U of A Communication Professor Wins Prestigious National Award for Book

 Lisa M. Corrigan author of Prison Power: How Prison Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation.
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Lisa M. Corrigan author of Prison Power: How Prison Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Lisa M. Corrigan, associate professor in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Communication, affiliate faculty in both the African and African American Studies Program and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, and director of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Arkansas, recently received the National Communication Association’s 2017 Diamond Anniversary Book Award.

The annual award honors the most outstanding scholarly book(s) published during the previous two years and is the most prestigious award the association grants. Corrigan is being honored for her book, Prison Power: How Prison Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation (University Press of Mississippi, 2016).

Corrigan is the first professor at the University of Arkansas to win this award, and her book is the first about black rhetorical practices to win this award.

“The communication discipline has a long tradition of exceptional scholarship,” NCA Executive Director Paaige K. Turner said. “Lisa Corrigan’s contributions are noteworthy, and we are proud to honor her with this award.”

In Prison Power, Corrigan examines the role of prison in the history and rhetoric of Black Power organizing. In the black liberation movement, imprisonment emerged as a key rhetorical, theoretical and media resource. Imprisoned activists developed tactics and ideology to counter white supremacy.

Prison Power is the first rhetorical history of the role of prison in the Black Power movement, and it tells the story of how prison has shaped racial demands for equality from the civil rights era to the War on Terror,” Corrigan said.

In the book, Corrigan underscores how imprisonment as “a site for both political and personal transformation” shaped movement leaders by influencing their political analysis and organizational strategies. Prison became the critical space for the transformation from civil rights to Black Power, she said, especially as Southern civil rights activists faced setbacks.

“We are incredibly proud of Dr. Corrigan, both for her needed and ground-breaking research and for this recognition of her work and its scholarly significance,” said Robert M. Brady, chair of the Department of Communication.

For more information about the National Communication Association’s awards program, visit www.natcom.org/awards.

About the National Communication Association: The National Communication Association advances communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. The association serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, the National Communication Association promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. For more information, visit natcom.org.

About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 19 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

Andra Parrish Liwag, director of communications
Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
479-575-4393, liwag@uark.edu


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