a dark, fablelike family epic set in contemporary Mississippi that grapples with race, poverty, and the psychic scars of past violence.
  • Jesmyn Ward, Associate Professor of English, has been selected as one of the 2017 MacArthur Fellows, or recipient of the so-called “genius grant,” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
  • Zachary Lazar, Associate Professor of English,'s Creative Writing service-learning course will be featured in a new documentary produced by Blink Films, a TV production company in the UK. Held at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center, the course allows students to workshop creative writing throughout the semester with inmates at the prison. The documentary concerns the neuroscience of creativity and is hosted by the British neuroscientist, David Eagleman. The piece will show in theaters and then will be aired on PBS and BBC.
  • Bernice McFadden, Visiting Professor in the Department of English, is the recent recipient of the American Book Award for her novel THE BOOK OF HARLAN. Information about the award can be found at http://www.beforecolumbusfoundation.com/.
  • Anne-Marie Womack, Interim Director of Writing and Professor of Practice in the Department of English, won the Kairos 2017 Best Webtext Award for her website AccessibleSyllabus.com.
  • Teresa Villa-Ignacio, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English, is the recipient of a 6-month Fulbright award to complete archival research in Paris for her manuscript-in-progress, Poethical Import: Translationships in Contemporary French-American Poetic Exchange. During the Spring 2017 semester, she will be a Visiting Scholar at the Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. Professor Villa-Ignacio is also a co-editor of Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics (Stanford University Press, 2016), a scintillating volume of experimental leftist writing from post-Independence North Africa, now available for the first time in English translation. Last year, she participated in a series of roundtables, lectures, and readings from the anthology in Austin, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Paris, Rabat, New York, and Berkeley. More information about the anthology can be found here.
  • Melissa Bailes, Associate Professor of English, was awarded the British Society for Literature and Science 2017 Book Prize for her book, Questioning Nature: British Women's Scientific Writing and Literary Originality 1750-1830 (U Virginia P). This prize is "awarded for the best book in the field of literature and science published that year."
  • Bernice McFadden's book The Book of Harlan won the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Achievement