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The American Studies Association is the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history.  Read on to find out more what the ASA does.

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American Studies Association Annual Awards Ceremony

October 22, 2014
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All requests for interviews must be submitted by email to the press contact
For additional information about the ASA Awards Program, click here

The American Studies Association is proud to recognize the continuing high level of scholarship examining our American cultures.  We ask all members of the Association to join in congratulating their fellow members to be honored at this year’s award ceremony.

In the spirit of The Fun and the Fury, the Awards Ceremony will take a more celebratory form this year.  It will be held from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, November 7, Westin Bonaventure, California Ballroom Foyer, with champagne and non-alcoholic beverages available to toast and cheer this year’s fantastic award winners!

The 2014 Constance M. Rourke Prize
Chair: Franny Nudelman, Carleton University
Rick Baldoz, Oberlin College
Kathleen Donegan, University of California, Berkeley

The Constance Rourke Prize has been awarded annually since 1987 for the best article published in American Quarterly.  The winner of this year’s prize is Janet M. Davis, “Cockfight Nationalism: Blood Sport and the Moral Politics of American Empire and Nation Building,” Volume 65, Number 3, September 2013.

Finalist mention goes to Britt Rusert, “Delany’s Comet: Fugitive Science and the Speculative Imaginary of Emancipation,” Volume 65, Number 4, December 2013.

The 2014 Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize
Chair: Kirsten Silva Gruesz, University of California, Santa Cruz
Wendy Cheng, Arizona State University
Brian Klopotek, University of Oregon

The Ralph Henry Gabriel Dissertation Prize, established in 1974, has been awarded annually since 1987 by the Association for the best dissertation in American Studies.

The winner of this year’s prize is Juliana Hu Pegues, University of Minnesota, Department of American Studies, for her dissertation, “Interrogating Intimacies: Asian American and Native Relations in Colonial Alaska.”

Finalist mention goes to Ruth Yow, Yale University, American Studies Program, for her dissertation: “Home Team Colors: Race, Education, and Justice in the Resegregating South, 1964-2013.”

The 2014 Gene Wise - Warren Susman Prize
Chair: Magdalena Zaborowska, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Beth Piatote, University of California, Berkeley
Carlo Rotella, Boston College

The Gene Wise - Warren Susman Prize is awarded each year for the best paper to be presented by a graduate student at the annual meeting.  The winning paper may deal with any aspect of American history, literature, or culture, but should reflect the breadth, the critical imagination, the intellectual boldness, and the cross-disciplinary perspective so strongly a part of the scholarship of both Gene Wise and Warren Susman. 

The 2014 prizewinner is Stuart Schrader, New York University (NY) for his paper, “Rethinking the Militarization of Policing: Counterinsurgent Knowledge and California’s Response to the Watts Rebellion.”

The 2014 Yasuo Sakakibara Prize
Chair: Catherine Ceniza Choy, University of California, Berkeley
Christina Klein, Boston College
Jean Pfaelzer, University of Delaware

The Yasuo Sakakibara Prize is awarded annually for the best paper to be presented by an international scholar at the annual meeting.  The winning paper may deal with any aspect of American history, culture, or society. 

The winning author of the 2014 Yasuo Sakakibara Prize is Mary Chapman. The title of her paper is “Playing in the Mediascape: A Pseudonymous Travelogue by Sui Sin Far/Edith Eaton.”

The committee also designated two finalists. The first is Broderick Chow. The title of his paper is “A Professional Body: fin-de-siècle physical culture and the performance of modern manliness.”  The second finalist is Camille Bégin.  The title of her paper is “Sensory Economies: Tasting Food in the New Deal Era.”

The 2014 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize
Chair: Shelley Streeby, University of California, San Diego
Macarena Gómez-Barris, University of Southern California
Tavia Nyong’o, New York University

The Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize was established in 2002 and is awarded annually for the best-published first book in American Studies that highlights the intersections of race with gender, class, sexuality and/or nation. 

