October 13, 2022
Press Contact: Scott Kurashige, All requests for interviews should be submitted by email to the press contact. 

The American Studies Association—the oldest and largest scholarly association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. cultures and histories—is proud to recognize the distinguished scholarly achievement and service to the field represented by the recipients of our prizes and awards for 2022. These awards provide a snapshot of the vital scholarly work that ASA members are carrying on in the United States and transnationally. We thank the jurors, nominees, nominators, mentors, presses, officers, and staff for making the 2022 awards possible.

We invite all members of the Association to join in congratulating their fellow members. Please join us in honoring the recipients at the ASA Awards Ceremony on Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 5:00pm in the Hilton New Orleans Riverside during our Annual Meeting. Read more about the 2022 ASA Annual Meeting with link to register here.

Announcements for additional awards currently under review will be forthcoming. For additional information about the ASA Awards Program, please click here. For membership information or to make a contribution to sustain the awards, please click here.



For the best book in American Studies published during 2021

Chair: Penny Von Eschen, University of Virginia
Jodi Kim, University of California, Riverside
Rebecca Wanzo, Washington University in St. Louis

Recipient: ERICA R. EDWARDS, The Other Side of Terror: Black Women and the Culture of U.S. Empire (NYU Press)

Erica R. Edwards’ The Other Side of Terror: Black Women and the Culture of U.S. Empire exemplifies and advances the very best of American Studies interdisciplinarity by offering at once a stunningly original analysis of US counterinsurgent power and a new way of reading Black women’s expressive culture. Edwards contributes unprecedented insights into the operation of American global power, its inextricable relationship to the repression of Black radicalism within the United States, and Black feminist insurgent care and survival against it. In beautifully written and compelling prose, Edwards brilliantly illuminates Black women’s refraction of and confrontation with what she calls the long war on terror, the linked campaigns of counterterrorism at home and abroad stretching from 1968 to 2012 and including COINTELPRO, the war on drugs, and the intensification of the global security state after 9/11. Examining the political projects and literary productions of writers including June Jordan, Toni Cade Bambara, Gloria Naylor, Alice Randall, and Nikki Finney, Edwards renders an extraordinary explication of state power through the lens of black feminist radicalism by rigorously tracking what she aptly terms “state power at its most devious and most absurd.”

In a deeply researched and lucidly argued exploration of the relationship between anti-Black terror and late Cold War and post-Cold war counterinsurgency, Edwards analyzes what she terms imperial grammars of Blackness, persuasively showing how the national security state’s language of security depended on exceptional Black women to negotiate relationships between militarism and humanitarianism to produce a narrative of Black loyalty to the country. In unpacking the codes of cultural production and public discourse linking the rationalization of US imperial violence abroad to the US public sphere’s manipulation and incorporation of Blackness as the sign of multicultural beneficence, Edwards persuasively and eloquently advances an original analysis that makes a signal contribution to studies of state power in multiple related fields.

At the same time, Edwards offers a compelling and indispensable frame for reading and thinking about black cultural production. The Other Side of Terror fundamentally shifts our understanding of how Black feminist organizing and writing tracked changes in racial gendered power and transformed African American literature and Black studies while also offering new modes of resistance and survival aimed at collective preservation or the reconstitution of a collectivity. In The Other Side of Terror, Edward’s has lucidly pulled multiple methodological and field threads within American Studies into an elegant and forceful rethinking of profoundly urgent issues.

Honorable Mention: STEPHEN VIDERThe Queerness of Home: Gender, Sexuality and the Politics of Domesticity after World War II (The University of Chicago Press)

Stephen Vider’s The Queerness of Home: Gender, Sexuality and the Politics of Domesticity after World War II flips the lens through which historians have viewed the transformation of the private sphere over the second half of the twentieth century in the United States and the post-World War II domesticity and gender, to make an original argument about significance of queer forms of home life to LGBTQ people and politics since the mid-twentieth century.  With previous queer historiography focusing largely on the public sphere, Vider examines gay marriages and camp cookbooks of the 1950s and 1960s, queer homeless youth shelters, communes, and post-Stonewall lesbian feminist experiments in domestic redesign. Beautifully written, witty, and inventive in its construction of an unexpected and visually rich archive, The Queerness of Home not only makes the case that twentieth-century domestic environments are fundamental to an understanding of LGBTQ individuals in the modern United States, it opens new ways of imaging and pursuing intersectional American Studies scholarship.



