Publication Date

December 1, 2017

Perspectives Section

AHA Activities, AHA Annual Meeting

The following is a list of recipients of the various awards, prizes, and honors that will be presented during the 132nd annual meeting of the American Historical Association on Thursday, January 4, 2018, in the Palladian Ballroom at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC.

2017 Awards for Scholarly and Professional Distinction

Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award

Laura M. Westhoff, University of Missouri–St. Louis

Laura Westhoff has advanced the teaching and learning of history in venues ranging from her university classroom to committee work and conferences at all levels, from the local to the national. In her classroom, Westhoff has clearly focused on empowering her students through shared responsibility for learning and inquiry. As a master educator and advocate of best history teaching practices, she has presented at and organized sessions at the AHA annual meeting focused on expanding knowledge and mastery of effective classroom practices since 2001.

Beveridge Family Teaching Prize

Gustavo Carrera, Buckingham Browne and Nichols School

A former student describes Gustavo Carrera, chair of history and social sciences at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School, as “the single most transformative teacher . . . I had,” with “an infectious passion for history.” That transformational quality and infectious passion is readily apparent in his problem-based approach to teaching history. This approach culminated in the creation of a new American and Global Studies sequence that takes as its goal molding students into apprentice historians and engaging in historical conversation rather than historical certainty.

Equity Award

Lorena Oropeza, University of California, Davis

Lorena Oropeza’s commitment to equity and social justice are evident in her scholarship, teaching, mentorship, and community outreach. Author of ¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No! Chicano Protest and Patriotism during the Viet Nam War Era (2005), Oropeza is influential in Chicano/a studies. Her mentoring pipeline extends from school children in the local community to the diverse graduate students that she recruits and guides toward graduation and careers in the academy and beyond.

Herbert Feis Award in Public History

Lonnie G. Bunch III, Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lonnie Bunch has created an enduring legacy on the National Mall in Washington, DC, as the founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The 19th museum in the Smithsonian system fulfills a vision first expressed by black Civil War veterans for a national memorial to “Negro achievement.” In 2016, at the museum’s dedication, President Barack Obama praised it for firmly rooting the African American experience in the broader American story. Named director in 2005, Bunch undertook the herculean task of raising over a half billion dollars in private funding, assembling a staff, locating a building site, and gathering a collection for the museum. His achievements build on a stellar career as a public historian at the Chicago Historical Society, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award

Kelsey Kauffman, Higher Education Program, Indiana Women’s Prison

“Inspirational” is the word that best encapsulates the advising of Kelsey Kauffman. From 2012 to 2017, she taught a population—incarcerated women at the Indiana Women’s Prison—who benefited from her innovative inspiration more than most. Her students have presented papers at conferences using videoconferencing, published articles, and won prizes. Kauffman made history come alive for her students; today, an astonishing 20 percent of the inmates at IWP are enrolled in college, solely because of the mentoring of this exceptional teacher.

Honorary Foreign Member

Patrick Fridenson, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Patrick Fridenson is professor emeritus at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), in Paris. The EHESS is one of France’s leading academic institutions, and Fridenson is one of its senior scholars and historians. His specialty is business, economic, and labor history, and his many books and articles in the field make him one of its international leaders. In particular, his magisterial Histoire des Usines Renault (1972), on France’s great Renault automobile company, has inspired generations of economic and social historians of France. The many works he has written or edited with international colleagues, especially American and Japanese, further testify to his global prominence as a scholar of business history. In addition, he has contributed to a new history of the French home front in World War I and World War II.

Fridenson has also shaped the field of modern business history through his prodigious labors as a mentor. He has supervised dozens of doctoral dissertations and advised many more scholars informally. In particular, Fridenson has always welcomed American historians, especially at earlier stages in their careers, to France. For over three decades he edited Le Mouvement Social, the leading journal of social history in the country. He made sure to seek out the work of younger American scholars of France, so that many were able to publish some of their earliest research in its pages. He also took time to meet with history professors and graduate students from the United States, helping guide them through the at times labyrinthine processes of consulting archives and doing research in France. Fridenson thus bears significant credit for the emergence of a vibrant and productive community of historians of France in the United States.

Awards for Scholarly Distinction

Richard S. Dunn, University of Pennsylvania

Richard S. Dunn, professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, has been one of the most productive and innovative scholars and editors in the field of early American history throughout his long career. As an administrator, he advanced the study of the field through his founding and leadership of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies (originally the Philadelphia Center) at the university.

