Awards, Prizes, and Honors to Be Conferred at the 134th Annual Meeting
The following is a list of recipients of the various awards, prizes, and honors that will be presented during the 134th annual meeting of the American Historical Association on Friday, January 3, 2020, in the Metropolitan Ballroom East of the Sheraton New York in New York City.
2019 Awards for Scholarly and Professional Distinction
Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award
Trevor Getz, San Francisco State University
Trevor Getz is an outstanding history educator and advocate. His colleagues and former students praise his dynamic and innovative teaching and the appreciation for history he inspires. Getz has authored curriculum materials and provided workshops and trainings for high school and college history instructors, including an innovative graphic history of the colonial Gold Coast. He is leading History for the 21st Century, an effort to reconceive introductory history courses and provide supporting materials.
Beveridge Family Teaching Prize
John Hopper, Granada Public Schools, Colorado
John Hopper is an outstanding history teacher who has had a transformative impact on his students and community. Colleagues and students attest to his innovative and dynamic teaching, including his use of distance learning to include students from remote rural areas. Most impressively, Hopper has guided students for over two decades in the impressive and award-winning work of unearthing, preserving, and sharing the history of the Amache Japanese Internment Camp in Grenada.
Equity Award (Individual)
Calvin White Jr., University of Arkansas
At the University of Arkansas, there is a “Calvin White pipeline” of students who follow Dr. White from course to course—all African and African American studies courses are cross-listed with history—and in the last decade, more than 50 AAST students have double-majored or -minored in history. This pipeline has introduced African American history to hundreds of students, while also creating a more inclusive university; many history majors have gone on to pursue MAs or PhDs in history as well.
Equity Award (Institution)
Howard University, Department of History
Few departments in the United States rival Howard's success in developing black intellectuals. In the last 10 years alone, the Department of History has produced 55 black PhDs and nearly 20 black MAs. No single department in the country has such a record of producing historians from underrepresented groups in the last decade. Moreover, the department has developed a cadre of black public historians who are engaged in interpretation at museums and archives throughout the nation.
Herbert Feis Award in Public History
Refusing to Forget
Sonia Hernandez (Texas A&M Univ.), Trinidad Gonzales (South Texas Coll.), John Morán González (Univ. of Texas at Austin), Benjamin Johnson (Loyola Univ. Chicago), and Monica Muñoz Martinez (Brown Univ.)
The Refusing to Forget project brings awareness to the history of state-sanctioned violence against ethnic Mexicans in Texas during the 1910s. To date, it has produced the first major museum exhibit on the subject, secured four state historical markers, and developed public programming that included lesson plans, lectures, poetry readings, art exhibitions, and conferences. The project opened up an important conversation about civil rights and state violence in Texas, and serves as a model of public history in practice.
Nancy Lyman Roelker Mentorship Award
Stephen J. Sullivan, Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, NY
Stephen J. Sullivan has made a difference in his students’ lives. His 30-plus-year teaching career “has never been about showcasing what he knows,” but is aimed at inspiring and exciting students about history. They recall how “Sully” led the class in singing “John Brown’s Body,” used an “outrageous analogy,” or impersonated a historical figure. Mostly, they remember that he taught them how to think and write about history in order to grasp its significance.
Honorary Foreign Member
Ramachandra Guha, India
Ramachandra Guha, an independent scholar based in Bangalore, India, and author of some 20 books, has made landmark contributions in environmental history, sports history, biography, and Indian history generally. His first book, The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalaya (1989), marked the beginning of environmental history in South Asia and was the first work to articulate connections between colonialism and ecological decline in South Asia. His co-authored book This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India (1992) is a foundational synthesis of environmental history in South Asia, and his Global Environmentalism (2000) drew attention to the variety among environmental movements around the world.