The 2014 winner is Alexandra T. Vazquez Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music. Duke University Press (2013).

Finalist mention goes to: Christina Hanhardt for Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence.  Duke University Press (2013).

The 2014 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize
Chair: Deborah Vargas, University of California, Riverside
Glenn Hendler, Fordham University
Alondra Nelson, Columbia University

The John Hope Franklin Publication Prize was established in 1986 and has been awarded annually for the best book published in American Studies.

The 2014 prizewinner is Raúl Coronado for A World Not To Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture. Harvard University Press (2013).

Finalist mention goes to: Christina Hanhardt for Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence.  Duke University Press (2013).

The 2014 Mary C. Turpie Prize
Chair: Lucy Maddox, Georgetown University
Bruce Burgett, University of Washington, Bothell
Mark Metzler Sawin, Eastern Mennonite University

Annually, the American Studies Association gives the Mary C. Turpie Prize, established in 1993, to a person who has demonstrated outstanding abilities and achievement in American Studies teaching, advising, and program development at the local or regional level.

The 2014 prizewinner is Melody Graulich, Utah State University.

The 2014 Angela Y. Davis Prize
Chair:  Mary Helen Washington, University of Maryland, College Park
Michelle Mitchell, New York University
David Roediger, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Sonia Saldivar-Hull, University of Texas, San Antonio

The Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship recognizes scholars who have applied or used their scholarship for the “public good.” This includes work that explicitly aims to educate the lay public, influence policies, or in other ways seeks to address inequalities in imaginative, practical, and applicable forms.

The 2014 prizewinner is Rosa-Linda Fregoso, University of California, Santa Cruz.

The 2014 Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize
Chair: Michael Cowan, University of California, Santa Cruz
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York
Janice A. Radway, Northwestern University

The Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize honors lifetime achievement in and contribution to the field of American Studies. Each year’s prize committee is instructed to consider afresh the meaning of a “lifetime contribution to American Studies.” The definitions of terms like “contribution” and even of “American Studies” remain open, healthily contested, and thus renewed. 

The 2014 prizewinner is Michael Denning, Yale University.

View the Annual Meeting Program Online (click here)

ASA Responds to False Accusations of Discrimination at Upcoming Conference


October 21, 2014
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All queries must be submitted by email to the press contact

American Studies Association Responds to False Accusations of Discrimination at Upcoming Conference

In recent days, several erroneous reports have circulated claiming that the American Studies Association (ASA), the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history, will bar Israeli academics from participating at our upcoming annual conference in Los Angeles, November 6-9. This allegation is false. There will not be discrimination of any sort against anyone. We welcome Israeli academics to attend, and in fact several are already scheduled to participate in the conference program (see here for more information on the program).

Subsequent reports also stated, erroneously, that the ASA had changed our policy regarding support for the academic boycott. We have not. Last year, after careful consideration by its membership, the ASA overwhelmingly endorsed an academic boycott to call attention to the violations of academic freedoms and human rights of Palestinian scholars and students by Israel. This limited action means simply that the ASA on an institutional level will not engage in collaborative projects with Israeli research institutions, and will not speak at Israeli academic institutions.

The ASA has a longstanding commitment to social justice and believes in the power of nonviolent strategies, such as boycotts and divestment movements, as a tool to effect political, social and economic change. The United States Supreme Court has upheld boycotts against human rights violations to be constitutionally protected under the First Amendment.

“We recognize that the boycott issue has been controversial, even among our own members, and in the spirit of openness and transparency, we have scheduled a panel discussion on precisely this topic,” said ASA President Lisa Duggan. “However, the ASA annual conference is a broad and inclusive event. It’s an opportunity to explore and celebrate the diversity of issues, views and scholarship that falls under the umbrella of American Studies. We look forward to the upcoming participation of our members, invited guests and registered attendees in Los Angeles.”


