From the 2000 Annual Meeting column in the March 2000 Perspectives
2000 Annual Meeting Awards and Honors
AHA Staff, March 2000
Awards for Scholarly Distinction
In 1984 the Council of the AHA established the American Historical Association Award for Scholarly Distinction. Each year a nominating jury recommends to the Council up to three names for the award, and the Council then selects up to three names from the list presented. Nominees are senior historians of the highest distinction in the historical profession who have spent the bulk of their professional careers in the United States. Previous awards have gone to Nettie Lee Benson, Woodrow Borah, Alfred D. Chandler Jr., Angie Debo, Helen G. Edmonds, Felix Gilbert, John Whitney Hall, Tulio Halperin-Donghi, H. Stuart Hughes, Margaret Atwood Judson, George F. Kennan, Paul Oskar Kristeller, Gerhart B. Ladner, Gerda Lerner, August Meier, Edmund Morgan, George L. Mosse, Robert O. Paxton, H. Leon Prather Sr., Benjamin Quarles, Edwin O. Reischauer, Nicholas V. Riasanovsky, Caroline Robbins, Carl E. Schorske, Benjamin I. Schwartz, Kenneth M. Setton, Kenneth M. Stampp, Chester G. Starr, Barbara and Stanley Stein, Lawrence Stone, Sylvia Thrupp Strayer, Merze Tate, Emma Lou Thornbrough, Brian Tierney , and George R. Woolfolk.
Joining this distinguished list are Earl Pomeroy (Univ. of Oregon), Eugen Weber (UCLA), and Gerhard Weinberg (Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). President-elect Eric Foner read the following citations at the General Meeting.
Earl Pomeroy is widely noted as one of the most influential western historians of the 20th century and the first since Frederick Jackson Turner to substantially reconceptualize the history of the region. Indeed he did much to establish this particular focus in historical studies many decades before it became fashionable to do so. That his scholarly work today remains an inspiration to new generations of students is thus hardly surprising. It is safe to say that Earl Pomeroy's work will continue to be part of an ongoing evolution in western North American historical studies for many years to come.
Born in Capitola, California, in 1915, Earl Spencer Pomeroy took his undergraduate degree at San Jose State College in 1936 and a PhD at the University of California at Berkeley after working with Frederic Paxson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the frontier. Through the 1940s Pomeroy taught brief periods at the University of Wisconsin, the University of North Carolina, and Ohio State University before joining the history faculty at the University of Oregon in 1949. His first book, The Territories and the United States, 1861–1890: Studies in Colonial Administration, published by the AHA and the University of Pennsylvania Press in 1947, while he was at Ohio State, received the Albert J. Beveridge Award from the AHA.
During his quarter century at Eugene, Pomeroy wrote his other three major works, Pacific Outpost: Guam and Micronesia in American Strategy (Stanford University Press, 1951); In Search of the Golden West: The Tourist in Western America (Alfred A. Knopf, 1957); and The Pacific Slope: A History of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Nevada (Alfred A. Knopf, 1965). He also published 11 of his 20 journal articles, including the influential "Toward a Reorientation of Western History: Continuity and Environment," in the Mississippi Valley Historical Review 41 (March 1955) and his most widely read historiographic commentary, "The Changing West," which appeared in John Higham's 1962 anthology, The Reconstruction of American History.
Each of these works deserves brief comment to help locate their significance to the profession. Pacific Outpost, ostensibly an analysis of the administration of Pacific Island territories, became a study of U.S. foreign relations and defense policy in the Pacific Rim. In Search of the Golden West was less a history of western tourism than a discussion of westerners' promotion of tourism and of what the tourists perceived. The Pacific Slope was by far Pomeroy's most ambitious and significant project, a synthesis of the history of six diverse states that three decades later remains popular as a text in western history surveys.
Earl Pomeroy's articles in the 1950s and 1960s collectively provide the most systematic critique of western history prior to the advent of the "New West" historians of the 1980s and 1990s. Indeed, Pomeroy's writings, which call for a focus on the modern West, on region rather than process, on urbanization over rural life, and on people of color as well as European-American elites, anticipate much of the critique of "New West" historians such as Patricia Limerick and Richard White. Pomeroy's "Toward a Reorientation of Western History," one of the most widely cited essays on western history, initiated the emergence of a post-Turnerian school of western historiography. "The raw frontier," wrote Pomeroy, "which the settlers changed as they enveloped it, usually had been more in flux than the larger West behind it. . . . [The West] contained hierarchies of culture, wealth and influence in which the upper classes were small but influential beyond their size. . . . A large part of western opportunity was the opportunity to imitate an older society" [p. 597]. In "The Changing West," which appeared in The Reconstruction of American History, Pomeroy criticizes western history as having become "less interesting . . . because of what its historians were writing, or failing to write . . . In an urban and industrial age, the rural West seemed out of touch with the main currents of national life" [pp. 71–72]. Such critiques hardly endeared Pomeroy to his professional contemporaries, but they served eventually to prod scholars to more productive avenues of enquiry in their reconstruction of the history of the West.
Earl Pomeroy joined and later led the small but relatively distinguished department of history at the University of Oregon, which in the 1950s and 1960s included the highly regarded historian of the South, Wendell H. Stephenson; modern Europe historian Gordon Wright, a future president of the AHA; and two other "western" historians, Kenneth Wiggins Porter and Edwin R. Bingham. Pomeroy served as chair of the department from 1958 to 1961. In the latter year he became the first Beekman Professor of Northwest and Pacific History, the oldest endowed chair at the University of Oregon.
