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African American Literature Professor Awarded 2022 Career Achievement in Academic Theatre Award

Photo of Sandra G Shannon in front of gray background

WASHINGTONSandra Shannon, Ph.D., professor emerita of African American literature, has been selected to receive the 2022 Career Achievement in Academic Theatre Award from the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. 

The Career Achievement in Academic Theatre Award honors individuals who are known for remarkable scholarly and creative contributions to the field, whose work has passed the test of time with its original thinking, and whose service has proven significant in shaping the field and future of theater and performance. Awardees are authentic role models to colleagues and students, nurture the careers of others, and are effective champions of diversity and equity in theater and education. 

Shannon is widely acknowledged as a major scholar in the field of African American drama and the leading authority on playwright August Wilson. She is the author of the books “The Dramatic Vision of August Wilson” and “August Wilson’s Fences: A Reference Guide,” has written numerous essays and chapters on Wilson, and served as editor of “Modern American Drama: Playwriting in the 1980s” and “August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle.” She is currently a fellow and dean elect of the College of Fellows of American Theater, scholar-in-residence at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s August Wilson African American Cultural Center, and president of the August Wilson Society. 

“Truth be told, I am still processing the profound impact of having been named the recipient of ATHE’s prestigious 2022 Career Achievement Award,” expressed Shannon. “My emotions have ranged from excitement to a mixture of honor and humility. I am extremely honored that my scholarship, teaching and service in theater education are being recognized as exemplary by my peers from around the United States and beyond. I am equally honored to receive affirmation at this point in my career that the passion, time and energy that I have – for decades – invested in my work have made a noticeably lasting difference. I am humbled that this award puts me in the company of giants whose works continue to inform mine and shape the field.” 

Shannon’s relatively new title as professor emerita of African American literature in the Department of English has allowed her to expand her career into areas that were not practical or possible before. While Shannon is no longer in the classroom, she continues to selectively agree to publish, lecture, consult, contribute essays and offer post-show discussions. She also remains engaged in her current role as president of the August Wilson Society; this entails, among many other AWS-sponsored events, an annual August Wilson’s Ground Lecture Series and a biennial colloquium.   


About Howard University 

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu

Media Contact: Aaliyah Butler; aaliyah.butler@howard.edu