His A Corner of a Foreign Field: The Indian History of a British Sport (2002) opened up an entirely new field of historical inquiry by identifying the cricket field as a lens for social history in India. He published several other works on cricket history. Guha displayed a rare ability to communicate rigorous historical research engagingly to a wide audience in India after Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (2007). This monumental history of postindependence India sought to explain its durable democracy and won awards in India and around the world. His two volumes on the life and career of Gandhi and his circle—Gandhi before India (2013) and Gandhi, 1914–1948: The Years That Changed the World (2018)—deploy new archival materials to paint the richest portrait yet of one of world history’s iconic figures.
Guha’s illustrious career includes teaching engagements at Yale, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Oslo, and London School of Economics. He has won multiple honors and prizes, including the Fukuoka Prize (2015), for outstanding academic contributions to the world’s understanding of Asia. For decades, he has extended collegial assistance to many US-based environmental historians and historians of India.
Awards for Scholarly Distinction
Mary Elizabeth Berry, University of California, Berkeley
Mary Elizabeth Berry, Class of 1944 Professor of History emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, helped shape the fields of premodern Japanese political, social, and cultural history.
Her first book, Hideyoshi (1982), was a nuanced study of how the Japanese warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi managed to combine the use of compromise and violence to achieve peace and a durable balance of power among hundreds of fractious factions in Japan’s Warring States period (c. 1467–1590).
In The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto (1994), Berry turned to the toll war took on those who lived in the imperial capital of Kyoto during the Warring States period. Using a wealth of documentary and visual sources to support a deep and almost anthropological analysis of behavior and motives, Berry showed how war disrupted communal structures and social life, but also how new forms of cultural expression—most notably those of popular protest and display—emerged from upheaval.
In Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period (2006), Berry explored the dynamics of Japan’s burgeoning print culture in the 17th through the early 19th century. She showed, again by focusing closely on lived and narrated experience, how the cultural connections fostered by the spread of literacy and printed materials created meaningful forms of cultural integration before the nation state.
Berry was the first woman to chair the Department of History at Berkeley, and she chaired three other departments there as well. Her professional achievements were recognized by her election as president of the Association for Asian Studies in 2004–05 and as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.
Evelyn S. Rawski, University of Pittsburgh
The scholarship of Evelyn Sakakida Rawski, Distinguished University Professor emerita in the Department of History of the University of Pittsburgh, spans the cultural, social, and political history of China and the Qing (1644–1911) empire. She has contributed notably to the major thematic innovations and revisions of the China field since the 1970s.
Her earliest books, Agricultural Change and the Peasant Economy of South China (1972) and Education and Popular Literacy in Ch’ing China (1979), mark the advent of a “China-centered” historiographical trend—one that moved away from earlier emphasis on relations with and comparisons to the West to questions of Chinese history from a Chinese perspective. A further group of important co-edited volumes helped broaden the purview of Qing cultural history to include study of death rituals and music.
In another cycle of scholarship, drawing on Manchu-language documents from the Qing archives, Rawski portrayed the Qing as a distinctive multinational empire in its own right, rather than another in a succession of Chinese, or Sinicized, dynasties. Her presidential address to the Association for Asian Studies in 1996 and her meticulous study The Last Emperors (1998) helped establish the “New Qing History,” once controversial but now widely accepted among scholars working in the West—and many in China as well. This represents a fundamental revision in Chinese and Qing history.
In Early Modern China and Northeast Asia: Cross-Border Perspectives (2015), Rawski promoted another historiographical turn, building on the New Qing History, featuring comparative studies of the Qing and other Eurasian empires and, more broadly, reconsiderations of imperial China’s place in the world.
2019 Awards for Publications
Herbert Baxter Adams Prize in European History
Mar Hicks, Illinois Institute of Technology
Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing (MIT Press, 2018)
Mar Hicks’s Programmed Inequality explores the entangled histories of gender and technological development in the British computing industry. Hicks meticulously shows how the British government’s stubborn investment in heteronormative ideals for the labor force fed systematic discrimination against the women who made up the majority of skilled computing workers and hastened the sector’s decline. Grounded in deep archival and ethnographic work, it advances critical debates about labor, gender, and (supposed) meritocracy.