By all accounts Earl Pomeroy was a highly dedicated and effective instructor and adviser who consistently maintained high standards during his quarter-century at Oregon. Unfailingly courteous to students as well as professional colleagues who benefited from his critiques of their work, Pomeroy was known as a close reader who provided detailed suggestions for improvement. His greatest impact was with graduate students. During the Oregon years he supervised 20 doctoral students and provided direction as a committee member to numerous others. Among the more prominent students of Pomeroy are Robert Burton, Thomas Cox, Richard Etulain, Wallace Farnham, Peter Simpson, Gene Gressley, James Hendrickson, Richard Ruetten, and Eckard Toy.
As his reputation grew, Pomeroy was increasingly honored by his peers. In 1953–54 he was a fellow at the Fund for the Advancement of Education. In 1963–64 he received an invited lectureship at the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University. Three years later he was the Coe Visiting Professor at Stanford University and in 1968 he held a senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Pomeroy held Guggenheim Fellowships in 1956 and 1972 and two years later was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and of the American Council of Learned Societies. In 1970 he became president of the Pacific Coast Branch of the AHA, an organization in which he had long been active. Twenty-three years later in 1993, after he had returned to Oregon, Earl Pomeroy became president of the Western History Association, the premier organization in the field.
Earl Pomeroy remained at the University of Oregon for 26 years until 1975, when he left to accept a professorship at the University of California at San Diego. Upon his retirement from UCSD in 1984, Pomeroy returned to Eugene and continues to work daily at his university office. He stands as an inspiration to historians of the American West who carry on the legacy he established in the 1950s and 1960s that extolled a new regional history, less romantic and more rigorous, insightful, and focused on the modern era. Earl Pomeroy's legacy, however, ultimately does not turn simply on the remarkable prescience of his writings. It instead rests upon his reintegration of western history into the mainstream of the American historical experience.
Eugen Weber set the gold standard for the study of modern French history in the Anglophone world. Author of pathbreaking works on the history of France, the European right, and an ever-expanding list of topics, his scholarship is internationally influential. His teaching at UCLA, renowned for its flair and verve, has energized generations of students and made him a TV star when he presented a two-semester television course on the western tradition for WGBH Boston. Holder of the first endowed chair in the UCLA history department, a chair which since his retirement carries his name, Weber unstintingly labored, as chair of the department and then as dean, to continuously improve the quality and enhance the reputation of the public university he first joined in 1956.
Prof. Weber was educated in France and England, began his teaching career at the University of Iowa, and rose through the ranks at UCLA to become Joan Palevsky Professor of Modern European History. His richly textured work in French history demonstrated that a scholar not native to France could do what many thought could not be accomplished: write French history that influenced how the French thought about their own history. His pioneering study, Peasants into Frenchmen (1976), showed in fascinating detail how peasants in the furthest reaches of France were incorporated into the French nation through railroads, mail-order catalogues, army service, and the like. It and his subsequent works, France Fin-de-Siècle (1986), My France (1991), and The Hollow Years (1994), have inspired generations of scholars to study in provincial archives, to learn French culture from the inside out, in short, to throw themselves headlong into engagement with French history. His success in this endeavor has been awarded by the most prestigious of French prizes and by invitations to teach at the most influential of French institutions, the Collège de France and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. An extraordinary number of his books have been translated into French and, in some cases, appeared in French first.
Since Prof. Weber has been such a devoted and inspiring teacher, it is very appropriate that a good-sized chunk of his published work has been devoted to teaching new generations of students. His 1959 collection of original documents, The Western Tradition, is in its fifth edition, still in print, and still very much in use. In addition, he has published five major textbooks (including one in French), and through his introductions and translations has introduced important French works (novels and memoirs) to Anglophone students.
Prof. Weber has never rested on his substantial laurels. He teaches an occasional heavily subscribed undergraduate lecture course, even though now emeritus, and he publishes new work at a ferocious pace. His most recent book appeared just this year.
Gerhard L. Weinberg's contributions to the historical profession over the past 50 years have been enormous. His scholarship on Nazi Germany and World War II has shaped fields from modern diplomatic history and 20th-century Europe to Holocaust studies. As an undergraduate teacher at major state universities, he has influenced thousands of young people. Generations of graduate students trained by Weinberg continue to follow his principles: solid archival research, unflinching honesty with one's findings, and openness to new ideas and new approaches. Since the 1950s, in Europe as well as the United States, Gerhard Weinberg has worked harder than anyone to ensure access to the documents that make possible any study of the past. He has fought for the preservation and declassification of government records and promoted appreciation of history within the armed forces and the government as well as among the general public. Gerhard Weinberg is a scholar not only of great distinction, but of exemplary integrity.
Weinberg's global history of World War II, A World at Arms (Cambridge, 1994), represents the culmination of decades of research, writing, and reflection. Like so much of Weinberg's work, A World at Arms bridges fields that too often remain isolated and shatters old assumptions that can block better understandings of the past. Weinberg insists on viewing the theaters of the war in connection with one another. By doing so, he highlights causal links that make sense of otherwise inchoate developments. Likewise he rejects the all-too-common tendency to regard the war and the Holocaust as two separate events and demonstrates instead their interconnectedness. Weinberg's writing is replete with insights, always informed by close familiarity with the documentary record, that transform the way we understand key events from the Treaty of Versailles to the Vatican's role in the Second World War.
