Award for Scholarly Distinction
In 1984 the AHA Council established the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction to honor senior historians in the United States. Previous awards have gone to 75 eminent scholars.
AHA members are now invited to submit nominations. According to the selection criteria, recipients must be senior historians of the highest distinction who have spent the bulk of their professional careers in the United States. Generally, they must also be of emeritus rank, if from academic life, or equivalent standing otherwise. Under normal circumstances the award is not intended to go to former presidents of the Association; rather, the intent is to honor persons not otherwise recognized by the profession to an extent commensurate with their contributions.
The Committee on Honorary Foreign Members and Awards for Scholarly Distinction will serve as the jury and will recommend up to three individuals for approval at the Council's spring meeting. The Committee consists of the president, president-elect, and the immediate past president. The honoree(s) will be announced at the Association’s annual meeting.
The annual deadline for receiving nominations is April 1.
A complete nomination should include (1) a letter of nomination that contains specific details addressing the criteria listed above and (2) a two- to three-page CV of the nominee with a summary of major publications and career highlights. Additional letters of support can also be submitted, provided the entire package does not exceed 10 pages in length. Nomination materials should be sent electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include "Award for Scholarly Distinction: [Nominee's Name]" in the subject line.
2014 Awards for Scholarly Distinction
Keith M. Baker, Stanford Univ.
Keith Baker is universally acknowledged as a brilliant and original intellectual historian and a preeminent interpreter of the 18th-century Enlightenment. Baker’s intellectual rigor is legendary among his students, as is his generosity as a mentor. He is a model of what it means to be an analyst of texts, a historian, and a teacher.
Susan Mann, Univ. of California, Davis
Susan Mann is unquestionably the premier historian of women and gender in late imperial/early modern China. Her work has promoted feminist scholarship as a powerful lens through which to reimagine Chinese history and enriched feminist scholarship by including the Chinese historical experience within its purview. Neither field will ever be the same.
Jan Vansina, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison
Jan Vansina’s cross-disciplinary experience in medieval European history and anthropology enabled him to provide a methodological paradigm for studying the pre-colonial African past. Vansina has published numerous monographs on Central Africa, continuing to innovate methodologically. We honor him here as a creative scholar, an institution-builder, and a mentor.