George Louis Beer Prize in European International History
Quinn Slobodian, Wellesley College
Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism (Harvard Univ. Press, 2018)
Globalists, a persuasive and clearly argued study of globalization, pushes our understanding of the "birth of neoliberalism" into unexpectedly new territories and directions. It examines attempts after World War I to regulate the world economy to make it safe for capitalism by co-opting tools of governance and thwarting democracy through global institutions. The book is notable for its originality and assured ability to deploy archival research in order to place pertinent intellectual histories in their networked institutional settings.
Jerry Bentley Prize in World History
Priya Satia, Stanford University
Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution (Penguin and Stanford Univ. Press, 2018)
In analyzing the place of gun manufacturing in industrialization, Priya Satia's Empire of Guns makes an expansive, multilayered argument with far-reaching contemporary implications. Starting with an English Quaker gun-manufacturing family, Satia uses an ever-broadening circle of archival sites to show the important role of the state and its imperial aims in the violent beginning of industrialization. She compels us to see world history's unique ability to reckon with the moral and social implications of global economic change.
Albert J. Beveridge Award in American History
Nan Enstad, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Cigarettes, Inc.: An Intimate History of Corporate Imperialism (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2018)
Nan Enstad's reconstruction of US tobacco's early-20th-century global expansion offers powerful insights on corporate personhood, disruptive innovation, and transnational cultures of capitalism. Jim Crow segregation created a network of white male corporate actors from the US Upper South that then oversaw the simultaneous expansion of the corporation in both the US and in China, linking the techniques and practices of racial segregation to corporate imperialism. This rich study of US managers, many from the rural South, and their Chinese colleagues radically rethinks the history of global capitalism.
James Henry Breasted Prize in Ancient History
Jack Tannous, Princeton University
The Making of the Medieval Middle East: Religion, Society, and Simple Believers (Princeton Univ. Press, 2018)
In emphasizing the interactions of non-Muslim communities and their Muslim conquerors, Jack Tannous offers a compelling corrective to widespread scholarly emphasis on Islamic sources for the first centuries of the Islamic era. His trans-confessional history explores the role of non-Muslims, especially non-elites, as Christians remained in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt. Tannous’s balanced narrative, grounded in diverse sources, frames a new historiographical model for the medieval Middle East.
Raymond J. Cunningham Prize for Undergraduate Journal Article
Lena Giger, Stanford University (BA, 2019)
“The Right to Participate and the Right to Compete: Stanford Women’s Athletics, 1956–1995,” Herodotus (Spring 2019)
Faculty adviser: Estelle Freedman, Stanford University
This article on women’s participation in college athletics is written with verve and clearly argued. It makes excellent use of the Stanford archives, especially oral histories, without losing sight of the national context. Admirably, Lena Giger explores complex change over time and avoids a simple progress narrative, investigating three periods and characterizing each to demonstrate how participation, tension, and then competition won out in women’s athletics. Giger shows how generational divides, and ideas about competition versus participation, made the implementation of Title IX difficult. The detailed analysis of Stanford’s programs is convincing enough to make it more widely applicable.
John H. Dunning Prize in American History
Christina Snyder, Penn State University
Great Crossings: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in the Age of Jackson (Oxford Univ. Press, 2017)
Great Crossings uses the rise and fall of the Choctaw Academy, a for-profit Indian school supervised by the US government, to illuminate the intersections of race, slavery, and empire in Jacksonian America. Christina Snyder reconstructs daily life at the academy, which made near-captives of its native students even as it functioned as a prison labor camp for enslaved African Americans, and describes how Choctaws and others dismantled the school and built their own institutions of learning. Deftly researched and vividly written, Great Crossings is a testament to intellectual freedom and the power of education.
