The Canadian Social Knowledge Institute and its partners recently awarded Doran Larson, the Walcott-Bartlett Chair of Ethics and Christian Evidences and Professor of Literature and Creative Writing, a 2021 Open Scholarship Award for the American Prison Writing Archive (APWA).
According to the award website, the “awards are intended to acknowledge and celebrate exemplary open scholarship, nominated via an open process.”
The honorary award includes a tuition scholarship which will allow Larson to attend the next in-person Digital Humanities Summer Institute at the University of Victoria, which is planned for 2022.
LITS Director of Academic Digital Initiatives Janet Oppedisano said “the award is significant in that it will provide greater recognition and acknowledgment of the APWA as an example of open scholarship throughout the digital humanities international community.”
In 2009, Larson began compiling essays from incarcerated and prison workers for a book project. The book, Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America, was published in 2014 but the submission of essays continued.
With the help of the Digital Humanities Initiative (DHi), Larson created the APWA to preserve and make available to the public the first-person writings of not only the incarcerated but also prison workers and volunteers. The ever-growing collection, maintained within the DHi, now includes more than 2,100 essays.