Joan Kelly Memorial Prize Recipients
Named in memory of Joan Kelly, this prize is awarded annually for the book in women's history and/or feminist theory that best reflects the high intellectual and scholarly ideals exemplified by the life and work of Joan Kelly (1928–82). The prize was established by the Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession and the Conference Group on Women's History in 1983, to be administered by the American Historical Association and carries a cash award of $1,000.
Submissions can deal with any chronological period, any geographical location, or any area of feminist theory that incorporates a historical perspective. Books should demonstrate originality of research, creativity of insight, graceful stylistic presentation, skilful use of analysis, and a recognition of the important role of sex and gender in the historical process. The interrelationship between women and the historical process should be addressed.
2015 Kelly Prize
Susan S. Lanser, Brandeis Univ.
The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic, 1565–1830 (Univ. of Chicago Press)
The Sexuality of History provides a new analysis of the specter of women loving women contained in the publications of both male and female authors, arguing that “the Sapphic” underwrote early modern understandings of “the modern.” Lanser shows that rather than voicing individuals’ idiosyncratic desires, texts that invoked the intimate connections among women enabled critiques of the patriarchal order and supported radical visions of both equality and the normative presence of women in the public sphere.