Irving K Zola award

Emerging Scholars in Disability Studies

Dear SDS Members,
On behalf of the SDS Board-- in conjunction with the first announcement of these awards made at the SDS Annual Membership Meeting on August 23, 2016--we are now excited to announce to all of you the 2016 Award recipients.

For the 2016 Zola Award, we received a record number of 18 applications. From those 18 applicants, the following three were selected as winners:

  1. Krystal Cleary: "Misfitting and Hater Blocking: A Feminist Disability Analysis of the Extraordinary Body on Reality Television."
  2. Clare Renee Mullaney: “‘Not to discover weak-/ness is/The Artifice of strength’: Emily Dickinson, Disability Theory, and the Material Text." Read more about Clare -  Grad student wins prize for work in Disability Studies
  3.  Jean Fanzino: "Lewis Clarke and the “Color” of Disability: The Past and Future of Black Disability Studies."

A special thank you to all the applicants who applied (or nominated someone) for the competition. In addition, to our reviewers who contributed to the nomination process. The SDS Awards would not be possible without your generous feedback. As SDS survives this difficult year, your support is vital to our success and future.

Congratulations to the 2016  Irving K. Zola award recipients!

Brenda Jo Brueggemann
Professor, English
Aetna Endowed Chair of Writing
The University of Connecticut
brenda [dot] brueggemann [at] uconn [dot] edu


The Zola Award is given to an emerging scholar in disability studies. A typical nominee completed a Ph.D. within the past seven years and does not yet have tenure. However, applications will also be accepted from independent scholars with or without degrees and those who received their degrees earlier but only recently moved into the area of disability studies. Emerging scholars who work in non-academic settings are also welcome to apply. Anyone who is currently enrolled in a graduate degree program or who has less than seven years of career experience in the field of Disability Studies is eligible to apply.

The research submitted must be relevant to disability studies, which we define broadly to include the examination of concepts and values related to disability in all forms of cultural representation throughout history, as well as analyses which deepen our understanding of the personal and social dimensions of the lived experience of disability.


  • In a given year, an applicant may submit only one paper for consideration.
  • Past awardees are not eligible to apply.
  • Individuals who submitted papers unsuccessfully in past years may apply again.


The winner will receive:

  • Publication of the winning piece in the Disability Studies Quarterly.
  • A certificate of recognition.

The award will be announced on August 1, 2016.


All manuscripts must be submitted by June 10, 2016. The 2016 recipient of the award will be announced on or around August

To be considered for the competition, all manuscripts must adhere to the following criteria:

  • its overall length must not exceed 30 pages (double spaced, 12 point font);
  • citations should follow the formatting appropriate for the author’s field of study;
  • it must be written in English;
  • it must be available in alternative formats (e.g., large print, Braille, aud
  • iotape) upon request of the Awards Committee;
  • it must have content reflecting on a topic relevant to disability studies;
  • it must be written by a single author who is also primarily responsible for the research described;
  • it must not have been previously published.
  • Please send 1) the completed application form, 2) the manuscript, and 3) a CV. Electronic materials can be sent to: sds (at) disstudies (dot) org with ZOLA in the subject line.

Previous Awardees of the Irving K. Zola Emerging Scholars Award

  • 2015: Priya Lalvani (Honorable Mention: Sonya Loftis)
  • 2014: Amanda Cachia (Honorable Mention: Jessica Waggoner)
  • 2013: Cassandra Hartblay
  • 2012: Jina Kim
  • 2011: Bethany Stevens