About the Lora Romero First Book Prize

The Lora Romero First Book Prize is awarded every year to the best first book published in American studies that highlights intersectional dynamics in the study of race, gender, class, sexuality, and/or nation. Recipients of the award receive a lifetime membership in the association. The prize winner in announced at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association.

The prize is a memorial tribute to Lora Romero, a long-active member of the ASA who died in 1997 as her first book, Home Fronts: Nineteenth Century Domesticity and Its Critics, appeared in print. She was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University, an esteemed colleague, and a treasured friend to many in the association.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Procedures

Who is eligible: Current ASA members who have published (copyrighted) their first book between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2023 may submit for the 2024 prize. 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 also eligible for the Franklin Prize and may be submitted in both competitions. 

Who can nominate: Authors can self-nominate. Publishers may also submit books for consideration.

How to submit a nomination, please read thoroughly as we revamped this process for 2024:

Step 1: Visit this Microsoft Form to nominate and submit your book. We are no longer requiring a letter or statement PDF for submission as the requested information has been built into the form. Please fill in details about your nominee information thoroughly as it will close at 11:59PM on March 5 and late nominations will not be accepted. 

Step 2: Upload an electronic version of your book at this Dropbox link. We ask that you complete a form first before uploading any PDFs into the Dropbox.

Once we close the form and process nominations, ASA staff will coordinate with the Point of Contact listed for further followup. If you had already submitted a nominee prior to this change, your submission will be migrated over to our new system.

When is the deadline: March 5, 2024 11:59PM

*A special note for presses: If you’re submitting multiple books for consideration, you must process each nomination separately via the online submission form.

Questions? Please e-mail authors@theasa.net


This Year's Winner (2023)


Christine Taitano DeLisle, Placental Politics: CHamoru Women, White Womanhood, and Indigeneity under U.S. Colonialism in Guam (The University of North Carolina Press, 2022)

Past Winners 2002-2022

  • 2022: Juliana Hu Pegues, Space-Time Colonialism: Alaska's Indigenous and Asian Entanglements (The University of North Carolina Press, 2021)
  • 2021: Jessica Marie Johnson, Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020)
  • 2020: Tiffany Lethabo King, The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies (Duke University Press, 2019)
  • 2019: Christopher Taylor, The Empire of Neglect: The West Indies in the Wake of British Liberalism (Duke University Press, 2018)
  • 2018: Sharon Luk, The Life of Paper: Letters and a Poetics of Living Beyond Captivity (University of California Press, 2017)
  • 2017: Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)
  • 2016: Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Duke University Press, 2015)
  • 2015: Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press, 2014)
  • 2014: Alexandra T. Vazquez, Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Duke University Press, 2013)
  • 2013: Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century (New York University Press, 2012)
  • 2012: Nicole Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
  • 2011: Cynthia M. Blair, I've Got to Make My Livin': Black Women's Sex Work in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2010)
  • 2010: Margot Canaday, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton University Press, 2009)
  • 2009: Alicia R. Schmidt Camacho, Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (New York University Press, 2008)
  • 2008: Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007)
  • 2007: Ned Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Harvard University Press, 2006).
  • 2006: Tiya Miles, Ties That Bind: An Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and in Freedom (University of California Press, 2005)
  • 2005: Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton University Press, 2004)
  • 2004: Kandice Chuh, Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique (Duke University Press, 2003)
  • 2003: Shelley Streeby, American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture (University of California Press, 2002)
  • 2002: Sharon Holland, Raising the Dead: Readings of Death and (Black) Subjectivity (Duke University Press, 2001)