Brian Street Memorial Award for Scholarship Bridging Anthropology, Education & Literacy Practices

History of the Award


Brian Street was a British anthropologist whose scholarship helped establish the social turn in literacy research. Conducting research and collaborating with educators and ordinary people around the world, Street’s scholarship brought together social anthropology, education, literacy studies, and ethnographic field work. A core theme of Street’s scholarship was recognizing the dignity and integrity of all people and their uses of written language as they navigated the social, cultural, economic, and political structures of their lives. The Award was established in 2017 to recognize the contributions Street made to the field of Literacy Studies.

Purpose of the Award

The award provides financial support of $1000 to enable the participation at the Literacy Research Association annual conference of a scholar (or scholars) from outside the United States2 whose scholarship bridges anthropology, education, and literacy practices (with preference for junior scholars, doctoral students, and others who would otherwise not be able to attend the LRA conference). The awardee is also provided a plaque.

How to Apply for the Award

Nominations and self-nominations will be accepted each year (the person making the nomination should check with the nominee to insure willingness to accept the award and attend the LRA annual conference). Nominations and self-nominations may be made at any time before August 15th. However, only people who have had a proposal to the LRA conference accepted will be considered (individual papers, papers that are part of a symposium, and other formats of presentation are all acceptable).

 Nomination materials (see below) should be sent to the chair of the award committee by e-mail no later than August 15th 11:59PM (EST).

Nomination materials include:

1. The paper proposal (or the specific presentation part of a symposium proposal) submitted to the LRA annual conference;

2. A letter (600 word maximum) from either the nominee or from the person making the nomination describing:

(a). The quality of the research being reported, including the quality of the ethnographic methods employed; 

1 “Participation” refers to having a substantive role on the conference program such as presenting a scholarly paper. (Being a second author, a session chair or discussant are not considered substantive roles). Questions about whether a role is substantive should be submitted to the chair of the award committee via e-mail. 


2 Assuming otherwise equally worth applications, a preference will be given to the applicants from those countries where Brian Street worked formally or informally on literacy development projects or research with people or organizations, these include Mexico, the countries of South America, Haiti, Iran, Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, China, and countries of Africa. 

(b). The contribution of the research to the field of literacy studies;

(c). How the scholarship to be presented brings together anthropology, literacy studies, and education together

3. A letter of recommendation (600 word maximum) from someone familiar with the nominee’s scholarship describing the quality of the nominee’s program of research and how the scholarship to be presented brings together anthropology, literacy studies, and education.

Criteria for Consideration

1. The overall quality of the research including consideration of purpose, theoretical framing, the ethnographic methodology, findings, and conclusions.

2. How the manuscript brings together anthropology, literacy studies, and education together.

3. The contribution of the research to the field (e.g., the impact of the research on theory, knowledge, or practice in the field of literacy studies).

4. A maximum of one award will be given each year.

5. The review of proposals will be conducted by the Award Committee.

Award Committee

Michiko Hikida
Chair, (2021-2024)

Victoria Risko

Committee Member, (2023-2026)

Robert LeBlanc

Committee Member, (2022 – 2025)

Samuel David

Committee Member, (2022 – 2025)

Anne-Marie Gunn

Committee Member, (2023 – 2026)

Miriam Jorge
Committee Member, (2021-2024)