For Immediate Release
Dec. 5, 2011
Phone: (202) 745-3239
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Randall Fuller is the recipient of the Christian Gauss Award for From Battlefields Rising: How the Civil War Transformed American Literature
(Oxford University Press, 2011).
The $10,000 award is given annually by the Phi Beta Kappa Society for books in the field of literary scholarship and criticism. The award was created in 1950 to honor a former Phi Beta Kappa president and distinguished scholar at Princeton University.
The Society presented the award on Friday, Dec. 2 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
In From Battlefields Rising, Fuller explores the profound impact of the war on writers including Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Emily Dickinson, and Frederick Douglass. From Battlefields Rising flashes with forgotten historical details and elegant new ideas, and it alters previous perceptions about the evolution of American literature and how Americans have understood and expressed their common history.
“Encountering Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Phi Beta Kappa address on ‘The American Scholar’ in graduate school is what led me to become an Americanist,” Randall said. “It is therefore especially gratifying to have my book on the Civil War and American Literature awarded by Phi Beta Kappa. I am enormously honored to be included among the list of previous winners, whose thoughts and words continue to live in the work of those literary critics and scholars who have followed.”
Fuller is a professor of English and the director of the Honor Program at Drury University. He has written for numerous journals, such as American Literature, American Literary History, and Early American Literature, and his book Emerson’s Ghosts: Literature, Politics, and the Making of Americanists was published by Oxford University Press in 2007.
Also this year, Timothy Snyder received the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award for Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2010). Burton Richter received the Book Award in Science for Beyond Smoke and Mirrors: Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century (Cambridge University Press, 2010). They were honored along with Fuller at the December awards ceremony in Washington.
For more about the 2011 book award winners, see the announcement on our website here
About the Phi Beta Kappa Society
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. It has chapters at 280 institutions and more than half a million members throughout the country. Its mission is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression. Among its programs are academic and literary awards, lectureships, a fellowship, a professorship, and publication of The American Scholar
, an award-winning quarterly journal.