Dunn received his PhD in 1955 from Princeton, having previously studied at Harvard. After teaching first at the University of Michigan, he moved to Penn, where he stayed for the remainder of his career. He is known for his work on the Winthrop family of New England, in both Puritans and Yankees: The Winthrop Dynasty of New England, 1630–1717 (1962) and his essential, definitive edition of The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630–1649 (1996), with Laetitia Yeandle. With his late wife, Mary Maples Dunn, and others, he also edited the multi-volume Papers of William Penn (1981–87).

He was an early practitioner of and contributor to the now burgeoning field of Atlantic history through his Sugar and Slaves: The Rise of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624–1713 (1972), detailing the development and distinctive experiences of the settlers and slaves on different Caribbean islands. Dunn has now attained new heights with the publication of A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia (2014), a magisterial comparative study of 2,000 enslaved people over many decades in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The project encompasses an interactive website containing details about 431 individuals in seven multi-generational families so that students and scholars can reap further benefits from analyses of his extraordinary effort in data gathering.

John M. Merriman, Yale University

John M. Merriman is the Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University, where he is an internationally recognized specialist in the history of modern France. Originally from Oregon, Merriman earned his BA, MA, and PhD from the University of Michigan, the latter under the direction of Charles Tilly. Professor Merriman has published numerous major books, ranging from The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848–1851 (1978) to The Stones of Balazuc: A French Village through Time (2002) and Dynamite Club: How a Bomb in Fin-de-Siècle Paris Ignited the Age of Modern Terror (2009 and 2015) to Massacre: The Life and Death of the Paris Commune (2014). Ballad of the Anarchist Bandits: The Crime Spree That Gripped Belle Époque Paris is just out this year. He has also edited and co-edited many books, including 1830 in France (1975), Consciousness and Class Experience in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1979), and Scribner’s Encyclopedia of Modern Europe, 1789 to 1914 and Since 1914 (both 2006, with Jay Winter). He has also written the very influential and highly regarded textbook A History of Modern Europe since the Renaissance (2 vols., 1996, third ed. 2009). Professor Merriman’s books have been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Portuguese.

As his many publications make clear, John Merriman is one of the leading historians of modern France and modern Europe working in the United States. His books are distinguished by an exceptional familiarity with the archives as well as beautiful writing and thoughtful argumentation. His scholarly work has had a major impact on his field and been very influential both in America and abroad. He has been recognized with numerous professional awards, including Yale’s Harwood F. Byrnes/Richard B. Sewall Teaching Prize in 2000, a Docteur Honoris Causa in France in 2002, and Poland’s Medal of Meritorious Service to Polish Education in 2009.

2017 Awards for Publications

Herbert Baxter Adams Prize in European History

Max Bergholz, Concordia University

Violence as a Generative Force: Identity, Nationalism, and Memory in a Balkan Community (Cornell Univ. Press, 2016)

Max Bergholz’s Violence as a Generative Force moves confidently through critical debates about nationality, ethnicity, and “imagined communities” while never losing sight of its particular focus, the terrible story of intercommunity violence in Kulen Vakuf, a small town on the Bosnia–Croatia border, in 1941. His ability to show—at the most local level—how ethnic and national categories emerged when violence catalyzed social, political, and personal claims is a deeply impressive achievement of research and exposition.

George Louis Beer Prize in European International History

Erik Linstrum, University of Virginia

Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire (Harvard Univ. Press, 2016)

Ruling Minds is a brilliant exploration of the uses (and abuses) of psychology by social scientists, colonial officials, and the colonized. Linstrum challenges arguments about the power of expertise, revealing the often contradictory views of those using psychology. Deploying a vast range of empirical data with admirable analytical control, the book moves skillfully through a variety of registers and genres of historical study and argument.

Jerry Bentley Prize in World History

Jeffrey James Byrne, University of British Columbia

Mecca of Revolution: Algeria, Decolonization, and the Third World Order (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

This study of the Algerian National Liberation Front’s role in promoting anticolonial revolutionary movements and South–South alliances reconceptualizes newly independent Algeria, not as a proxy site of superpower rivalry, but rather as an important political actor fomenting decolonization, shaping Cold War competition, and generating an increasingly state-centric global order. Byrne’s account of Algeria’s centrality to international networks of anticolonial nationalism is built out of meticulous archival work in Africa, Europe, and North America.

