Brook Thomas, UCI Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of English, was honored with the C. Hugh Holman Award for his book "The Literature of Reconstruction: Not in Plain Black and White" (Johns Hopkins University Press). School of Humanities / UCI

Brook Thomas has won the 2018 C. Hugh Holman Award from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature for The Literature of Reconstruction: Not in Plain Black and White (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017), described as “the go-to book on Reconstruction for at least a generation” by the SSSL panel. Drawing on 19th-century historiography and recent scholarship, the UCI Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of English revisits this misunderstood period and traces the complicated relationships among its contested forces that generated arguments unresolved today involving the government’s role in education and welfare, state versus federal authority, the growing power of corporations, and how all are related to the failure to achieve Reconstruction’s promise of racial equality. The award is named for C. Hugh Holman, who taught Southern literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and helped establish the National Humanities Center. Presented annually for the best book of literary scholarship or criticism in the field of Southern literature published the year before, it comes with $1,000 and a plaque.