As a teacher, Gerhard Weinberg has inspired students at the Universities of Kentucky, Michigan, and North Carolina, but also as a visitor in Germany, at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and at the hundreds of schools, colleges, synagogues, and public service groups he has addressed. As a mentor, he has been instrumental in furthering the careers of many individuals, including many women. Years ago Gerhard Weinberg took initiatives in the affiliate Conference Group on Central European History to make sure that there was formal recognition of the need to support and promote women in the historical profession.
Weinberg's work continues to have tremendous repercussions. For the last 40 years, researchers in libraries and archives all over the world have been able to consult the records of National Socialism on microfilm from within their own countries. Weinberg played a key role in making sure that the German documents captured by U.S. forces in the Second World War would be preserved on film, made available to users, and made accessible through the preparation of detailed guides. The importance of that work, which took over a decade of his career, cannot be overestimated. Through his involvement in the AHA, the German Studies Association, the World War II Studies Assocation, the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, and the Department of Defense's Historical Records Declassification Advisory Panel, Weinberg has kept up the pressure to open the archives, to film documents before the paper on which they are written can disintegrate, to catalogue holdings, and to find ways to get graduate students and historians at every stage of their careers using those materials. Gerhard Weinberg's commitment to the documents is more than an appreciation of their importance for the writing of history. It is also an expression of his awareness that there can be no democracy without openness, public scrutiny, and independent thought.
Troyer Steele Anderson Prize
Established in 1963 through a bequest by Frank Maloy Anderson, a longtime AHA member, this prize is awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the purposes of the Association and has been conferred only three times. The Council selects a recipient based upon the recommendations of the Professional Division, which serves as a nominating jury in consultation with the Research and Teaching Divisions. President-elect Foner announced that the Anderson Prize was awarded to Page Putnam Miller (National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History), and David Trask (Guilford Technical Community College).
Page Putnam Miller has served as director of the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (NCC) for the past two decades. In this capacity, she has served as the "eyes and ears" of the historical and archival professions in the intricate and often perplexing world of federal policy-making. Dr. Miller has been a superb advocate, enabling the Association, the discipline, and a large portion of the humanities community to speak with a unified voice on the myriad policy and funding issues that affect the ability of historians to continue to make contributions through history and research. Under her leadership, the NCC has kept track of and analyzed federal legislation in every area that affects the profession, keeping all historians up-to-date on the issues through monthly columns in several association newsletters and in the electronic NCC Washington Update.
Dr. Miller works with some 53 consortium member groups to help them respond intelligently and effectively to federal initiatives, provides testimony at congressional hearings, and leads a great number of advocacy coalitions. The NCC has addressed a number of vital issues over the past years: funding for NEH; funding for and oversight of the operations of the National Archives and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission; access to electronic records; historical preservation; declassification policy; and federal copyright and telecommunications policies. Dr. Miller has played a key role in enabling the profession to influence government policy, most significantly in the struggle to liberate the National Archives and Records Administration from the General Services Administration. She has also played an important role in the way the profession can use the legal system to protect its interests. The association recognizes her enormous contribution to the progress of historical research and the preservation of our historical memory.
David Trask has taught at Guilford Technical Community College since 1990. In addition to his duties there, which include serving as president of the Faculty Association, Professor Trask has engaged issues of teaching history in an ever-expanding number of venues. For the past four years, as a contributing editor to the "Teaching Column" in Perspectives, he has written an outstanding series of short essays dealing with a variety of old and new pedagogical issues. He has also worked for the Association as a Council member, as Council's representative to the Teaching Division, as author of the "Statement on Excellent Classroom Teaching in History," and as contributor of essays to special editions of the History Teacher and coeditor of its special edition on two-year colleges. Professor Trask's essay, "Teaching History in A-Historical Times: A Side-Stage Approach," was nominated for the AHA 1997 William Gilbert Award for the best article on history teaching. In these and other ways, Professor Trask has forged new and powerful ties between the Association and historians teaching at two-year colleges. He organized no fewer than five sessions at regional meetings of the Community College Humanities Association and served as regional cluster leader for the "Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age" project of the AHA. For his excellent service to the profession and the Association, we are pleased to award the Troyer Steele Anderson Prize to David Trask.
Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award
Established in 1986, the Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at two-year, four-year, and graduate colleges and universities, by commending an inspiring teacher whose pedagogical techniques and mastery of subject matter make a lasting impression and substantial difference to students of history. The prize is named for the late Eugene Asher, who was for many years a leading advocate for history teaching. The Society for History Education (SHE) shares with the AHA sponsorship of the award. Members of the AHA and SHE submit nominations to the Committee on Teaching Prizes.
Vernon L. Lidtke, professor of history at the Johns Hopkins University, is the 1999 recipient of the Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award. President-elect Foner read the committee's citation: "A model teacher-scholar, Prof. Lidtke is both an accomplished and much published German specialist and an impressive teacher who moves easily between undergraduate surveys of European history to graduate seminars." The Committee on Teaching Prizes noted that he is "genuinely dedicated to his teaching and that he practices what he preaches—creative teaching. He is sensitive to the differing needs among his students and makes allowance for those differences in the structure of his courses. He goes well beyond the traditional lecture-exam-term paper model, instead emphasizing active, participatory learning with student presentations, class discussion, and extensive reflective writing. His syllabi demonstrate resourceful and innovative conceptualizations of both subject matter and pedagogy. An exemplary teacher who also realizes that he constantly learns from his own students and colleagues, Prof. Lidtke is indeed a worthy recipient of the Asher Award.