John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History
Chris Courtney, Durham University
The Nature of Disaster in China: The 1931 Yangzi River Flood (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)
Chris Courtney brings the best insights of environmental history to bear on China’s past. From his evocative portrait of the pre-hydraulic Middle Yangzi as an Asian Amazonia to his close analysis of the catastrophic 1931 Yangzi River flood, Courtney’s work illuminates both the longue durée and the immediate moment. The Nature of Disaster in China interweaves human activity and the workings of nature into a haunting account of how disasters make history.
Morris D. Forkosch Prize in British History
Robert Saunders, Queen Mary University of London
Yes to Europe! The 1975 Referendum and Seventies Britain (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)
As the United Kingdom still reels from the aftereffects of the Brexit referendum of 2016, Robert Saunders offers an ambitious, comprehensive, and highly readable account of the 1975 referendum on membership in the European Economic Community. Yes to Europe! uses the politics of the referendum as a window onto the defining issues of postwar Britain, including decolonization, second-wave feminism, secularization, and Celtic nationalism. Moving between the high politics of party leadership and the popular politics of advertising, street signs, and sermons, this meticulously researched study illuminates the extraordinary field of forces impelling the United Kingdom toward and away from Europe.
Leo Gershoy Award in Western European History
Hugh Cagle, University of Utah
Assembling the Tropics: Science and Medicine in Portugal’s Empire, 1450–1700 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)
Hugh Cagle’s original, erudite, and engrossing Assembling the Tropics explores how the varied environments of the Portuguese empire, from Goa to Brazil, challenged existing European paradigms of nature and disease, leading to the gradual emergence of the notion of “tropical medicine.” Ambitious in scope, compellingly written, and thoughtfully attentive to the interplay between indigenous and European medical knowledge, this monograph significantly enriches our understanding of early modern medicine, environmental thought, and the Portuguese imperial encounter.
William and Edwyna Gilbert Award for Articles on Teaching History
Sam Wineburg, Stanford University; Mark Smith, Stanford History Education Group; and Joel Breakstone, Stanford University
“What Is Learned in College History Classes?” Journal of American History 104 (March 2018)
This article takes up the challenge of designing appropriate assessments for measuring student learning in college history classes. The authors present three sample assessment exercises on reading and interpreting sources, each of which could be adapted to other fields of history, along with an illuminating discussion of student responses. The assessments provide an opportunity to reevaluate how we engage history learners and teach skills of historical thinking within the classroom and beyond.
J. Franklin Jameson Award for Editing of Historical Sources
Bettine Birge, University of Southern California
Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan: Cases from the Yuan dianzhang (Harvard Univ. Press, 2017)
The massive compendium known as the Yuan dianzhang (Statutes and Precedents of the Yuan Dynasty) illuminates daily life and imperial governance in Yuan China with exceptional detail. Bettine Birge’s Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan makes this vibrant source’s central chapter on marriage accessible to nonspecialist readers for the first time. It is a brilliant work of translation and incisive historical commentary.
Friedrich Katz Prize in Latin American History
Michel Gobat, University of Pittsburgh
Empire by Invitation: William Walker and Manifest Destiny in Central America (Harvard Univ. Press, 2018)
Michel Gobat’s beautifully written history of William Walker’s project in Nicaragua offers an insightful and timely reframing of US imperialism in Latin America as intricately connected to hemispheric conversations about race and democratic ideals. The book’s empirical depth, persuasive argumentation, and theoretical underpinnings testify to the potential of combining a commitment to archival research with a devotion to clear prose.
Joan Kelly Memorial Prize in Women’s History
Nicole E. Barnes, Duke University
Intimate Communities: Wartime Healthcare and the Birth of Modern China, 1937–1945 (Univ. of California Press, 2018)
Intimate Communities is a pathbreaking book that shows how work on women and gender can reframe our understanding of history’s defining metanarratives—in this case, the creation of modernity and the nation state in wartime China. It combines histories of emotion and of medicine to illustrate women’s significance in cultivating a modern national community. Women’s dual work as military and civilian nurses gave them unparalleled power to extend and maintain state control over the population while simultaneously “softening the disciplinary power of the state.”