For the best first book in American Studies published during 2021

Chair: Adam Green, University of Chicago
Junaid Rana, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Recipient: JULIANA HU PEGUES, Space-Time Colonialism: Alaska’s Indigenous and Asian Entanglements (The University of North Carolina Press)

Juliana Hu Pegues has written an elegant and humane book, ingeniously suggesting how to better specify settler colonialism’s relationship to empire, and better recognize how settlement’s practices, ranging from violence to new intimacies, reorient meanings of race, gender and indigeneity as categories.  Showing how Alaska, notably its southeastern region, serves not only as the last frontier of America, but its earliest laboratory of non-contiguous empire, Hu Pegues establishes that the purchase and exploitation of the territory following the Civil War hinged on alienating the indigenous Tlinglet from their homelands, thereby reconceiving Alaska as terra nullius in the eyes of the American state, investors and prospectors, researchers and scientists, tourists and explorers, and non-native settlers.  Significantly, it also afforded—conceptually as well as practically—new possibilities of affinity, intimacy and solidarity between the Tlinglet, other native peoples, and Asian-descended arrivants—people correlated through origins narratives, exploitation, and settler aggression and violence. 

These strange intimacies Hu Pegues traces through carefully chosen episodes, revealing how in Alaska—and elsewhere in an America modernizing under the light of rising empire—racial identity and meaning proved intersectional in surprising and significant ways. Drawing on advances in critical indigenous and Asian American studies, as well as the new analysis of settler nation empires, Hu Pegues crafts her own, always original, readings of historical figures remembered and forgotten, discounted and condemned. The yield is a reading of American empire inside out, by way of its contradictions and harms, showing how space and time could be redefined by the entanglement of peoples thought incidental to history and future. We are compelled to reckon with the incompatibilities and mis-translations, the confinements, exile and violent deaths, that continue to rewrite the myth and symbol of American settlement. Also—and more importantly—Hu Pegues teaches us about the creation of strange and new ways to work, play, love and, above all, remember each other.



For the best dissertation in American Studies completed between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022

Chair: Alisha Gaines, Florida State University
Adrian DeLeon, University of Southern California
Kevin Murphy, University of Minnesota

Recipient: MALLORY WHITEDUCK, for her dissertation, “The Rez: Aesthetics of the Everyday in Native American Literature and Visual Culture” (University of Michigan)

“The Rez” is a field-making and defining work. Whiteduck's nuanced attention to the “everyday” of the reservation is beautifully original and bolstered by a deeply generative interdisciplinarity. As many scholars rightly theorize big, weighty concepts like Indigenous sovereignty, Whiteduck asks us to consider what might get overlooked when we sweep our critical gaze across dispossessed lands to confront transnational histories and legacies of genocide. Deploying critical theory with elegance, on Whiteduck’s rez, there is humor, art, and identity in every nickname, gesture, hat, and bottle of Pepsi. 

Honorable Mention:

BAYAN ABUSNEINEH, “Chosen and Imagined: Racial and Gendered Politics of Reproduction in Palestine and Israel” (University of California, San Diego)

ALLISON PUGLISI, “Redefining Residency: Black Environmental Thought in New Orleans, 1929-1998” (Harvard University)



For lifetime achievement and outstanding contribution to American Studies

Chair: Sandra Soto, University of Arizona
Kathryn Bond Stockton, University of Utah
Robert Warrior, University of Kansas


Honoring two influential scholars who were integral in the early movement to institutionalize American studies, 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.