Beveridge Family Teaching Award
Established in 1995, this prize honors the Beveridge family's longstanding commitment to the AHA and to K–12 teaching. Friends and family members endowed this award to recognize excellence and innovation in elementary, middle, and secondary school history teaching, including career contributions and specific initiatives. The individual can be recognized either for individual excellence in teaching or for an innovative initiative applicable to the entire field. It is offered on a two-cycle rotation: in even-numbered years, to an individual; in odd-numbered years, to a group. The prize was first offered in 1996. The 1999 prize was given to a group of teachers.
President-elect Foner announced that the third award would be given to the California History–Social Science Project. The Committee on Teaching Prizes' citation stated that "The California History–Social Science Project is recognized as a unique statewide collaboration between university historians and teachers to improve historical learning as a central discipline in the schools. Initiated in 1990 as one of nine subject matter projects funded by the state of California, the History-Social Science Project now has 11 regional sites located on 10 university campuses. Its summer workshops and institutes, offered collaboratively between university faculty and teacher leaders, have reached over 32,000 participants throughout the state. All sites are also developing intensive year-round partnerships with schools and districts. Teacher participants have unique opportunities to engage in research and discussion with outstanding scholars and to develop effective teaching strategies. They may also develop their own leadership capabilities, and become part of an ongoing community of learners. The project has had a deep impact on many university historians, who have been inspired by their involvement to transform their own teaching. In giving this award to the California History–Social Science Project, we recognize not only an outstanding collaboration between K–12 teachers and university historians, but also the commitment of the nation's most populous state and its public universities to the centrality of history in the schools.
William Gilbert Award
Named in memory of William Gilbert, a longtime AHA member and distinguished scholar-teacher at the University of Kansas, the biennial Gilbert Award recognizes outstanding contributions to the teaching of history through the publication of journal and serial articles. The prize was endowed by a generous gift from Mrs. Gilbert. Articles written by members of the AHA and published in the United States during the two years previous to the award are eligible for consideration. Also, journals, magazines, and other serials that publish works on the teaching of history, including methodology and pedagogical theory, may submit nominations.
The 1999 William Gilbert Award was presented to Peter Seixas of the University of British Columbia for his article, "Student Teachers Thinking Historically," which appeared in Theory and Research in Social Education 26:3 (summer 1998), 310–41.
The essay, the Committee on Teaching Prizes noted, "focused squarely on a fundamental issue in the teaching of history." Its exploration of the critical task of training student-teachers to utilize primary sources in the enhancement of learning in secondary schools "represents an original effort to fill an important gap in the literature" on historical teaching and learning. Judged to be "in a class by itself," Seixas's study emphasizes three points in the constructive use of original sources: "1. Text and context exist in dynamic tension in the construction of historical knowledge. 2. . . . the construction of context is shaped not only through work with historical sources (texts), but also through present concerns and issues. 3. . . . the 'worklike' aspect of [the] text constructs the most potent interactions with context." Seixas also addresses the process of building documentary exercises that are appropriate for middle and high school students, thus furthering the impact that this fine article will have on improving history teacher education and the effectiveness of learning in history courses.
John O'Connor Film Award
In recognition of his exceptional role as a pioneer in both teaching and research regarding film and history, the AHA established this award in honor of John E. O'Connor of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The award seeks to recognize outstanding interpretations of history through the medium of film or video. Essential elements are stimulation of thought, imaginative use of the media, effective presentation of information and ideas, sensitivity to modern scholarship, and accuracy. The production should encourage viewers to ask questions about historical interpretations as well as make a contribution to the understanding of history.
The seventh O'Connor Award was presented for Rabbit in the Moon, produced and directed by Emiko Omori. President-elect Foner read the committee's citation: "The committee takes great pleasure in awarding the 1999 O'Connor Film Award to Emiko Omori's Rabbit in the Moon. Her film treats a terrible, still partially hidden moment in the American past, namely the history of the forced evacuation of people of Japanese ancestry during World War II. With empathy and visual imagination, Omori illuminates the divisions that made individuals, even from the same family, experience their internment so differently. Above all, her film speaks about the complex working of memory. Sensitive to the interplay between the personal and the public past, Omori has given us an exemplary meditation on the losses to the individual and the community brought about by the destruction of memory and on the importance of the quest after its recovery.
Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award
In recognition of Nancy Lyman Roelker's role as a teacher, scholar, and committee member of the historical profession, and on the occasion of her 75th birthday, friends, colleagues, and former students established the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award. The annual award recognizes and encourages a special quality exemplified by Professor Roelker through the human component in her teaching of history.
Mentoring should encompass not only a belief in the value of the study of history but also a commitment to and a love of teaching it to students regardless of age or career goals. Advising is an essential component, but it also combines a consistent personal commitment by the mentor to the student as a person. Offering a human alternative, frequently in quiet and unacknowledged ways, mentors like Professor Roelker believe that the essence of history lies in its human scope. With this award, the AHA attests to the special role of mentors to the future of the historical profession.
The award is given on a three-cycle rotation to graduate, undergraduate, and secondary school teacher mentors. Nominations for the 1999 prize were for the undergraduate level. President elect Foner read the following citation.
