About the Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize

The Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize recognizes the outstanding achievement of an individual who has dedicated a lifetime of work to the mission and values of American studies. The recipient is awarded lifetime membership in the association. The awardee will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, November 10, 2017.

The award honors two early pioneers in American studies research, both of whom were integral in the early movement to institutionalize American studies: Carl Bode and Norman Holmes Pearson.

Carl Bode was a literary critic and cultural historian known for The American Lyceum and countless edited volumes of work by H.L. Mencken, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He was the founder and first president of the American Studies Association. He spent his academic career in the American Civilization program at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

Norman Holmes Pearson was an editor, literary critic, and archivist who published collections of work by Ezra Pound and Nathaniel Hawthorne and co-edited The Romantic Poets with W.H. Auden. He was active with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a U.S. counterintelligence organization that predated the Central Intelligence Agency. He co-founded the American Civilization program at Yale University in the 1940s.

Application Procedure

To apply or nominate someone for the Carl Bode – Norman Holmes Prize, complete this application form and upload the following documents:

  1. A statement describing the nominee's career in American studies, noting special achievements and contributions in research and scholarship, service to the ASA, other academic service and teaching, work in academic journals, public forums and/or on the internet, and any involvement with international projects and conferences. 
  2. A copy of the nominee's CV.
  3. Supporting letters from collaborators, colleagues, and mentored students. These letters can be individually authored, but nominators might consider soliciting a smaller set of collectively authored letters with multiple signatories.
  4. A list of URLs to relevant websites (if applicable).

Submitted materials should be representative, rather than exhaustive. Total materials submitted should not exceed 50 pages.  One set of nominating materials must be submitted to the prize committee no later than June 30, 2017.

The awardee must be a member of the American Studies Association.

This Year's Winner (2016)

George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara

Past Winners 1975-2015

  • 2015: Mary Helen Washington, University of Maryland, College Park
  • 2014: Michael Denning, Yale University
  • 2013: Alfred Hornung, University of Mainz, Germany
  • 2012: Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth College
  • 2011: Janice Radway, Northwestern University
  • 2010: No selection
  • 2009: Miles Orvell, Temple University
  • 2008: H. Bruce Franklin, Rutgers University, Newark
  • 2007: Sacvan Bercovitch, Harvard University
  • 2006: Paul Lauter, Trinity College
  • 2005: Lois W. Banner, University of Southern California
  • 2004: Murray G. Murphey, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2003: Doris Friedensohn, New Jersey City University
  • 2002: Martha Banta, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2001: Gloria E. Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga
  • 2000: John Hope Franklin, Duke University
  • 1999: Günter H. Lenz, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany
  • 1998: Gary Y. Okihiro, Columbia University
  • 1997: Bernice Johnson Reagon, American University
  • 1996: Allen F. Davis, Temple University
  • 1995: Leo Marx, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 1994: No selection
  • 1993: Daniel Aaron, Harvard University
  • 1992: No selection
  • 1991: Arthur Dudden, Bryn Mawr College
  • 1990: Betty Ch'maj, California State University, Sacramento
  • 1989: John A. Hague, Stetson University
  • 1988: Albert E. Stone, University of Iowa
  • 1987: Michael Cowan, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 1986: No selection
  • 1985: Warren Susman, Rutgers University and Gene Wise, University of Maryland
  • 1984: No selection
  • 1983: Ralph Henry Gabriel, Yale University
  • 1982: No selection
  • 1981: Robert E. Spiller, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1980: No selection
  • 1979: Henry Nash Smith, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1978: No selection
  • 1977: Merle Curti, University of Wisconsin
  • 1976: Mary Turpie, University of Minnesota
  • 1975: Norman Holmes Pearson, Yale University