Quality research about the relationship between journalism and the Social Gospel recently netted Pepperdine University’s Christina Littlefield American Journalism’s 2017 Rising Scholar Award.
Littlefield’s project, “Promulgating the Kingdom: Social Gospel Muckrakers,” addresses 19th century Christian and secular social reformers' use of the press to agitate for change. “It's impossible to describe my reaction in mere words,” Littlefield said. “I had applied for some three years in a row, so to actually win it came as a delightful shock, followed by a huge sense of joy and validation that the leaders at AJHA saw the value and uniqueness of my work. I am delighted they saw the worth of researching the religious muckrakers who worked alongside the secular muckrakers.”
Littlefield will be recognized with a $2,000 award at the AJHA National Convention, which will occur in Little Rock Oct. 12-14. The Rising Scholar Award winner is chosen annually by the editors of American Journalism, a peer-reviewed quarterly and the official publication of the American Journalism Historians Association. The award is designed for scholars who show promise in extending their research agendas.
“The proposal was original, detailed, beautifully written, and addressed a relatively unexplored area of journalism history,” said Vanessa Murphree, associate editor of American Journalism and an associate professor at The University of Southern Mississippi. “Her work fills a void in journalism and Christian history as it seeks to illuminate the presence of social gospel muckrakers and their relationship and alignment with other muckrakers.”