Albert J. Beveridge Award in American History

David A. Chang, University of Minnesota

The World and All the Things upon It: Native Hawaiian Geographies of Exploration (Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2016)

David Chang masterfully integrates previously unused Hawaiian-language sources with well-known English-language sources to paint a powerfully revisionist portrait of native Hawaiians as geographers, explorers, and knowledge-makers. In the process, Chang successfully joins the Hawaiian quest for knowledge with continental US history by reconsidering the relationship of Hawaiians to Native American and African American communities. The World and All the Things upon It is a model for reading through colonial sources and narratives to imaginatively reconstruct indigenous perspectives on the colonial encounter.

James Henry Breasted Prize in Ancient History

Alain Bresson, University of Chicago, and Steven Rendall, translator

The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy: Institutions, Markets, and Growth in the City-States (Princeton Univ. Press, 2016)

The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy is a groundbreaking contribution to the long-running debates over ancient economic growth. It combines an explicit conceptual framework with a thorough review of every aspect of the Greek economy in the last six centuries BC, from climate and sex to law and finance. Professor Bresson shows convincingly how Greek institutions—above all, those connected to markets—created levels of material well-being with few, if any, premodern parallels.

Raymond J. Cunningham Prize for Undergraduate Journal Articles

Maxwell Ulin, Yale University (BA, 2017)

“Dixie Turns Within: The United Nations and the Fall of Southern Internationalism,” Yale Historical Review (Spring 2016)

Faculty adviser: Glenda Gilmore, Yale University

Maxwell Ulin’s “Dixie Turns Within” is a deeply researched and carefully organized paper that treats an important and largely overlooked shift in southern political elites’ views on postwar internationalism. Ulin poses and answers well-articulated questions that reveal his mastery of the historiography on this topic. His analysis of primary sources is both sophisticated and balanced, documenting and explaining a significant change in US politics that still resonates today.

John H. Dunning Prize in American History

Matthew Karp, Princeton University

This Vast Southern Empire: Slaveholders at the Helm of American Foreign Policy (Harvard Univ. Press, 2016)

In this deeply researched, lyrically written book, Matthew Karp offers a compelling account of southern dominance of antebellum foreign policy and a boldly revisionist interpretation of pro-slavery politics and the global stakes of the sectional crisis. Slaveholders emerge not as beleaguered defenders of a vanishing way of life but as confident champions of the modern plantation system, harnessing the power of the federal government to carve out a hemispheric empire of slavery. This Vast Southern Empire is a major achievement.

John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History

Christopher Goscha, Université du Québec à Montréal

Vietnam: A New History (Basic Books, 2016)

Christopher Goscha’s Vietnam: A New History represents a major achievement in writing Asian history in a global context. A clearly written, highly accessible work of synthesis as well as the culmination of two decades of Goscha’s own pathbreaking scholarship, the book brilliantly situates Vietnam’s close and conflict-ridden relationships with China, France, and the United States in the broader arcs and patterns of Vietnamese history, especially the profound social, economic, and cultural transformations of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Morris D. Forkosch Prize in British History

Laura A. M. Stewart, University of York

Rethinking the Scottish Revolution: Covenanted Scotland, 1637–1651 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

This original interpretation of the Scottish revolution argues powerfully that transformations in political discourse and state formation inaugurated a public, national, popular politics in Scotland. Imaginatively reconstructed from archival and printed materials, and situated in British and European contexts, it demonstrates that a distinctively Scottish political culture invited a broad cross-section of the population to participate in the business of governance, and created a confessional state, while resisting assimilation into the British state in ways that are still recognizable in the modern politics of union.

Leo Gershoy Award in Western European History

Renaud Morieux, University of Cambridge

The Channel: England, France, and the Construction of a Maritime Border in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2016)

Renaud Morieux’s The Channel argues that the waters between England and France were not a “natural” border, but rather an artificial divide, constructed by 18th-century cartographers, scientists, diplomats, legal scholars, and the English and French governments. Using diverse sources (scientific treatises, diplomatic correspondence, custom house records, and smuggling trials), The Channel demonstrates the value of ocean studies and enriches the history of identity, space, and the state in early modern Europe.

William and Edwyna Gilbert Award for Articles on Teaching History

Laura K. Muñoz, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi

“Civil Rights, Educational Inequality, and Transnational Takes on the US History Survey,” History of Education Quarterly 56, no. 1 (February 2016)

Laura Muñoz shares how she took an “undercoverage” approach to her US history survey course. Through explicit planning, she sought to represent a “unified, multilingual, multicultural, and transnational America.” Throughout her article, Muñoz presents models for instruction that not only respect and integrate the histories of students, in this case from a Hispanic-Serving Institution, into the studied narrative but also strive to provide students with the intellectual tools to untangle the historical context of contemporary debates.

