About the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize

The John Hope Franklin Publication Prize is distributed yearly and honors the most outstanding book published in American studies for the year preceding the annual meeting. Recipients of the award receive $1,000. The prize winner will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association.

This award honors John Hope Franklin, an American historian who published dozens of books including the influential From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. He served as president of both the American Studies Association and the American Historical Association and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995. Franklin taught at many institutions including: Brooklyn College, the University of Cambridge, the University of Chicago, and Duke University. His work was widely influential, providing context, for instance, for the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Procedures

Who is eligible: Current ASA members who have published their book between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018. To be eligible, books must be written in English by a single author, though the book may be published outside of the U.S. First books are eligible for both the Franklin and the Romero prize and may be submitted in both competitions. 

Who can nominate: Authors can apply directly, or self-nominate. Publishers or presses may also submit books for consideration. While those who work for a press need not be active members, they must create an account online in order to submit a nomination.*

How to submit a nomination:

Step 1: Write a letter or statement for submission. Include: (1) the book’s full title, (2) the name of the press and the place of publication, (3) the official publication date, and (4) the author’s ASA membership number and a statement confirming that the author’s membership is current for the 2019 calendar year.

Step 2: Log onto the ASA website to submit the nomination. You will be asked to enter the nominee’s information (title, affiliation, address) before being prompted to upload a PDF of the letter or statement of submission with the required details outlined above. Nomination forms must be submitted no later than March 1.

Step 3: Mail one copy to each of the prize committee members. Electronic copies (if available) are welcomed via email. Submissions must be clearly marked “Franklin Prize Entry” and postmarked no later than March 1, 2019. Late nominations will not be accepted.

  • Kimberly Juanita Brown (Chair), Department of English, Mt. Holyoke College, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075 (kimbrown@mtholyoke.edu)

  • Sarika Chandra, Department of English, Wayne State University, 5057 Woodward Avenue #9408, Detroit, MI 48202 (schandra@wayne.edu)

  • Wendy Kozol, Comparative American Studies, King 141, 10 N. Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074 (wkozol@oberlin.edu)

When is the deadline: March 1

*A special note for presses: If you’re submitting multiple books for consideration, you must process each nomination separately via the online submission form. Books can be mailed together but still must be distributed to each committee member. 


This Year's Winner (2017)

María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States (Duke University Press, 2016)

Past Winners 1987-2016

  • 2016: Benjamin Looker, A Nation of Neighborhoods: Imagining Cities, Communities, and Democracy in Postwar America (University of Chicago Press, 2015).
  • 2015: Mireille Miller-Young, A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography (Duke University Press, 2014)
  • 2014: Raúl Coronado, A World Not To Come: A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture (Harvard University Press 2013)
  • 2013: Lisa Marie Cacho, Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected (New York University Press, 2012)
  • 2012: Mark Rifkin, When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty (Oxford University Press, 2011)
  • 2011: Khalil Gibran Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America (Harvard University Press, 2010)
  • 2010: Bethany Moreton, To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise (Harvard University Press, 2009)
  • 2009: Ussama Makdisi, Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East (Cornell University Press, 2008)
  • 2008: Julie Sze, Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice (MIT Press, 2007)
  • 2007: Jake Kosek, Understories: The Political Life of Forests in Northern New Mexico (Duke University Press, 2006).
  • 2006: Rebecca J. Scott, Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba after Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2005).
  • 2005: Premilla Nadasen, Welfare Warriors: The Welfare Rights Movement in the United States (Routledge, 2004)
  • 2004: Brent Hayes Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (Harvard University Press, 2003)
  • 2003: Emily Thompson, The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1953 (MIT Press, 2002)
  • 2002: Mary Renda, Taking Haiti: Military Occupation and the Culture of US Imperialism, 1915-1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2001)
  • 2001: Leigh Eric Schmidt, Hearing Things: Religion, Illusion, and the American Enlightenment (Harvard University Press 2000)
  • 2000: Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Harvard University Press, 1999)
  • 1999: Matthew Frye Jacobson, Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (Harvard University Press, 1998)
  • 1998: Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton University Press, 1997)
  • 1997: Kevin Gaines, Uplifting the Race: Black Leadership, Politics, and Culture in the Twentieth Century (University of North Carolina Press, 1996)
  • 1996: Stephanie McCurry, Masters of Small Worlds: Yeoman Households, Gender Relations, and the Political Culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country (Oxford University Press, 1995)
  • 1995: Elizabeth Lunbeck, The Psychiatric Persuasion: Knowledge, Gender and Power in Modern America (Princeton University Press, 1994)
  • 1994: Angela Miller, The Empire of the Eye: Landscape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825-1875 (Cornell University Press, 1993)
  • 1993: Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century (Louisiana State University Press, 1992)
  • 1992: Ramón A. Gutiérrez, When Jesus Came, The Corn Mothers Went Away: Marriage, Sexuality, and Power in New Mexico, 1500-1846 (Stanford University Press, 1991)
  • 1991: Lawrence Fuchs, The American Kaleidoscope: Race, Ethnicity, and the Civic Culture (Wesleyan University Press, University Press of New England, 1990)
  • 1990: Nathan O. Hatch, The Democraticization of American Christianity (Yale University Press, 1989)
  • 1990: Miles Orvell, The Real Thing: Imitation and Authenticity in American Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 1989)
  • 1989: Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Fasting Girls: The Emergence of Anorexia Nervosa as a Modern Disease (Harvard University Press, 1988)
  • 1988: Marcus Rediker, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: Merchant Seamen, Pirates, and the Anglo-American Maritime World, 1700-1750 (Cambridge University Press, 1987)
  • 1987: Dell Upton, Holy Things and Profane: Anglican Parish Churches in Virginia (The Architectural History Foundation, 1986)