Joan Kelly Memorial Prize
Established in 1984 and named in memory of Joan Kelly (1928–82), this prize is awarded annually for the book in women’s history and/or feminist theory that best reflects the high intellectual and scholarly ideals exemplified by the life and work of Joan Kelly. The prize was established by the Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession and the Conference Group on Women’s History (now the Coordinating Council for Women in History), and is administered by the American Historical Association. The general rules for submission are:
- To be eligible for consideration, submissions shall be books in any chronological period, any geographical location, or in an area of feminist theory that incorporates a historical perspective. Books should demonstrate originality of research, creativity of insight, graceful stylistic presentation, analytical skills, and a recognition of the important role of sex and gender in the historical process. The inter-relationship between women and the historical process should be addressed.
- Books with a copyright of 2015 are eligible for the 2016 award.
- Nominators must complete an online prize submission form for each book submitted.
- One copy of each entry must be sent to each committee member and clearly labeled “Kelly Prize Entry.” Electronic copies may be sent only to committee members who have indicated they will accept them.
Please Note: Entries must be postmarked or transmitted by May 15, 2016, to be eligible for the 2016 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2016 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2017 AHA annual meeting in Denver.
For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.
Review committee contact information and the prize submission form for the next prize year will be posted by March 31.
2015 Kelly Prize
Susan S. Lanser, Brandeis Univ.
The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565–1830 (Univ. of Chicago Press)
The Sexuality of History provides a new analysis of the specter of women loving women contained in the publications of both male and female authors, arguing that “the Sapphic” underwrote early modern understandings of “the modern.” Lanser shows that rather than voicing individuals’ idiosyncratic desires, texts that invoked the intimate connections among women enabled critiques of the patriarchal order and supported radical visions of both equality and the normative presence of women in the public sphere.