Herbert Feis Award Recipients
Established in 1984, this award is offered annually to recognize distinguished contributions to public history during the previous 10 years. 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. The prize was originally given for books produced by historians working outside of academe. In 2006, the scope of the award was changed to emphasize significant contributions in the field of public history.
2016 Feis Award
Yolanda Chávez Leyva, University of Texas at El Paso
Yolanda Chávez Leyva has contributed to the democratization of history by giving voice to residents of one of the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in the United States. Establishing the Museum Urbano, a “museum without walls,” Professor Leyva has overseen oral history projects, museum exhibits, publications, and public programs documenting the rich history of the Segundo Barrio in El Paso, while striving to empower residents of the community to use this understanding of the past to shape their future. At a time of fierce polemical debates over immigration, Professor Leyva’s scholarship affirms the pluralism of the American society.