J. Franklin Jameson Award for Editing of Historical Sources

Karsten Friis-Jensen, editor, and Peter Fisher, translator

Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum: The History of the Danes, 2 vols. (Oxford Univ. Press, 2015)

An important source presented in an impeccable way with Latin text and English translation, these volumes detail not only Danish history, but also much of Scandinavian and Baltic history (to 1200), including events in England, Germany, Russia, and even Byzantium and Jerusalem. Abundant paratextual materials refer to allusions, quotations, and meters of classical models with a highly accessible index that includes categories such as love, murder, and magic, opening the text to nonspecialists.

Friedrich Katz Prize in Latin American History

Jane E. Mangan, Davidson College

Transatlantic Obligations: Creating the Bonds of Family in Conquest-Era Peru and Spain (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

In this outstanding book, notable for its broad scope, keen analysis, and crisp writing, Mangan examines the many facets of family and kinship in the dynamic environments of 16th-century Spain and Peru. Drawing on years of research on both sides of the Atlantic, Transatlantic Obligations is an impressive example of historical practice. It forces us to reconsider the diverse ways people conceived and maintained familial relations in the decades following Spanish contact.

Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women’s History

Sarah Haley, University of California, Los Angeles

No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2016)

A brilliant account of black women’s experiences of gendered violence in Georgia’s penal system from the 1860s to 1920s, Sarah Haley’s No Mercy Here brings together ideologies of race, gender, and sex in an exploration of the carceral state, capitalism, and “Jim Crow modernity.” Well researched, utilizing individual stories to illuminate broader systems of social control, and engaging with current conversations in US history, No Mercy Here argues for the significance of gender in the construction of racial difference.

Martin A. Klein Prize in African History

Mustafah Dhada, California State University, Bakersfield

The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu in Colonial Mozambique, 1964–2013 (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Mustafah Dhada’s The Portuguese Massacre of Wiriyamu ingeniously marries fieldwork, archival records, media, and fictional accounts to reconstruct a massacre that the Portuguese claimed did not occur, in a place they claimed did not exist. The genius of Dhada’s meticulously researched, multi-layered account is twofold: first, it places the grisly massacre in historical context; second, it expands historical knowledge and perfects method to produce a definitive social history of Wiriyamu.

Littleton-Griswold Prize in US Legal History

Risa Goluboff, University of Virginia School of Law

Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

Risa Goluboff’s Vagrant Nation upends conventional accounts of legal and social change by tracing the demise of the age-old, open-ended vagrancy law regime, which gave police almost unlimited discretion against those deemed disorderly. After World War II, lawyers and an array of “disorderly” people—from hippies to civil rights activists—challenged their vagrancy convictions and the social order upheld by those laws. As this beautifully written and deeply researched book shows, the results transformed the Constitution, while ushering in new forms of control.

J. Russell Major Prize in French History

Rafe Blaufarb, Florida State University

The Great Demarcation: The French Revolution and the Invention of Modern Property (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

Rafe Blaufarb’s broadly conceptualized work returns the French Revolution to its position as the pivot into the modern world: the transformation, initiated in 1789, to a modern property regime. It clarifies the meaning of feudalism on the eve of the Revolution and, with great skill, interweaves property rights with the definition of citizenship in fundamental and historical ways. Blaufarb thus brings together in one powerfully argued monograph the origins of public power and private property in modern France.

Helen & Howard R. Marraro Prize in Italian History

Paul Garfinkel, Simon Fraser University

Criminal Law in Liberal and Fascist Italy (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2016)

In his exhaustively researched study of Italy’s post-Risorgimento legal culture, Paul Garfinkel overturns long-held beliefs about the famous Fascist-era Rocco Code. Far from constituting a break with earlier legal traditions, the Fascist law code systematized Liberal-era criminal justice initiatives. By documenting how Italy’s legal order continued after 1922 largely as before, Garfinkel raises questions of the highest historical significance about the true nature of Mussolini’s regime.

George L. Mosse Prize in European Intellectual and Cultural History

James T. Kloppenberg, Harvard University

Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

James T. Kloppenberg recounts the tribulations of Western democracy from the 16th through the 19th centuries, highlighting its ethical and religious roots. Using a vast array of transatlantic sources and in engaging prose, he reveals both the precariousness and the vitality of democracy as it confronted an array of social and intellectual challenges. Toward Democracy is a buoyant yet cautionary tale that will appeal to specialists and laypeople alike.