Gary Kates of Trinity University, San Antonio, is the recipient of the eighth annual Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award. He exemplifies the qualities of the quintessential mentor. His career underscores the premise and qualities of mentorship: being forthright, supportive, constructively critical, and maintaining a commitment to students as individuals. Professor Kates's mentoring style has earned high praise from many of his former students, now colleagues in the profession, who recognize in him those essential qualities that have shaped their own careers. One former student wrote "...he teaches his students that when they become teachers they should keep asking questions that they are not sure of the answers to in order to keep up their interest in the discussion and to make the students feel like they are really contributing something instead of trying to figure out what it is the instructor wants to hear." Another stated that "much of what he does comes directly from his own vision of integrity: recognizing someone at a professional meeting, inviting a student for a cup of coffee, accepting an invitation to a wedding or a book recommendation that turns out later to have been life-altering. . ." To these attributes other students added that Professor Kates never condescends to students; respects their intelligence, and holds them to rigorous standards.
Many of Gary Kates's students recalled his dynamic classroom presence, his ability to fuse teaching and research and demonstrate that ability to make students think critically. Students repeatedly praised Gary for his openness, encouragement, dedication, enthusiasm, and boundless energy. Universally his students wrote that Gary Kates always knew how to say the right thing, how to give great advice, and is honest and compassionate. For these reasons Professor Kates epitomizes for his students the model teacher and mentor. As the eighth annual recipient of the Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award, Gary Kates's name has been added to the distinguished list of honored mentors who have enriched, inspired, and nurtured students in both their professional and personal lives.
Honorary Foreign Member
At its second annual meeting in Saratoga in 1885, the newly appointed Committee on Nominations for Honorary Membership introduced a resolution, which was adopted, that appointed Leopold von Ranke as the first honorary foreign member. In the intervening 113 years, only 86 individuals have been so honored. Previously selected biennially, selection is now made in annually honoring a foreign scholar who is distinguished in his or her field and who has "notably aided the work of American historians."
President-elect Foner announced the addition of Hans-Ulrich Wehler of Germany to this distinguished list, and read the following citation:
There is no historian currently active in the Federal Republic who has done more in the postwar decades to reorient and invigorate the work of modern German history. Professor Wehler's early work on Bismarck's imperialism, his subsequent essays reconsidering so many critical points in German development, and more recently, his magisterial volumes of the modern societal history of Germany (Deutsche Gesellschaftsgeschichte) comprise one of the major, if not the most eminent, corpus in recent German historiography. More than any other historian, Professor Wehler has urged and demonstrated the historian's use of the analytical social sciences. Throughout his career at the University of Bielefeld, Professor Wehler has exerted a profound influence on professional recruitment and direction. The journal he was so instrumental in founding, Geschichte und Gesellschaft, has become the major journal for modern German history. Just as important has been his continued encouragement of young talent, his openness to debate, and his willingness to recognize intellectual quality even among those whose approach he critiques.
Professor Wehler has been tireless in bringing the work of American scholars to the attention of his German colleagues, has sponsored American students and supervised their work, and has been active in arranging for his own students to study in the United States. In the early 1980s he and his colleagues at Bielefeld approached the Johns Hopkins history department to establish a program to exchange graduate students. That program continues to thrive and is just one more evidence demonstrating Professor Wehler's respect for the American university system and the scholarship it produces. Professor Wehler has also lectured in the United States on numerous occasions and has played a very important role as a link between German and American scholars. A letter written in support of his nomination states that many historians count Professor Wehler as "our friend in the best sense: a colleague full of encouragement and commitment to our shared enterprise."
The AHA is honored to acknowledge Hans-Ulrich Wehler's role in the international community of historians by selecting him as the Honorary Foreign Member for 1999.
1999 Book Awards
At the annual meeting in Chicago, the following prizes were announced for the year 1999. The committees' citations are recorded below:
Herbert Baxter Adams Prize
Gabrielle Hecht (Univ. of Michigan) for The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II (MIT Press, 1999). Radiance of France is a work distinguished both by its methodological clarity and sophistication and by the depth and resourcefulness of the research. The author has been informed, but not dominated, by work over the last 20 years in the history and sociology of science, and by recent literature on memory and identity. In her research, she has been remarkably successful in obtaining information not yet available in archives, and she thus functioned both as an archival researcher and as anthropologist and oral history interviewer. The book's central thesis, that the postwar French crisis of confidence resulted in the development of nuclear energy as the path to reassert the independence of France and also its unique contribution to civilization, constitutes a powerful description of the reconstruction of French culture and identity after World War II. The author possesses the scientific expertise to understand and explain clearly how reactors work, and is sensitive to the nature and extent of the evidence she uses. Occasional vignettes describing herself gathering information add a personal dimension to this skillful narrative that coordinates three parallel domains of enquiry: the world of engineers and scientists, the world of labor unions, and that of the popular media. These themes interweave with and reinforce each other to make a uniquely elegant and convincing narrative.