Dr. Nadine Suleiman Naber’s accomplishments are summarized in the nomination letter by Dr. Evelyn Alsultany: “Dr. Naber’s work has markedly transformed and updated the field of American Studies around some of the most urgent issues of our times. Her extraordinary contributions reverberate across many areas in our field, producing groundbreaking impacts theoretically, internationally, methodologically, publicly, and institutionally. Influenced by scholars and mentors such as Ella Shohat, Angela Davis, Vicente Diaz, and Kent Ono, Dr. Naber is one of our field’s leading scholars in the areas of transnational Arab and decolonial abolitionist feminisms. Dr. Naber has created and legitimized indispensable methodologies for conducting responsible and accountable relationships with grassroots BIPOC communities striving to live on their lands and in their communities with safety, dignity, and freedom. By mentoring faculty and students to ‘Liberate their Research’ and collectively founding and leading several academic programs and community-based organizations, Dr. Naber has institutionalized the contributions named above across campuses, national and disciplinary borders, and communities, and has therefore given permission to more and more American Studies scholars to continue growing intersectional, decolonial, transnational, social movement-led research and practice.”



For outstanding public scholarship

Chair: Dayo Gore, Georgetown University
Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Rutgers University
H.L.T. (HQ) Quan, Arizona State University


As a scholar whose work engages the fields of Ethnics Studies, Black and Caribbean Studies, Latinx Studies and American Studies, Professor Lorgia García Peña has an impressive record of award winning research, interconnected public engagement and dynamic mentoring practices. She has also sustained a commitment to activism across multiple sites from her foundational work in building Freedom University as an alternative educational space for undocumented scholars in Georgia to her collaborative Archives of Justice, a transnational digital humanities research and teaching project. This type of generative and generous scholar-activism makes García Peña’s a fitting exemplar of  the Prize’s emphasis on “scholarship for the public good” and scholars who work “to educate the public” and “address inequalities in imaginative, practical, and applicable forms.”

Professor García Peña is the author of The Borders of Dominicanidad: Race, Nation, and Archives of Contradiction (2016), which was awarded the 2017 National Women’s Studies Association Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize, the 2016 Latino/a Studies Book Award, and the 2016 Isis Duarte Book Prize in Haiti and Dominican Studies. Just this year she has published two additional books, the field redefining Translating Blackness: Migrations of Latinx Colonialities in Global Perspective and Community as Rebellion: A Syllabus for Surviving Academia as a Woman of Color, an invigorating call to action and radical challenge to the institutional status quo.

In addition to her critical scholarship, Professor García Peña puts her research to work in ways that reach a broader public. This has included an Op-Ed in the New York Times decrying the removal of citizenship rights for undocumented Haitians in the Dominican Republic and a Boston Review piece on “Decolonizing the University” as well as “expanding the conversation around Ethnic Studies writ-large through events and symposia” and mentoring a new generation of Ph.D. students. In all of these ways, Professor García Peña’s intellectual and political investments have had a robust life beyond the university and the circulation of her books.

The capaciousness of García Peña’s innovative transnational and interdisciplinarity scholarship and her rootedness in and responsiveness to the communities in which she is teaching and living, puts into action investments in creating “a more just world.” This work is also grounded in, what numerous letter writers have noted as, García Peña’s fundamental commitment to a “radical practice of care” both “within and beyond” the limits of the university. Lorgia García Peña is a scholar-activist able and willing to confront the challenges of our moment, and it is with great pleasure that the committee awards her the American Studies Angela Y. Davis Prize.



For teaching, advising, and program development in American Studies at local and regional levels

Chair: Alyosha Goldstein, University of New Mexico
Wendy Cheng, Scripps College
Juliana Hu Pegues, University of Minnesota


Christine Hong is the 2022 Recipient of the Mary C. Turpie Prize, which recognizes “outstanding abilities and achievement in American studies teaching, advising, and program development.” Hong is an Associate Professor of Literature and Chair of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the author of the award-winning book A Violent Peace: Race, U.S. Militarism, and Cultures of Democratization in Cold War Asia and the Pacific, published by Stanford University Press in 2020. The nomination materials submitted amply demonstrate her truly remarkable accomplishments as a dedicated teacher and indefatigable force in developing Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UCSC, from establishing CRES as a flourishing undergraduate program in 2014 to achieving its departmental status in 2021.

