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2017 Fass-Sandin Article Prize in English Winner: Brian Rouleau

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Brian Rouleau who has been awarded the 2017 Fass-Sandin Best Article Prize (English) for his article: ” ‘In Praise of Trash’: Series Fiction Fan Mail and the Challenges of Children’s Devotion.” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 9 (Fall 2016): 403-423.

The prize committee was unanimous in their selection of Dr. Rouleau’s article and their citation reads:

“Brian Rouleau’s article ” ‘In Praise of Trash’: Series Fiction Fan Mail and the Challenges of Children’s Devotion” is the winner of SHCY’s 2016 Fass-Sandin Prize for Best Article in English. Rouleau’s deeply researched article draws on neglected archival materials to explore children’s responses to the series literature generated by Edward Stratemeyer’s literary syndicate. By analyzing young readers’ letters to the authors of these series, Rouleau not only addresses the reception of children’s genre literature by the intended audience but also demonstrates that the children sometimes had an effect on future story elements and plots. Children sometimes appreciated but also sometimes resisted the gender norms and imperialist tropes embedded in the various series. By recovering their voices, Rouleau presents a model for how scholars can interrogate the interaction between writers and even young readers. This lively, well-written article thus contributes to the scholarship of reader reception as well as the history of children’s literature during the early twentieth century.”