John E. O’Connor Film Award

Documentary: I Am Not Your Negro

Raoul Peck, director; Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck, producers (Velvet Film, 2016)

I Am Not Your Negro is a stunning and eloquent portrayal of the life and words of African American writer James Baldwin. Instead of relying on the usual array of talking heads, the film has the rare ability to move audiences with the emotional power of its images and words. More importantly, I Am Not Your Negro reminds us how Baldwin’s critique of American society in the 1970s remains relevant to the racial injustices of today.

Dramatic Feature:Free State of Jones

Gary Ross, director; Jon Kilik and Scott Stuber, producers (Bluegrass Films, Larger Than Life Productions, Route One Entertainment, and Vendian Entertainment, 2016)

Free State of Jones tells the true story of Newton Knight’s transformative journey from Confederate soldier to leader of a group of white and black Mississippians who band together to form the Free State of Jones—counties in Mississippi that declared themselves independent from the Confederacy. The film explores the violence of the critical period from 1862 to the late 1870s and reveals the tragedy of a lost opportunity to achieve a true Reconstruction by recasting race and class relations in the South.

Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize in the History of Journalism

Amelia Bonea, University of Oxford

The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism, and the Politics of Reporting in Colonial India, c. 1830–1900 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016)

The News of Empire is a groundbreaking study of the development of journalism in India during the colonial period that pays close attention to the intersections of technology, national and global politics, and culture. It is highly original, richly detailed, and thoroughly engaged with multiple strands of historical scholarship.

James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History

David Wheat, Michigan State University

Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean, 1570–1640 (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2016)

By putting Africa and Africans squarely at the center of the Atlantic world, Wheat’s Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean offers a strikingly fresh account of the colonization of the Caribbean. Most of the 16th-century African slaves brought to ports in Tierra Firme worked as slaves-for-hire, eventually gaining manumission, accumulating property, and becoming vecinos (citizens). This was also the model of colonization followed by the Portuguese in Cape Verde. To understand the early history of the Caribbean, one needs to turn to Gambia and Cape Verde, not Europe. Atlantic Africa and the Spanish Caribbean is an impressive achievement.

John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History

Audrey Truschke, Rutgers University, Newark

Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Columbia Univ. Press, 2016)

This original and deeply erudite book draws upon an impressive corpus of Persian and Sanskrit sources to examine how the Mughal elite, starting with the emperor Akbar, patronized the Sanskrit traditions of their realm and brought its canon into the larger Persianate world. Truschke’s analysis delicately unravels the dynamic tensions as Hindu and Jain scholars navigated the Mughal court, and as diverse Mughal elites engaged Sanskrit textual production as a core component of imperial power.

Dorothy Rosenberg Prize in Jewish Diaspora History

Roger Horowitz, Hagley Library/University of Delaware

Kosher USA: How Coke Became Kosher and Other Tales of Modern Food (Columbia Univ. Press, 2016)

Kosher USA is a pioneering history of the kosher food industry in the United States. Horowitz deftly combines an analysis of Jewish legal questions, modern industrial developments, advertising campaigns, and domestic trends in a fascinating and sweeping study that leaves few aspects of 20th-century American Jewish history untouched. In a story of successes but also failures, he skillfully investigates the religious and social economy of kosher food supervision and analyzes the forces behind an expanding consumer market.

Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History

Black Perspectives (African American Intellectual History Society)

Keisha N. Blain, University of Pittsburgh, and Ibram X. Kendi, American University

Black Perspectives is a blog published by AAIHS that promotes and makes accessible “scholarship on global black thought, history, and culture.” The editors and dozens of contributors have leveraged this forum to share timely and relevant scholarship without an extensive infrastructure. Through online essays, roundtables, and digital projects such as #CharlestonSyllabus that are widely read, republished, and taught, the site has changed how historians relate to each other and to the public.

Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History

Sowande’ M. Mustakeem, Washington University in St. Louis

Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage (Univ. of Illinois Press, 2016)

As beautifully written as it is a confirmation of the torture, terror, and corporeal violence that Africans endured during the Middle Passage, Sowande’ M. Mustakeem’s Slavery at Sea makes a tremendous contribution to understanding “mobile slavery”—the experiences of those captured, then controlled on slave ships. Using variegated archival sources, she recasts how and when captured Africans’ age, gender, sex, and health while on board both entrenched and shaped the development of the trade itself.

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