John F. Richards Prize
The John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History recognizes the most distinguished work of scholarship on South Asian history published in English. South Asia is defined as the geographic area included in the modern states of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Eligibility will be defined quite broadly, including books on any period or field of South Asian historical studies and works which integrate South Asian history with broader global issues and movements. In making its selection, the prize committee will pay particular attention to depth of research, methodological innovation, conceptual originality and literary excellence. Works that reinterpret old themes or develop new theoretical perspectives are welcome. Anthologies, encyclopedias and other edited volumes will not be considered. The general rules for submission are:
- Books with a copyright of 2016 are eligible for the 2017 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 “Richards Prize Entry.” Print copies preferred unless otherwise indicated. If only e-copy is available, please contact review committee members beforehand to arrange submission format.
Please Note: Entries must be received by May 15, 2017, to be eligible for the 2017 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the AHA website in October 2017 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2018 AHA annual meeting in Washington, DC.
For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator.
Contact Information for Committee Members
Send one copy to each committee member and complete the prize submission form (above).
2016 Richards Prize
Nayanjot Lahiri, Ashoka Univ.
Ashoka in Ancient India (Harvard Univ. Press)
Reversing all conventions of kingship, the Emperor Ashoka recorded his greatest military triumph as tragedy, proclaiming an order of nonviolence. Lahiri deftly adjudicates between archaeological, textual, and geographical evidence to offer a dazzling interpretation of a remarkable figure of the ancient world and a deep history of ancient society. Her innovative linking of archaeology and biography recasts our understanding of historical methods and ancient worlds alike.