Shawn Wong, UW professor of English and longtime advocate for Asian American literature, has received the 2021 Stand UP Award from the Association of University Presses.
The Stand UP award “honors those who through their words and actions have done extraordinary work to support, defend and celebrate the university press community.” The award was announced June 7 during the association’s annual conference, held virtually.
Wong is the author of two novels, “Homebase” in 1979 and “American Knees” in 1995, republished by University of Washington Press in 2005. In 2019 he co-edited a third edition of “Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers,” also published by UW Press.
In 2019, he also worked with UW Press to create the Shawn Wong Book Fund in Asian American Studies, supporting the publication of books on Asian American history and culture. (Read a talk with UW Notebook about the book fund.)
The association honored Wong in part for leading the grassroots effort to protect the right of UW Press, together with the Okada estate, to publish Japanese American author John Okada’s 1957 novel “No-No Boy.”
Wong teaches Asian American literature for the English department and screenwriting in the Department of Cinema & Media Studies. He is also a founding instructor in the Red Badge Project, which teaches storytelling to veterans with PTSD, depression or anxiety disorders.
Larin McLaughlin, editorial director of UW Press, said, “In the process of his successful advocacy, Professor Wong brought the important work we do as university presses into the spotlight.” McLaughlin also said that sales of “No-No Boy,” 170,000 so far, “secure a future for our work in a very real way.”
Formed in 1937, the Association of University Presses is an organization of more than 150 international nonprofit scholarly publishers.