At this year’s MLA conference, the ADE Executive Committee awarded Paul Lauter, Gwendolyn Miles Smith Professor of English, Emeritus at Trinity College (Connecticut), the Francis Andrew March Award, which honors exceptional service to the profession of English. The award is named for Francis March (1823–1911), professor of English at Lafayette College and the first professor of English in America. Lauter served as president of the American Studies Association and is the founding general editor of the influential Heath Anthology of American Literature. He is also the author or editor of several books, including From Walden Pond to Jurassic Park: Activism, Culture, and American Studies and, most recently, A History of American Working-Class Literature. He was one of the founding editors of the Feminist Press and of the journal Radical Teacher. Lauter has been an active member of the WCSA and co-wrote its constitution with Sherry Linkon.
Hard Ball Press, in collaboration with children’s book author Mark Torres, has donated 200 bilingual children’s books to the Puerto Rico Teachers Federation (FMPR). The seven titles, all picture books for young children, explore the kinds of social justice themes that families in Puerto Rico face every day, including fair wages (Joelito’s Big Decision, Jimmy’s Carwash Adventure), indigenous people’s rights and culture (Margarito’s Forest), gender equality (Hats Off For Gabbie!), and economic inequality (The Cabbage That Came Back). Mark’s book, Good Guy Jake teaches children how a union fights to reinstate a sanitation worker unfairly fired for taking toys from the trash that he repaired and gave to children in a local shelter for Christmas.
With so many books destroyed by the hurricane, the children in many schools in the San Juan area have enjoyed the books, including teenage students with learning disabilities. Hard Ball Press will be donating copies of all new children’s books as they come into print.
The Journal of Working-Class Studies Special Issue, The Poverty of Academia: Exploring the (Intersectional) Realities of Working Class Academics, published in December 2017, features essays from Kishonna L. Gray and Reshawna L. Chapple; Kim A. Case; Elizabeth Lee and Tonya Maynard; Emma Penney and Laura Lovejoy; Natalie Currie-Patterson and Kaitlyn Watson; Matthew Spokes; Nancy Aguirre; Diane Reynolds; A.M. Foiles Sifuentes; Sarah Prior; Emma Vossen, and others. Be sure to check out the book reviews as well!
Thank you to guest editors Reshawna L. Chapple, University of Central Florida; Kishonna L. Gray, Arizona State University; LaDonna Long, Roosevelt University; and Mia Ortiz, Bridgewater State University.
Check out our new Resources page for recently-published essays and organizations promoting the success of first-generation and working-class students.