Prize in Atlantic History
Jeremy Adelman (Princeton Univ.) for Republic of Capital: Buenos Aires and the Legal Transformation of the Atlantic World (Stanford Univ. Press, 1999). In Republic of Capital, Jeremy Adelman provides an extremely sophisticated, multilayered interpretation of the manner in which politics, law, and the market interacted in the shaping of the political economy of modern Argentine capitalism. Eschewing simple causal models, the author ingeniously combines and, to a considerable degree, reconciles the acute insights of the so-called new institutionalists with approaches offering more complex or at least variegated approaches to individual, group, and class behaviors. In so doing, he offers a rich, dense, and immensely satisfying account of the successes and limits of 19th-century Argentine capitalism, tracing in dialectical fashion the legal system's role in the Argentine economy's rapid rise and tragic fall. He makes significant contributions to the burgeoning literatures and debates on state formation, constitutionalism, and political and economic liberalism. Thoroughly researched and elegantly written, this is an impressive work indeed.
George Louis Beer Prize
Daniel T. Rodgers (Princeton Univ.) for Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a Progressive Age (Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press, 1998). Daniel Rodgers's Atlantic Crossings is a learned and beautifully written book, based on ambitious research on both sides of the Atlantic. Rodgers shows how, in the years between the U.S. Civil War and World War II, social reformers in both the U.S. and Europe carried out their programs of social transformations based in part on models and ideas borrowed from their transatlantic counterparts. Rodgers's book is a major tour de force in Atlantic and international history.
Albert J. Beveridge Award
Friedrich Katz (Univ. of Chicago) for The Life and Times of Pancho Villa (Stanford Univ. Press, 1998). This engrossing social history uses Pancho Villa's life as a narrative thread with which the author provides astute and well-pondered answers to many of the long-standing questions concerning Mexico's early 20th-century revolution. Katz has made many important contributions—in his examinations of the differences between Villismo and other revolutionary factions, the critical role of Mexico's periphery in the revolution, the importance of the U.S. border in influencing the revolution, and understanding of how a man who could barely read or write could organize a disciplined and well-equipped modern army.
Based on immense archival research and a deep understanding of Mexican history as well as of revolutions elsewhere, this book will become an important landmark in the historiography of the 20th century's first major social revolution.
James Henry Breasted Prize
David Woodward (Univ. of Wisconsin at Madison) and G. Malcolm Lewis (Univ. of Sheffield) for The History of Cartography: Cartography in the Traditional African, American, Arctic, Australian, and Pacific Societies, vol. 2, book 3 (University of Chicago Press, 1998). A pathbreaking book on extending the usually Western-oriented field of historical cartography to non-Western societies. To achieve their goal of integrating many divergent ways of representing space with symbols, the authors in this collection explored a variety of artistic and symbolic systems in many different cultures. The book manages to present fairly arcane information from a wide variety of sources in a clear way that manages to expand the field of cartography well beyond the West, and is potentially useful even for rethinking Western mapmaking. Based on stunning research and beautifully reproduced, the book is likely to be the standard for the field for many years to come.
John H. Dunning Prize
Marilyn C. Baseler (NEH Fellow, American Antiquarian Society) for "Asylum for Mankind": America, 1607–1800 (Cornell Univ. Press, 1998). In this original and creative study of immigration and naturalization policies before and after the American Revolution, Baseler contrasts the political ideals of the early national era with the mixed reception that immigrants received in the infant United States. Writing clear, supple prose, she reaches back to the history of European monarchies to provide a firm international context to the British North American experience. She describes in detail the process by which Americans worked out immigration policy after the Revolution in their attempt to reconcile their aspiration to provide an asylum for the world with their marked ambivalence toward newcomers. Baseler draws on a large body of public records that have often been overlooked, and she treats the social and political dimensions of the story with considerable sophistication. "Asylum for Mankind" is an important contribution to the study of American colonial and Atlantic history.
John K. Fairbank Prize
John Dower (MIT) for Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II (The New Press/W.W. Norton, 1999). John Dower's Embracing Defeat is extraordinarily rich and far-reaching, combining imaginative and careful research, a strong analytical thread assessing the impact of the occupation, and broad coverage of politics, culture, and economy. Dower documents the ways in which the Japanese moved from accepting military defeat to constructing civilian, political, social, cultural, and economic practices amidst the "revolution" imposed by the American occupation. Chapters on the reshaping of the imperial throne, the creation of the new constitution, and the prosecution of the Tokyo war crimes trial provide a nuanced study of both Japanese and American contributions to major postwar Japanese institutions, while the survey of cultural trends makes clear the variety of ways that Japanese understood and reinvented their own society. Filled with drama, irony, and passion, Embracing Defeat is both a brilliant cultural history and an insightful political history of postwar Japan.
Herbert Feis Award
Rachel P. Maines (independent scholar) for The Technology of Orgasm: "Hysteria," the Vibrator, and Women's Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1998). Rachel Maines in The Technology of Orgasm has dared to focus on a woman's clitoris. She has uncovered twin bodies of information about women's sexual satisfaction hidden within medical and technological history. In documenting androcentric models that cast female sexual responses as pathological, she has tracked the social construction of female sexuality diagnosed as "hysteria." And in studying treatments for this "female malady," she has probed the technologies employed by medical practitioners prescribing manual manipulation of female sexual organs for relief. Bold in conception and indefatigable in execution, Maines's research has reached back over centuries of medical documentation; deep into archives of technology, advertising, and medicine; and across disciplines. Her persistence in pursuing her topic, in spite of general disbelief and at times outrage, upholds the intellectual freedom and originality that should be the mark of the truly independent scholar.
