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By Hannah Montgomery, Graduate Writer and Social Media Manager

In honor of Dr. Johnny Lee Greene, the Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC Chapel Hill established the J. Lee Greene Award: for Excellence in Postgraduate Work on Race and Ethnicity.

The J. Lee Greene Award: for excellence in postgraduate work on race and ethnicity was awarded for the first time at the graduate students awards ceremony in Spring 2019. After a moving tribute to Dr. Greene by Dr. Heidi Kim and Dr. Leslie Frost, Eddie Moore received the first J. Lee Greene Award. 

Moore’s research focuses on fictional representations of illness in black queer men, particularly in the novels of James Baldwin, Randall Kenan, and Samuel Delany. Moore notes, “An important aspect of my work links the condition of the black queer body to the body politics of the nation-state. That is to say, the black queer body is one historically marginalized among multiple communities. It is policed, pathologized, criminalized, deemed anti-black and anti-American, and is subject to erasure, in ways that I argue are productive of various modes of black queer ‘dis-ease.’” He is interested in “the various ways the comparatively limited canon of black queer fiction helps us to understand black and black queer social experience, black somatic and noetic vulnerability, and the importance of both national and local ‘belonging’ to wellness.”

“I am extremely honored to have received the inaugural J. Lee Greene Award,” Moore says. “Professor Greene and his work are highly respected, and it means quite a bit to have my own work considered deserving of recognition under the name of someone so warmly regarded by all who knew him.” He continues, “I am certainly inspired by the scholarly legacy of Dr. Greene and others who laid the foundation for the work that many of us do today… I can only hope that some day I am fortunate enough to make such an impact on others.”

Moore also notes the importance of the new award, “I am also very excited that our department has instituted this award as a way to continue recognizing students who do work on race and ethnicity, and I can’t think of a better eponym!”

The  J. Lee Greene Award: for Excellence in Postgraduate Work on Race and Ethnicity will be awarded yearly during the Graduate Student Awards.

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