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Helen Tartar First Book Subvention

Award Overview

The ACLA Executive Board is pleased to continue with our Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Program. This program is designed for ACLA-member authors who require subventions to ensure publication of their first books. The ACLA will award up to $10,500 in subventions each year with up to three awards of $3,500 each. These subventions will be awarded on a competitive basis to first-time book authors. Applicants who have already secured provisional contracts from established academic presses will be given special consideration, but a provisional contract is not a requirement for the award. Subventions will be paid directly to the press.

Application Process

Please make sure to follow these instructions to the letter to ensure that your application is received and processed.  Please compile the following documents.  Label each file with the document name, followed by the applicant’s last name and first name. For example: Book Proposal-Schmidt-John.pdf

  1. A standard humanities book proposal that includes a short description, a summary of the manuscript in no more than 1,000 words, chapter summaries, as well as information on the book’s relationship to the field, market, and methods. 
  2. A completed application form (which includes both the author’s application as well as the publisher’s application). A link to the author form may be found here. A link to the form for publishers is here.
  3. The applicant's Curriculum Vitae.
  4. A complete manuscript.
  5. You are also required to solicit a letter of support from a member of the field who is not affiliated with the applicant’s degree granting institution, current place of employment, or dissertation committee.  The letter will be initiated during the application process and added to your application.

Applications must be submitted online by December 20th, 2021 (11:59pm EST). Applications will be reviewed by the ACLA Publications Committee in consultation with the Executive Board. Decisions will be final.  The awards will be announced at the ACLA convention.

If you have questions, please direct them to the chair of the publication committee: Michael Allan ( Emails should carry the subject line: “ACLA Helen Tartar Book Subvention". Please note that email applications will not be accepted. All applications must be submitted through the website. 


2020-2021 Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Winners

Elizabeth Spragins, College of the Holy Cross, A Grammar of the Corpse: Necroepistemology in the Early Modern Mediterranean

Joseph Cermatori, Skidmore College, Baroque Modernity: An Aesthetics of Theater

Roanne Kantor, Stanford University, South Asian Writers, Latin American Literature and the Unexpected Journey to Global English


Past winners of the Helen Tartar Book Subvention award

Kedar Kulkarni, Flame University, India, Literature in the Making: Authority, Genre and Performance in Western India, 1790-1890

Julie-Françoise Tolliver, University of Houston, Tongue Ties: A Poetic Solidarity in Francophone Independence Literatures

Duncan Yoon, New York University, Alluvial Dreams: Africa, China and the Aesthetics of Speculation


Rossen Djaglov, New York University, "From internationalism to Postcolonialism:  Literature and Cinema between the Second and Third World"

Aliyah R. Khan, University of Michigan, "Far from Mecca:  Globalizing the Muslim Caribbean"

Jonathon Repinecz, George Mason University, "Subversive Traditions:  Reinventing the West African Epic"


Lucy Alford, Collegiate Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago, "Forms of Poetics"
Magalí Armillas-Tiseyra, Assistant Professor, Penn State, "The Dictator Novel:  Writers and Politics in the Global South"
Hoda El-Shakry, Assistant Professor, Penn State, "The Literary Qur'an:  Narrative Ethics inthe Maghreb"


Lindsey Green-Simms, Assistant Professor, English Department, American University, "Postcolonial Automobility: Car Culture in West Africa" (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

Poulomi Saha, Assistant Professor, English Department, UC Berkeley, "Empire of Touch: Feminine Political Labor and the Fabrication of East Bengal, 1905-2015"

Tobias Warner, Assistant Professor of French and Italian, UC Davis, "Unwinding Translation: Decolonization, World Literature and the Politics of Language in Senegal"


Sarah Dowling, Assistant Professor, English Department, University of Washington Bothell, "Remote Intimacies: Multilingualism and the Poetics of Personhood"
Cedric Tolliver, Assistant Professor, English Department, University of Houston, "Of Vagabonds and Fellow Travelers: African Diaspora Literary Culture and the Cultural Cold War"
Damon Young, Dept. of French and Film/Media, University of California, Berkeley, "Making Sex Public: Cinema, Sex, and the Social" (University of California, Berkeley, 2013)


Jessie Labov, Associate Professor, Ohio State University, "Transatlantic Central Europe: Contesting Geography and Redefining Culture Beyond the Nation" (CEU Press, 2016).


Erika Boekeler, Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, "Playful Letters: The Dramatization of the Alphabet in the Renaissance" (University of Iowa Press, 2017)

Nathaniel Greenberg, Assistant Professor, Northern Michigan University, "The Aesthetic of Revolution in the Film and Literature of Naguib Mahfouz (1952-1967)", (Lexington Books, 2014)