Morris D. Forkosch Prize
Kathleen Paul (Univ. of South Florida) for Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era (Cornell Univ. Press, 1997). Kathleen Paul's Whitewashing Britain is an important and convincing book. Through a careful examination of official policy toward European, Irish, and West Indian immigrants and British emigrants, Paul demonstrates that postwar British governments followed their own racist assumptions rather than simply responding to a racist population in determining who entered (and who left) British shores. Whitewashing Britain is clearly written, well organized, and based on detailed archival research, a model of scholarship that will be useful to scholars, undergraduates, and the general public.
Leo Gershoy Award
Adrian Johns (Univ. of California at San Diego) for The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Univ. of Chicago Press, 1998). In writing the history of the social processes by which books came to be made, Adrian Johns explores the fascinating nexus between print and knowledge, and creatively challenges conventional distinctions between book, periodical, and manuscript communication. Johns's synthesis of primary material and modern scholarship is impressive, his command of detail remarkable, his prose clear and often elegant, and his argument subtle and well informed. The content and conceptual implications of The Nature of the Book extend far beyond the history of mid-17th-century England, and should speak to a broad audience both within and outside the profession.
Joan Kelly Memorial Prize
Linda K. Kerber (Univ. of Iowa) for No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship (Hill and Wang, 1998). Combining micronarrative with feminist theorizing, impeccable research with passionate engagement, Linda Kerber reshapes the history of American political development by investigating the obligations, rather than rights, of citizenship. This model study underscores the dangers of excusing women from civic responsibilities—like loyalty oaths, jury duty, and military service—required of men. Through the lives of plaintiffs, the strategies of lawyers, and decisions of the courts, Kerber crafts a convincing brief for equal treatment under the law.
Linda K. Kerber (Univ. of Iowa) for No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship (Hill and Wang, 1998). Linda Kerber's magnificent and highly readable book will change the ways in which we think about and teach the history of citizenship. Focusing on citizens' duties rather than rights, she brings to life cases and controversies from the Revolution to the present that demonstrate the myriad ways in which women have been denied full citizenship. A master storyteller, Kerber interweaves tales of emblematic trials with analysis of our tangled traditions of gender relations, never failing to discuss the legacies of past debates for contemporary civic practices.
Helen and Howard R. Marraro Prize
Samuel L. Baily (Rutgers Univ.) for Immigrants in the Lands of Promise: Italians in Buenos Aires and New York City, 1870 to 1914 (Princeton Univ. Press, 1999). Immigrants in the Lands of Promise stands out as a major scholarly achievement in the field of immigration studies. It is distinguished by in-depth research in Italian, Argentine, and American sources, and by a sustained comparative perspective that illuminates issues central to the history of immigration. Using a southern Italian town as its point of departure, the study follows its emigrants to their principal destinations, concentrating on their experiences in Buenos Aires and New York City at the height of the immigration phenomenon. Personal histories reconstructed from private correspondence give a human dimension to the quantitative study of immigration. The interplay between social structures and human agency is the recurring theme that animates this study. The transatlantic dimension allows Baily to document how the social backgrounds of emigrants, their levels of education, and the role of family ties and personal connections affected life in the New World. The mechanisms of emigration, patterns of residence and social mobility, organization of households and neighborhoods, and the political behavior and assimilation of immigrants are discussed in revealing detail. Of great importance is Baily's conclusion that the differing patterns of assimilation of Italian immigrants in North and South America are best understood in light of the different stages of economic development of the receiving countries at the time of the immigrants' arrival.
Kim D. Butler (Rutgers Univ.) for Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won: Afro-Brazilians in Post-Abolition São Paulo and Salvador (Rutgers Univ. Press, 1998). Butler's study is a deeply probing analysis of the multidimensional nature of the transition from slavery to freedom in Brazil, and how people of African descent consciously redefined their place and sought to reshape that society and actualize freedom. Covering the period from abolition in 1888 to the 1930s, which corresponds roughly with the regime of the First Republic (1889–1930), the book focuses on the two cities of São Paulo and Salvador. It explores a wide range of important contexts, including race, without which the phenomenon of the birth and unsteady development of free Brazilian society cannot be fully grasped. Butler's careful exploration of complex issues and her deployment of an African diaspora and comparative framework illuminate the realities of freedom as experienced by people of African descent in the former slave societies of the Atlantic basin. The exceptionally high standards of scholarly inquiry represented in this work mark it as African diaspora history at its best.
Instituted in 1999 and supported by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gutenberg-e Prizes are intended as much to reward excellence in scholarship as to promote and sustain a pioneering program of electronic publishing, especially in fields where the traditional monograph has become endangered. In 1999 six prizes were awarded in the fields of Africa, colonial Latin America, and South Asia.
Heidi Gengenbach (SUNY, Buffalo), "Where Women Make History: Pots, Stories, Tattoos, and Other Gendered Accounts of Community and Change in Magude District, Mozambique, c. 1800 to the Present" (Univ. of Minnesota, 1999).