Martin A. Klein Prize in African History
Michael A. Gomez, New York University
African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa (Princeton Univ. Press, 2018)
In African Dominion, Michael Gomez upends dominant narratives of empire by moving West Africa to the center of world history. This new chronology of medieval West African state building also illuminates the categories through which individuals and groups understood themselves and others within these political, economic, and religious spaces. In so doing, Gomez’s sweeping study enriches our understanding of ethnicity, race, gender, slavery, and their intersections. Historians will wrestle with the implications of this book for years to come.
Littleton-Griswold Prize in US Legal History
Martha S. Jones, Johns Hopkins University
Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)
Martha Jones’s Birthright Citizens examines the grassroots origins and racialized meanings of citizenship in the early 19th century. Carefully documenting the everyday legal mobilization of ordinary people, Jones explains how free and formerly enslaved African Americans forged ideas about citizenship by claiming protections as rights-bearing individuals. Powerfully written and profoundly timely, Birthright Citizens reveals how precarious populations shaped their own citizenship rights. This essential contribution to American legal history sheds new light on debates over birthright citizenship and rights formation.
Russell Major Prize in French History
Venus Bivar, Washington University in St. Louis
Organic Resistance: The Struggle over Industrial Farming in Postwar France (Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2018)
Elegantly written and thoroughly researched in archival and print materials alike, Venus Bivar’s Organic Resistance proves a startling claim: French organic farming and back-to-the-land culture has right-wing roots. Exploring the political economy of food production in highly original ways, Bivar disrupts nationalist self-understanding and historiographic common sense alike. Showing how resistance to modernization produced some of the seemingly most enduring and endearing qualities of “modern France,” this book is a major contribution to the study of food systems, environmentalism, and global capitalism.
Helen & Howard R. Marraro Prize in Italian History
Helena K. Szépe, University of South Florida
Venice Illuminated: Power and Painting in Renaissance Manuscripts (Yale Univ. Press, 2018)
Helena Szépe ranges broadly across more than two centuries of Venetian art history and, with commanding scholarly authority, analyzes the vital connections between artists and their patrons in the genres of miniature and manuscript painting. Her visually stunning book is the fruit of a prodigious research undertaking that opens new and exciting ways of thinking about Venetian art and political office holding from the 14th to the 17th centuries.
George L. Mosse Prize in European Intellectual and Cultural History
Guy Beiner, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster (Oxford Univ. Press, 2018)
Guy Beiner’s Forgetful Remembrance demonstrates why historians should heed the voices of the defeated who transmitted subversive and traumatic memories in private after their proscription in public. Transfigured and displaced, mnemonic traces of their trans-sectarian anti-colonial rebellion in 1798 survived underground for two centuries, surfacing at times to disrupt official politics. This carefully researched and elegantly written archaeology of memory highlights the practices of forgetting intrinsic to patterns of remembrance.
John E. O’Connor Film Award
Documentary: Bisbee ’17
Robert Greene, director and editor; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Bennett Elliott, producers (4th Row Films)
On July 12, 1917, some 2,000 deputized residents of Bisbee, Arizona, organized by the management of Phelps Dodge, the town’s primary employer, rounded up 1,330 striking workers, union activists, and recent immigrants, and deported them to the New Mexico desert. Precisely 100 years later, Bisbee’s citizens staged a re-enactment of those events. Dramatizing scenes based on the town’s collective memory with surprising humor and suspense, the film simultaneously reminds us of the intertwined histories of immigration and labor and evokes the contemporary resonance of past conflicts.
Dramatic Feature: Colette
Wash Westmoreland, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Pamela Koffler, Michel Litvak, Christine Vachon, producers (Killer Content, Number 9 Films)
This biopic of French novelist Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873–1954) provides an origin story for the woman we know simply as “Colette.” We follow the young Colette from her home in rural France to the salons of Paris as she becomes a ghostwriter for her husband’s literary firm and then rebels against his attempts to control her and take credit for her work. Set at the fin de siècle, the film renders universal one woman’s struggle to find her voice.
Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize in the History of Journalism
Phoebe Musandu, Georgetown University, Qatar
Pressing Interests: The Agenda and Influence of a Colonial East African Newspaper Sector (McGill-Queen’s Univ. Press, 2018)
Pressing Interests is a carefully researched and sophisticated study of the development of newspapers in colonial Kenya. It is also an innovative case study of the multiple roles newspapers played in a multicultural colonial society. Sensitive to the internal differences among the diverse groups in the colony as well as to the conflicts between them, the book is an impressive contribution to the history of the press in Kenya and East Africa and to the understanding of the role newspapers and journalists played in the decolonization process.
James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History
Elena A. Schneider, University of California, Berkeley
The Occupation of Havana: War, Trade, and Slavery in the Atlantic World (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2018)
This well-argued and elegant book models how to write the Atlantic history of a single event, in this instance, the British occupation of Havana during the Seven Years’ War. Elena Schneider’s analysis, both deep and wide-ranging, accommodates an array of historical actors and situates Cuba in Caribbean, Atlantic, and imperial contexts. Her longue durée perspective integrates military history, Atlantic history, and the history of enslaved people in what is sure to be a lasting interpretation of a pivotal moment.
John F. Richards Prize in South Asian History
Sebastian R. Prange, University of British Columbia
Monsoon Islam: Trade and Faith on the Medieval Malabar Coast (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)
Monsoon Islam evocatively brings to life the world of premodern and early modern Indian Ocean studies in a sweeping synthesis, blending new insights derived from an array of textual and material archives in multiple countries. Rich in details about the commercial-political networks of southern India and beyond, the book challenges a good deal of the existing scholarly conventional wisdom, and along the way considerably enhances our knowledge of the global history of Islam as well.
Dorothy Rosenberg Prize in History of the Jewish Diaspora
James Loeffler, University of Virginia
Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century (Yale Univ. Press, 2018)
James Loeffler explores how the death of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the emergence of ethno-national European states inspired Jewish jurists to conceptualize human rights. The labors of five activist-intellectuals during World War II culminated in 1948 with the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Loeffler twins this history with Zionist history, mirrored in the UN’s 1948 decision to sanction a Jewish state. Elegantly written and deeply researched, this book tells two histories as one.
Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History
American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History
Robert K. Nelson, Justin Madron, Nathaniel Ayers, and Edward Ayers, Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond
American Panorama, an ever-expanding atlas of data-rich maps, experiments with what spatial visualization can reveal about topics including the discriminatory redlining of neighborhoods, urban renewal, and congressional elections. Each map makes explicit its context, sources, and methodological underpinnings while making historical arguments through interactive digital visualizations. A concern with transcultural history of current resonance helps American Panorama target a large audience beyond the academy.
Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History
Yuko Miki, Fordham University
Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018)
This brilliant, original, and deeply archival book shows how “the exclusion and inequality of indigenous and African-descended people became embedded in the very construction of an inclusive nationhood and citizenship” in postcolonial Brazil. A work of African diaspora, comparative indigenous, and borderland studies, it illuminates the origins of “racial democracy” and proffers a cutting-edge, transnational framework for appreciating race, citizenship, national identity, slavery, abolition, popular culture, and the meaning of freedom in postcolonial Latin America.
Trevor Getz’s image courtesy of Jessica Getz; John Hopper’s image courtesy of Granada School District; Calvin White Jr.’s image courtesy of University of Arkansas; Mary Elizabeth Berry’s image courtesy of D. Angelova.
Note: This article has been updated with a corrected description of Nan Enstad's Cigarettes, Inc.: An Intimate History of Corporate Imperialism.
Devon Reich is operations and marketing assistant at the AHA.
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