The letter of nomination summarizes Hong’s impressive contributions to program and institution building at UCSC: “Over the past decade and a half, Dr. Hong nurtured what began as a small undergraduate reading group on the history of Ethnic Studies to an undergraduate major and program. In spite of its modest beginnings, that program, under Dr. Hong’s directorship and later chairship, has over the past six years become the fastest-growing major in the Humanities Division at UCSC, a hub for the activism and leadership of undergraduates of color, and, ultimately, a department in its own right with over 150 undergraduate majors. In 2016, the Program in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UCSC housed 0.5 faculty FTE lines–the fraction the result of a single professorship shared with Feminist Studies. Six years later, the newly-established Department of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies boasts a faculty of twenty principal faculty, and over four faculty FTE. In the Fall of 2022, the Department will add four more faculty—two in Black Studies and two more in Indigenous Studies.” Hong’s deep commitment to students and critical pedagogy are likewise consistently evident throughout her timely, well-designed, and compelling courses, curricular initiatives, and public programs. The prize committee believes Christine Hong fully exemplifies the qualities and contributions recognized and celebrated by the award and is delighted to name Hong as recipient of the 2022 Mary C. Turpie Prize. 



(Selected by the ASA Minority Scholars Committee)

For dedication to and excellence in mentoring

Recipient: JEAN M. O’BRIEN

Dr. Jean M. O’Brien’s mentorship of Indigenous students, program-building to advance scholarship in Indigenous studies, and dedication to teaching has profoundly shaped the lives of many people. Dr. Katrina Phillips aptly describes the importance of her work as a mentor and scholar: “It feels woefully inadequate to call Professor O’Brien my graduate school advisor because she has been and continues to be so much more than that. She has, in essence, raised an entire generation of Native Studies scholars. She is the faculty backbone of the 15-year-old University of Minnesota’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Workshop (AIISW)... Her dedication to her students is unparalleled, and it doesn’t end when her students graduate. She still writes letters of recommendation; she still reads drafts of articles, book chapters, book proposals, and grant proposals; and she still checks in on us at conferences. She organizes practice job talks when her students receive invitations for campus visits. She’s read every word I’ve written since I started graduate school, and she’s read many of them multiple times. I have known Professor O’Brien for nearly a decade, and I would not be the researcher, professor, and advisor that I am now without her.”



(Selected by the ASA International Committee)

For international scholarship in transnational American studies

Recipient: MAHSHID MAYARCitizens and Rulers of the World: The American Child and the Cartographic Pedagogies of Empire (The University of North Carolina Press)

A thoroughgoing and creative critical analysis of childhood, empire, and space. This book-length study not only offers insights into how childhood was figured in relation to U.S. imperial culture, and how children took up the “cartographies in progress” surrounding them, but also bears more widely on conceptual and methodological questions of space, culture, archive, and subjectivity. Informative, insightful, and beautifully written.

Honorable Mention: DARIO FAZZI, “Imperial Constraints: Labor and U.S. Military Bases in Italy, 1954-1979” (Diplomatic History, Volume 45, Issue 3, 2021)

“Imperial Constraints: Labor and U.S. Military Bases in Italy, 1954–1979” offers a rich micro-history of San Vito base, illuminating how diplomatic, military, and labor activity shaped the rise and decline of U.S. military presence. The article properly traces the winding routes of the Italian local labor-U.S. military bases negotiational relationships, historicizing the impact of the economic and the diplomatic on the representation of the "Yankee" in the local mind, particularly in San Vito dei Normanni and Martina Franca. Fazzi draws on a mix of evidence, including digital documents, to paint an enlivening portrait, the analysis of which has wider implications for understanding the local forms of contestation–often around labor–across the US global military archipelago.



Posted for ASA Office in Press Releases
Post date: October 13, 2022

Community announcements and events are services that are offered by the ASA to support the organizing efforts of critical constituency groups. They do not reflect the decisions or actions of the association’s governance bodies, the National Council or Executive Committee. Questions should be directed to the committee, caucus, or chapter that has authored and posted this notice.