This is a path-breaking study of how women make history, and how their history-making refigures prevailing accounts of rural society and social change in southern Mozambique. Working in an area where documentary sources are mostly silent about African women, and where women themselves, if questioned directly, usually deny any knowledge of "history," Gengenbach has uncovered a rich and varied archive of unconventional source materials that, together with available archival and oral narratives, illuminates both women's experiences with colonial and postcolonial transformations and their perspectives on history and historymaking. To uncover women's perspectives on the past, Gengenbach moved beyond conventional methods of oral and archival history, living in a rural community for 18 months and using ethnographic methods to explore a wide variety of contemporary practices for clues to women's history and historical knowledge. Gengenbach challenges the recent scholarly argument that, by separating people from the places where their memories are "banked," historical traumas such as war and apartheid have destroyed memories themselves. Through a series of equally sensitive and original readings of other kinds of contemporary practices like storytelling, pottery making, bodily decoration, and land use, Gengenbach both rewrites the social history of rural southern Mozambique from women's perspectives, and expands the already rich and varied methodological repertoire of historians of Africa.
Helena Pohlandt-McCormick (Carleton Coll.), "'I Saw a Nightmare . . .'—Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976" (Univ. of Minnesota, 1999).
This dissertation is an ambitious, deeply engaged reexamination of a protest by black school children against enforced instruction in Afrikaans, which escalated into a yearlong rebellion that spread to many of South Africa's segregated urban townships, and transformed the history of the struggle against apartheid. Arguing that the voluminous literature on Soweto has neglected the children's own role in and perspectives on the crisis, Pohlandt-McCormick sets out to remedy that shortcoming. Based on lengthy discussions with former student activists, together with an exhaustive examination of other contemporary accounts, including students' testimonies to the government commission of inquiry, Pohlandt-McCormick offers both a reinterpretation of several aspects of the uprising and an extended critical analysis of alternative contemporary sources and their influence on the historiography of the movement.
Some of the dissertation's contributions include an incisive analysis of the way both the government and the ANC, though reaching opposite conclusions about the merits and effects of the uprising, adopted similar terms in analyzing its causes; sensitive discussions of the degree to which students' perspectives can be gleaned from the constraints of their testimony to the commission of inquiry and the way participants' own recollections have been shaped by their subsequent histories; a perceptive discussion of the symbolic importance of language as the catalyst of the uprising; and a persuasive critique of the ANC's underestimation of the appeal of the Black Consciousness Movement among schoolchildren in the 1970s.
In all these respects, Pohlandt-McCormick's dissertation offers important correctives and new perspectives on a turning point in the history of racial oppression and struggle in South Africa.
Ignacio Gallup-Diaz (Bryn Mawr Coll.) "The 'Door of the Seas and the Key to the Universe': Indian Politics and Imperial Rivalry in the Darién, 1640–1750" (Princeton Univ., 1999).
This thesis is an ambitious ethnohistory of one of the remotest regions of Latin America and, because of its strategic importance, one of the most conflictual as well. Gallup-Diaz tells the story of indigenous peoples' relations to various European intruders (Spaniards and Scots) and how both the principal Indian group, the Kuna, and the Europeans were affected and altered by the contact. Drawing on manuscript sources from Scotland, England, and Spain, the author demonstrates how native social and political institutions were molded by contact and how Europeans were forced to make indigenous people an integral part of their own calculus of empire. The great strength of the thesis is its engagement with ethnohistorical approaches and its use of historical documentation to establish the cultural dynamic and relationship of the various historical actors. Gallup-Díaz is able to present the Kuna as active players in their own history, able to create new forms of leadership out of the process of contact which enabled them to survive.
Jacqueline Holler (Simon Fraser Univ.), "Escogidas Plantas": Nuns and Beatas in Mexico City, 1531–1601" (Emory Univ., 1998).
This thesis deals with the origins of feminine religiosity in the early history of Mexico. It demonstrates how the early members of the religious orders were conceived of as an extension of the process of conversion and spiritual conquest. Over time, however, the creation of convents became a means of reaffirming the European nature of the colony, at least for its upper classes. Holler's thesis is based on archival research in both Mexico and Spain. It integrates much of the existing historiography but is also particularly effective in telling individual stories and allowing the personalities, strengths, and foibles of various of the women involved to carry the history forward. This thesis is an important contribution in the growing literature on women in colonial Latin America.
Anne Hardgrove (Univ. of Iowa), "Community as Public Culture in Modern India: The Marwaris of Calcutta, c. 1897–1997" (Univ. of Michigan, 1999).
This is a most impressive work, adroitly and effectively combining historical and anthropological approaches to an important topic in 20th-century Indian history. The dissertation is a study of the growth and character of a distinctive "Marwari" identity as it developed among migrants from Rajasthan who established themselves from the early 20th century as a dominant commercial and industrial elite in Calcutta. With its view from both the archive and close participant observation, Hardgrove gives us here the first richly textured, intellectually sophisticated, account of this important business community. An exceptional dissertation, sensitive alike to historical change, cultural theory, and ethnographic detail.
Michael Katten, "Category Creation and the Colonial Setting: Identity Formation in Nineteenth-Century Telugu-Speaking India," (Univ. of California at Berkeley, 1997.
Unsatisfied alike with "top down" studies of colonial discourse, with their Saidian assumptions of hegemony, and easy "subalternist" approaches, Katten endeavors in this dissertation to assess the early colonial period, from the 1780s onward, in southern India as a "dialogic" enterprise, in which distinctive forms of identity emerge as the indigenous peoples interacted with the new colonial rulers. For several different groups Katten explores in detail, carefully and meticulously, close to the ground at the local level, how productive formulations of identity came into being through the working of historical contingency. Using a great deal of material never previously consulted, in both English and Telugu, probing carefully the way identities coalesced in early colonial India, Katten has created a work that, although it requires close attention to a difficult text, is of exceptional originality.