Larry E. Hough Distinguished Service Award

The Larry E. Hough Distinguished Service Award is for substantial achievement in support of utopian studies, broadly defined. Service may include achievements in teaching, and support of this society or other organizations that study utopia. Service may also include the dimension of reaching out to the non-academic community, such as developing museums, setting up archives, working with the visual arts, design, architecture, or planning, or engaging with support organizations for communal societies. Service may be for diversified activities, or it may involve dedication to a single activity. In either case, the service must be sustained over an extensive period of time. Any member of the society may submit nominations to the committee for this award, together with appropriate supporting materials. Nominees need not be members of the Society for Utopian Studies, nor is service for the Society a requisite for nomination.


Larry E. Hough Distinguished Service Award has been presented to:


Fátima Vieira, Universidade do Porto

Merritt Abrash

Peter Fitting

Peter Fitting’s extensive service to the Society for Utopian Studies and the discipline of Utopian Studies encompasses several roles, including that of Chair of the Steering Committee/ President (1994-98) and the organization of several conference as both local chair and program chair (Memphis 1997, San Antonio 1999, Toronto 1994, 1995 and 2007.) His facilitation of special events and lively plenaries at the SUS meetings has enriched the conference experience for all attendees and advanced the discipline. On the SUS steering committee, he has served in every possible role, and continues to facilitate the SUS website. He is a longstanding member of the editorial boards of Utopian Studies and Science Fiction Studies. He has also been instrumental in recruiting new scholars into the field of utopian studies and nurturing their careers.

Naomi Jacobs

Naomi Jacobs has contributed an immense amount to the Society of Utopian Studies and to the field of Utopian Studies. With her commitment to the Society as a warm and engaged community of scholars, she has served in every possible capacity on the Steering Committee, including the awards committee. She served as President/ Chair of the Steering Committee from 1998-2002. She serves on the editorial board of Utopian Studies, H-Utopia (Humanities Net website for utopian studies), and the Ralahine Series in Utopian Studies. She has also been a tireless organizer of conferences, including meetings in Portland (2008), San Diego (2003), Vancouver (2000) Montreal (1998) and St. Louis (1993). She has been an encouraging colleague in the discipline and a sage advisor to peers and junior colleagues alike. Naomi is known for her warmth, generosity, and compassion. She always has been available to help with professional advice and help, and is one of the SUS members who most encourages junior participants to keep coming back and be more involved.

Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor

The Society for Utopian Studies has awarded Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor the Larry E. Hough Distinguished Service award, in recognition of her many contributions to the Society, including a decade serving as Secretary-Treasurer. She has served in almost every capacity on the Steering Committee and organized two conferences in Memphis (1995 and 2005).

Joint recipients:
Arrigo Colombo, University of Lecce
Vita Fortunati, University of Bologna
Giuseppa Saccaro del Buffa, University of Rome

Professor Colombo is founder and Director of the Interdepartmental Center for Utopian Studies at the University of Lecce, which has produced many volumes of original scholarship on utopian theory.

Professor Fortunati is founder and Director of the Center for Utopian Studies at the University of Bologna. She has hosted innumerable conferences and individual scholars, and is the editor of many translations and edited volumes that have contributed substantially to the international exchange of ideas in the field.

Professor Saccaro del Buffa was an organizer of the Italian conferences that initiated the internationalization of the field of utopian studies. Through their original research and their generous hospitality, our three distinguished colleagues from Italy have helped to build a vital, international community of scholars and to enlarge the conceptual as well as the geographical range of the field.

The Service Award was awarded posthumously to Larry E. Hough of the Political Science Department of East Carolina University, for his dedicated service to the Society, and re-named in his honor.

A past President of the Steering Committee as well as long-time Secretary-Treasurer, Larry was a faithful, congenial participant in our meetings. He helped new members to feel at home and to find others with similar interests. He also shepherded us through the regulatory maze leading to nonprofit status.

The First Distinguished Service Award was presented to Arthur O. Lewis for his many contributions to Utopian Studies. Professor Lewis’s Annual Directory of Utopian Scholars was first published in 1976; the composition of the Directory helped to bring about the establishment of the Society for Utopian Studies and the Associazione Internazionale per gli Studi sulle Utopia. He is a three-time past president of the Society for Utopian Studies (1978-79; 1981-84; and 1980-81 co-president with Mickey Abrash). Professor Lewis was the SUS conference organizer at Pennsylvania State University in 1978 and 1980. On March 25, 2003, the collection of utopian books and papers at Pennsylvania State University was renamed the “Arthur O. Lewis Utopian Collection” in honor of his formative and generous development of this invaluable resource.

The Society honors his leadership and foundational role in the field of Utopian Studies and in our Society.

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