Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize

The Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize is awarded annually for a book or article that constitutes, motivates or exemplifies the best and/or most innovative new writing in or about the tradition of critical realism, including the philosophy of metaReality, in the previous year. Nominations should be made to the IACR General Secretary, Lene Nyhus. The winner will be invited to give the annual Cheryl Frank Memorial Lecture at the IACR Annual Conference or some other suitable venue. If the author wishes, the lecture will be considered for publication in Journal of Critical Realism.

The Cheryl Frank Committee consists of one nominee each from IACR, the Centre for Critical Realism and JCR. Where the work of one of its members is being considered the Committee invites a substitute nomination from the relevant organization.

Cheryl  Lynn Frank (1946-2010) was an American scholar and activist. Born on August 1, 1946 in Illinois, she married and had two children; was active in the civil rights movement, participating in Martin Luther King’s march in Selma, Alabama  and later established the first domestic violence shelter in the USA (in Champaign, Illinois); she worked as a policy analyst at the state level, as a journalist, editor and freelance writer. She took  masters degrees in politics and journalism, did extensive research on the position of women and native Americans in the twentieth century  and  completed extensive doctoral work in cultural studies and mass communication. She became however increasingly dissatisfied with the dominant positivist and poststructuralist methodologies, and at the same time increasingly interested in spiritual issues.

In November 2002 she met Roy Bhaskar at a meeting of the Foundation of Light (of which she was President) in Ithaca, New York. They corresponded and she joined him in London in February 2003. From then on she was his lover, partner and inseparable companion,  and became utterly devoted to his well-being and to the cause of critical realism and the philosophy of metaReality, throwing herself into this work. She died after a short illness on January 22, 2010, leaving, besides Roy, her two children and three grandchildren. Her only published work in critical realism is an essay in Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change (which she co-edited with Roy and others); but she made a huge contribution, assisting Roy in his work, and to the movement and to her many friends within it. The collection of essays, Critical Realism and Spirituality, edited by Mervyn Hartwig and Jamie Morgan, is dedicated to her memory.

Past recipients

2010 (joint) Alan Norrie, Dialectic and Difference: Dialectical Critical Realism and the Grounds of Justice and Christian Smith, What is a Person? Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up.

2011 Chris Sarra, Strong and Smart – Towards a Pedagogy for Emancipation: Education for First Peoples.

2012 (joint) Ruth Groff, Ontology Revisited: Metaphysics in Social and Political Philosophy and Nick Hostettler, Eurocentriam: A Marxian Critical Realist Critique.

2013 Lena Gunnarsson, The Contradictions of Love: Towards a Feminist-Realist Ontology of Sociosexuality (Routledge).

2014 Matthew  L. N. Wilkinson, A Fresh Look at Islam in a Multi-Faith World: A Philosophy of Success through Education (Routledge).

2015 (joint) Pierpaolo Donati and Margaret S. Archer, The Relational Subject (Cambridge) and Douglas V. Porpora, Reconstructing Sociology: The Critical Realist Approach (Cambridge)

2016 (joint) Roy Bhaskar (ed. by Mervyn Hartwig) Enlightened Common Sense (Routledge); and Leigh Price and Heila Lotz-Sisitka (eds.) Critical Realism, Environmental Learning and Social-Ecological Change (Routledge).

2017 Margaret Archer, Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing (Springer)

2018 Graham Scambler, Sociology, Health and the Fractured Society (Routledge)

2019 Tony Lawson, The Nature of Social Reality (Routledge)