1.Hank Reichman of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) comments on ACLJ’s unsupported claim: “California’s Unruh Act does indeed bar discrimination in hotel accommodations and does permit an institution to be considered a “person” suffering discrimination and hence eligible to bring a lawsuit.  But such a legal claim requires actual incidents of discrimination, and apparently the ACLJ has as yet identified neither an individual nor an institution that can be said to have been a victim of the alleged discriminatory behavior.”  He adds, “Moreover, ACLJ’s claim that the ASA boycott is anti-Semitic rings hollow, since not all Jews—indeed, not all Israelis—support the policies the boycott purports to resist.”

2. For more information about the American Center for Law and Justice, read this piece from the Electronic Intifada which explains that, “Founded by the far-right Southern Baptist minister Pat Robertson in 1990, ACLJ’s docket has been dominated by opposing same-sex marriage, outlawing abortion and evangelizing its anti-homosexual agenda in Africa.”

3. In January 2013, Shurat HaDin - The Israel Law Center sent the ASA a “cease and desist” letter threatening a lawsuit against it if it did not immediately end its academic boycott. Palestine Solidarity Legal Support and the Center for Constitutional Rights responded to Shurat HaDin’s threat.  The following excerpt from the statement can also be applied to the latest false claim, this time from the ACLJ.

ASA’s boycott resolution could not be considered discrimination, let alone discrimination based on animus toward the religion, race or national origin of any individual or institution; ASA’s actions are undertaken because of the policies of politically-accountable leaders in the Israeli government. Moreover, boycott and divestment strategies and the ASA position are grounded in the same anti-discrimination principles as other historical divestment and boycott strategies used to protest repressive state practices, including those employed against the South Africa apartheid regime and racial segregation in the United States.  It is precisely these kinds of boycott, which aim to effect “political, social and economic change,” that the United States Supreme Court has held to be constitutionally protected speech activities.

More From the Editors


2014 Critical Prison Studies caucus events at ASA Los Angeles

Call for Presenters: Digital Shorts at the 2014 ASA

The Digital Humanities Caucus of the American Studies Association seeks ASA conference attendees to participate in a session entitled Digital Shorts: The Fun and the Fury. The session will consist of “lightning talks” in which participants describe digital projects in 3-5 minute presentations, receive community feedback, and discuss issues raised by the talks.

Material Culture Caucus events in Los Angeles

An overview and a request for agenda items to be addressed at our annual meeting on the Saturday.

Looking forward…

Graduate Student Roommate Connection Service

Fourteen years ago, the Students Committee initiated a Roommate Connection Service for graduate students attending the annual ASA conference. The Committee will continue to offer this service for students attending the Los Angeles, CA conference. Rather than having to post your request for a roommate to a list, the Students Committee will act as a clearinghouse for students looking to share space.

Any student (or faculty) seeking a roommate need only send a message to the Students Committee. The Committee will, in turn, forward your message on to any other student(s) that seem to be a “match.” You will handle all the arrangements from there.

This service is available to all graduate students attending the ASA Conference. Please note that by submitting a request to the Roommate Connection Service, you give us permission to forward the entire contents of your message to other students seeking roommates. If the roommate connection works out, please RSVP back to the Students Committee so we can take your name off of our list.

Please complete the following information and send it to Amy Katherine King at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and include “Roommate Connection” in the subject heading.

-Your name

-Your e-mail address

-The dates you will be staying in Los Angeles, CA

-Whether you HAVE or NEED a hotel room (with location, price, etc. if you already have one)

-Any preferences for lodging

-Any preferences for roommate (e.g., gender, smoking, gay/lesbian friendly)

Please submit your requests no later than October 26, 2014.

We cannot promise to find everyone a roommate, but we will do our very best!

L.A., here we come: our two “sponsored sessions” plus. . .

REMINDER of the two sessions that we voted to designate as “Sponsored by the Early American Matters Caucus,” PLUS reminder about the three other early-American-flavored sessions on that ballot AND a reminder about our Business Meeting, Thursday morning, November 6: