Inaugurated in 2017, the award is named for one of our founding members. Maureen Furniss joined the Society as a student at its inception and has since supported the Society as President, Chair and as one of the most prolific writers, publishers and promoters of animation studies globally. She has always been a champion of students and encouraged many to flourish in their careers.

The Society for Animation Studies is now accepting submissions for the Maureen Furniss Award for Best Student Paper on Animated Media. Entries must be previously unpublished academic papers – completed in 2023 – that contribute to the field of animation studies, broadly defined. Following a round of peer review, the winning paper will be published in Animation Studies, the Society for Animation Studies’ peer-reviewed online journal ( Maximum length is 10,000 words. Submissions must be written in or translated to English. The author must be a current member of the SAS. Students of all levels (undergraduate and graduate) are welcome to apply. Please email a copy of your paper with all identifying information removed (in .doc or .pdf format) to Dr. Mihaela Mihailova at Name, affiliation, and any other relevant information should be included in the body of the email. The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2024. The recipient of the Maureen Furniss Award will be announced at the upcoming SAS conference at UNSW, Sydney, July 1-4, 2024.

Past Award Winners


Anastasiia Gushchina – Towards a Materialist Theory of Animated Documentary (winner)


Elena Altheman – Adventure Time’s World-Building: Analyzing Its Opening Title Sequence and the Mobile Map


Grace Han – Back to Front: Animating Melodrama in Makoto Shinkai’s Garden of Words (winner)

Goolam Hassen – Race and Identity and the Celebration of Black Excellence (runner-up)

Robert Jones – ‘To become rich without limit’: Positioning the Miyazaki Antagonist within Technological Contexts of the Japanese Economic Miracle (runner-up)


Jason Douglass – In Search of a “New Wind”: Experimental, Labour Intensive and Intermedial Animation in 1950s and 60s Japan (winner)

Iveta Karpathyova – Rotoscoping Design for Bodily Technique and Interdisciplinary Research on Animation as Embodied Practice (runner-up)

Gary Wilson – The Glass Canvas: Approaching Digital Direct Under Camera Animation (runner-up)


Jacqueline Ristola – Realist Film Theory and Flowers of Evil: Exploring the Philosophical Possibilities of Rotoscoped Animation (winner)

Jason Douglass – Artist, Author, and Pioneering Motion Picture Animator: The Career of Helena Smith Dayton (runner-up)