Herbert Feis Award

The 2020 submission deadline has passed. Awardees will be announced this fall.

Herbert FeisEstablished in 1984, this prize is offered annually to recognize distinguished contributions to public history, broadly defined. The prize is named in memory of Herbert Feis (1893–1972), public servant and historian of recent American foreign policy, with an initial endowment from the Rockefeller Foundation. See the list of past recipients.

Eligibility

Individuals and collaborative groups are eligible to apply. Contributions could, for example, include work as the administrator of a public history group or agency (such as a historical society, a historic site, or a community history project) or as the creator or producer of a public history product or products (such as a museum exhibit, radio script, web site, oral history collection, or film). Often, the contribution will be the result of years of effort in the field, but the prize might also recognize a singular contribution of major importance such as a pathbreaking museum exhibit. Public history is defined as work primarily directed at non-academic, non-school-based audiences. Those audiences could be very broad (e.g., television viewers) or highly specialized (e.g., policymakers). Although the audience should be primarily outside of academia, the recipient(s) of the award could be employed at a university.

Application Process

Log into your MY AHA account at historians.org/myaha and click “Available Awards” in the Awards, Grants, and Fellowships section. If nominating someone else, select the Nominate button and search for the nominee’s existing record or create a new record. (For a group nomination, select one person to be the main nominee and include other names later.)

  1. Fill in the application form, which includes the nominee’s contact information and the names of additional nominees (if group nomination).
  2. Upload an Application Packet as a single PDF. Include the following documents:
    • Nomination letter describing the individual’s or group’s public history contribution
    • CV (up to 5 pages) for each nominee
    • Supporting materials (up to 10 pages). These could be letters of support, exhibit scripts, interpretive plans, National Register nominations, gray literature or policy papers, or finding aids. Please note that books are not accepted as the sole basis for the award, though they can be cited as part of the nominee's contribution to the field of public history.

Please note: Nominees not selected in previous years may resubmit with updates.

Nominations must be submitted by May 15, 2021, to be eligible for the 2021 competition. Mailed, emailed, or faxed applications will not be accepted. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2021 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2022 AHA annual meeting in New Orleans.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.