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 77 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.
2016 Awards for Scholarly Distinction
Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia Univ.
Alice Kessler-Harris is one of the finest historians of our time: a writer and biographer of breathtaking eloquence, a pioneer of a social history that embraces women as well as men, a scholar who regularly engages the deepest moral and political questions that shaped American life. She has done more than any other single modern historian to reconstruct and draw attention to the history of women and work; she is acutely sensitive to dimensions of race and ethnicity.
Colin A. Palmer, Princeton Univ.
Colin Palmer has written extensively in an overlapping range of historical fields: African American, African diaspora, colonial Latin America, and the Caribbean. He is a wide-ranging scholar of the African diaspora as well as an extraordinary academic leader. For his innovative monographs and comprehensive collaborations; his commitments to teaching, to mentorship, and to departmental governance; and for his far-reaching service to the profession of history, the AHA awards Colin Palmer the Award for Scholarly Distinction.