To be given to the best book of literary scholarship on an Australian subject published in the preceding two calendar years. Up till 1994 for an outstanding work of literary scholarship by a young or unestablished author (usually a first book). No nominations are required, though ASAL members are invited to propose books for consideration by the judging panel.
2020 Judging panel
Chair: Tony Hughes D’aeth (email@example.com)
Walter McRae Russell Judging panel for 2019:
Chair: Elizabeth Webby (Chair): firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 Elizabeth McMahon, Islands, Identity and the Literary Imagination (Anthem, 2016).
2015 Jointly awarded: Robert Dixon, Alex Miller: the Ruin of Time (Sydney University Press, 2014) and Michelle Grossman, Entangled Subjects: Indigenous/Australian Cross-Cultures of Talk, Text, and Modernity (Rodopi, 2013).
2013 Nicole Moore, The Censor’s Library (UQP, 2012).
2011 Jointly awarded: David Callahan, Rainforest Narratives: the Work of Janette Turner Hospital (UQP) and John McLaren, Journey Without Arrival: The Life and Writing of Vincent Buckley (ASP). Link to Judges’ report
2009 Noel Rowe, Ethical Investigations: Essays on Australian Literature and Poetics. Ed. Bernadette Brennan (Vagabond, 2008). Link to Judges’ report
2007 Katherine Barnes, The Higher Self in Christopher Brennan’s Poems: Esotericism, Romanticism, Symbolism (Brill, 2006). Link to Judges’ report
2005 Jointly awarded: Tanya Dalziell, Settler Romance and the Australian Girl (UWA Press, 2004), and Maryrose Casey Creating Frames: Contemporary Indigenous Theatre 1967-1997 (UQP, 2004). Link to Judges’ report
2003 Sylvia Lawson, How Simone de Beauvoir Died in Australia
2001 Gillian Whitlock, The Intimate Empire: Reading Women’s Autobiography.
1999 Helen Gilbert, Sightlines: Race, Gender and Nation in Contemporary Australian Theatre (University of Michigan Press)
1998 David Carter, A Career in Writing:Judah Waten and the cultural politics of a literary career (ASAL Literary Studies)
1997 Paul Carter, The Lie of the Land (Faber)
1996 Richard Fotheringham, In Search of Steele Rudd (UQP)
1995 Patrick Buckridge, The Scandalous Penton (UQP)
1994 Hazel Rowley, Christina Stead (Heinemann)
1993 Peter Kirkpatrick, The Sea Coast of Bohemia (UQP)
1992 Julian Croft, The Life and Opinions of Tom Collins (UQP)
1991 Cliff Hanna, The Folly of Spring: a study of the poetry of John Shaw Neilson (UQP)
1990 Adam Shoemaker, Black Words, White Page (UQP)
1989 Susan Sheridan, Christina Stead (Harvester Wheatsheaf)
1988 Paul Carter, The Road to Botany Bay
1987 Graeme Turner, National Fictions
1986 Susan Magarey, Unbridling the Tongues of Women
1985 Craig Munro, Wild Man of Letters
1984 Sylvia Lawson, The Archibald Paradox
1983 Drusilla Modjeska, Exiles at Home