About the Constance M. Rourke Prize

The Constance M. Rourke Prize is awarded annually to the best article published in American Quarterly. The awardee receives $100. The awardee will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, November 10, 2017.

The award honors Constance M. Rourke, an influential scholar and educator who wrote widely in the fields of popular culture, humor, and cultural history. Her most famous works include biographies on Davy Crockett, John James Audubon, and P.T. Barnum as well as American Humor: A Study of the National Character. Rourke taught at Vassar College and was foundational in the development of American studies as an intellectual field.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Procedures

An application is not required for this award, as the prize committee will review the prior year's entire volume of American QuarterlyThe awardee must be a current member of the American Studies Association.

This Year's Winner (2017)

Alex Lubin, "American Studies, the Middle East, and the Question of Palestine,” 68:1 (March 2016)

Past Winners 1987-2016

  • 2016: Simeon Man, "Aloha, Vietnam: Race and Empire in Hawai'i's Vietnam War" (December 2015)
  • 2015: Monica Muñoz Martinez, "Recuperating Histories of Violence in the Americas: Vernacular History-Making on the US-Mexico Border," (September 2014)
  • 2014: Janet M. Davis, "Cockfight Nationalism: Blood Sport and the Moral Politics of American Empire and Nation Building" (September 2013)
  • 2013: Jana Lipman, " 'Give us a Ship': The Vietnamese Repatriate Movement on Guam, 1975" (March 2012)
  • 2012: Eric Tang, "A Gulf Unites Us: The Vietnamese Americans of Black New Orleans East" (March 2011)
  • 2011: Myisha Priest, "The Nightmare Is Not Cured": Emmett Till and American Healing" (March 2010)
  • 2011: Special recognition to the special issue of American Quarterly, "Alternative Contact: Indigeneity, Globalism, and American Studies," editors Paul Lai and Lindsey C. Smith (September 2010)
  • 2010: Sara E. Johnson, "'You Should Give them Blacks to Eat': Waging Inter-American Wars of Torture and Terror" (March 2009)
  • 2009: Daniel Scroop, "The Anti-Chain Store Movement and the Politics of Consumption" (December 2008)
  • 2008: Ann Pellegrini, "Signaling Through the Flames": Hell House Performance and Structures of Religious Feeling" (September 2007)
  • 2007: Maria Farland, "W. E. B. DuBois, Anthropometric Science, and the Limits of Racial Uplift" (December 2006)
  • 2006: Daryl J. Maeda, "Black Panthers, Red Guards, and Chinamen: Constructing Asian American Identity through Performing Blackness, 1969-1972" (December 2005)
  • 2005: George J. Sánchez, "'What's Good for Boyle Heights Is Good for the Jews': Creating Multiculturalism on the Eastside during the 1950s" (September 2004)
  • 2004: Sarah Banet-Weiser, "Elián González and 'The Purpose of America': Nation, Family, and the Child-Citizen" (June 2003)
  • 2003: Mary Niall Mitchell, "Rosebloom and Pure White,' Or So It Seemed" (September 2002)
  • 2002: Scott Saul, "Outrageous Freedom: Charles Mingus and the Invention of the Jazz Workshop" (September 2001)
  • 2001: Laura Briggs, "The Race of Hysteria: "Overcivilization" and the "Savage" Woman in Late Nineteenth-Century Obstetrics and Gynecology" (June 2000)
  • 2000: Kenrick Ian Grandison, "Negotiated Space: The Black College Campus as a Cultural Record of Postbellum America" (September 1999)
  • 1999: Susan A. Glenn, "'Give an Imitation of Me': Vaudeville Mimics and the Play of the Self" (March 1998)
  • 1998: Mark Pittenger, "A World of Difference: Constructing the 'Underclass' in Progressive America" (March 1997)
  • 1998: Sarah Robbins, "Gendering the History of the Antislave Narrative: Juxtaposing Uncle Tom's Cabin and Benito Cereno, Beloved and Middle Passage" (September 1997)
  • 1997: Daniel Horowitz, "Rethinking Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique: Labor Union Radicalism and Feminism in Cold War America." (March 1996)
  • 1996: Kristine C. Kuramitsu, "Internment and Identity in Japanese American Art" (December 1995)
  • 1995: Lori Ginzburg, "'The Hearts of Your Readers Will Shudder': Fanny Wright, Infidelity, and American Freethought" (June 1994)
  • 1994: Lori Merish, "'The Hand of Refined Taste' in the Frontier Landscape: Caroline Kirkland's A New Home, Who'll Follow? and the Feminization of American Consumerism" (December 1993)
  • 1993: Terence Whalen, "Edgar Allen Poe and the Horrid Law of Political Economy" (September 1992)
  • 1992 Eric Lott, "'The Seeming Counterfeit': Racial Politics and Blackface Minstrelsy" (June 1991)
  • 1991: Werner Sollors, "Of Mules and Mares in a Land of Difference; or, Quadrupeds All?" (June 1990)
  • 1990: Lizabeth Cohen, "Encountering Mass Culture at the Grassroots: The Experience of Chicago Workers in the 1920s" (March 1989)
  • 1989: E. Jennifer Monaghan, "Literacy Instruction and Gender in Colonial New England" (March 1988)
  • 1988: Peter Seixas, "Lewis Hine: From 'Social' to 'Interpretative' Photographer" (Fall 1987)
  • 1987: Alan Taylor, "Treasure Seeking in the American Northeast, 1780-1830" (Spring 1986)