UC Press is proud to publish award-winning authors and books across many disciplines. These scholars have been acknowledged for their exemplary scholarship, theoretical innovations, contributions to advancing social justice, and so much more. We’re honored to be their publisher.

Learn more about our recent award winners and their work below.

Eiichiro Azuma

John K. Fairbank Prize
American Historical Association

Eiichiro Azuma is Alan Charles Kors Term Chair Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also the author of Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America and a coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History.  

In Search of Our Frontier
Japanese America and Settler Colonialism in the Construction of Japan’s Borderless Empire

In Search of Our Frontier explores the complex transnational history of Japanese immigrant settler colonialism, which linked Japanese America with Japan’s colonial empire through the exchange of migrant bodies, expansionist ideas, colonial expertise, and capital in the Asia-Pacific basin before World War II. The trajectories of Japanese transpacific migrants exemplified a prevalent national structure of thought and practice that not only functioned to shore up the backbone of Japan’s empire building but also promoted the borderless quest for Japanese overseas development. 

Greg Beckett

Labrecque-Lee Book Prize 2020 
Canadian Anthropology Society

Greg Beckett is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Western University in Ontario.

There Is No More Haiti
Between Life and Death in Port-au-Prince

In this gripping account, anthropologist Greg Beckett offers a stunning ethnographic portrait of ordinary people struggling to survive in Port-au-Prince in the twenty-first century. Drawing on over a decade of research, There Is No More Haiti builds on stories of death and rebirth to powerfully reframe the narrative of a country in crisis. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Haiti today.

Richard M. Eaton

Cundill History Prize 2020 Shortlist
McGill University 

Richard M. Eaton is Professor of History at the University of Arizona and the author of several groundbreaking books on India before 1800, including the classic The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier.

India in the Persianate Age

Richard M. Eaton tells this extraordinary story with relish and originality, as he traces the rise of Persianate culture, a many-faceted transregional world connected by ever-widening networks across much of Asia. Introduced to India in the eleventh century by dynasties based in eastern Afghanistan, this culture would become progressively indigenized in the time of the great Mughals (sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries). Eaton brilliantly elaborates the complex encounter between India’s Sanskrit culture—an equally rich and transregional complex that continued to flourish and grow throughout this period—and Persian culture, which helped shape the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, and a host of regional states.

Hannah Frank

Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Book Award 2020
Kraszna-Krausz Foundation

Hannah Frank (1984–2017) was Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her work has been published in Critical Quarterly and Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and she contributed a chapter to A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood.

Frame by Frame

In this beautifully written and deeply researched study, Hannah Frank provides an original way to understand American animated cartoons from the Golden Age of animation (1920–1960). In the pre-digital age of the twentieth century, the making of cartoons was mechanized and standardized: thousands of drawings were inked and painted onto individual transparent celluloid sheets (called “cels”) and then photographed in succession, a labor-intensive process that was divided across scores of artists and technicians. In order to see the art, labor, and technology of cel animation, Frank slows cartoons down to look frame by frame, finding hitherto unseen aspects of the animated image. 

Jennifer E. Gaddis 

Sarah A. Whaley Book Prize 
National Women’s Studies Association

Winner Food Issues & Matters
International Association of Culinary Professionals

Jennifer E. Gaddis is Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Society and Community Studies in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The Labor of Lunch
Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools

The Labor of Lunch aims to spark a progressive movement that will transform food in American schools, and with it the lives of thousands of low-paid cafeteria workers and the millions of children they feed. By providing a feminist history of the US National School Lunch Program, Jennifer E. Gaddis recasts the humble school lunch as an important and often overlooked form of public care. Through vivid narration and moral heft, The Labor of Lunch offers a stirring call to action and a blueprint for school lunch reforms capable of delivering a healthier, more equitable, caring, and sustainable future.

David G. García

Outstanding Book Award 2020
Society of Professors of Education 

David G. García is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Strategies of Segregation
Race, Residence, and the Struggle for Educational Equality

Strategies of Segregation unearths the ideological and structural architecture of enduring racial inequality within and beyond schools in Oxnard, California. In this meticulously researched narrative spanning 1903 to 1974, David G. García excavates an extensive array of archival sources to expose a separate and unequal school system and its purposeful links with racially restrictive housing covenants. He recovers powerful oral accounts of Mexican Americans and African Americans who endured disparate treatment and protested discrimination. 

Ismael García-Colón

Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists Book Award 2nd Place

Ismael García-Colón is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the College of Staten Island and CUNY Graduate Center. He is a historical and political anthropologist with interests in political economy and oral history, and the author of Land Reform in Puerto Rico: Modernizing the Colonial State.

Colonial Migrants at the Heart of Empire
Puerto Rican Workers on U.S. Farms

A labor history and an ethnography, Colonial Migrants evokes the violence, fieldwork, food, lodging, surveillance, and coercion that these workers experienced on farms and conveys their hopes and struggles to overcome poverty. Island farmworkers encountered a unique form of prejudice and racism arising from their dual status as both U.S. citizens and as “foreign others,” and their experiences were further shaped by evolving immigration policies. Despite these challenges, many Puerto Rican farmworkers ultimately chose to settle in rural U.S. communities, contributing to the production of food and the Latinization of the U.S. farm labor force.

Nikki Jones

Michael J. Hindelang Award 2020
American Society of Criminology   

Nikki Jones is Associate Professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of Between Good and Ghetto: African American Girls and Inner-City Violence. 

The Chosen Ones
Black Men and the Politics of Redemption

In The Chosen Ones, sociologist and feminist scholar Nikki Jones shares the compelling story of a group of Black men living in San Francisco’s historically Black neighborhood, the Fillmore. Against all odds, these men work to atone for past crimes by reaching out to other Black men, young and old, with the hope of guiding them toward a better life. Yet despite their genuine efforts, they struggle to find a new place in their old neighborhood. 

Rebecca J. Lester

Victor Turner Prize (Third Prize) 2020
Society for Humanistic Anthropology

Rebecca J. Lester is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and a licensed clinical social worker. She is the author of numerous academic articles and the award-winning book Jesus in Our Wombs.

Eating Disorders and Failed Care in America

Famished, the culmination of over two decades of anthropological and clinical work, as well as a lifetime of lived experience, presents a profound rethinking of eating disorders and how to treat them. Through a mix of rich cultural analysis, detailed therapeutic accounts, and raw autobiographical reflections, Famished helps make sense of why people develop eating disorders, what the process of recovery is like, and why treatments so often fail. It’s also an unsparing condemnation of the tension between profit and care in American healthcare, demonstrating how a system set up to treat a disease may, in fact, perpetuate it.

Ussama Makdisi

British-Kuwait Friendship Society Book Prize 2020 Shortlist
British-Kuwait Friendship Society     

Ussama Makdisi is Professor of History and the first Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University. He is the author of The Culture of SectarianismArtillery of Heaven, and Faith Misplaced.

Age of Coexistence
The Ecumenical Frame and the Making of the Modern Arab World

Rather than judging the Arab world as a place of age-old sectarian animosities, Age of Coexistence describes the forging of a complex system of coexistence, what Makdisi calls the “ecumenical frame.” He argues that new forms of antisectarian politics, and some of the most important examples of Muslim-Christian political collaboration, crystallized to make and define the modern Arab world.

Cecilia Menjívar

American Sociological Association International Migration Section Career Award 2020
American Sociological Association Section on International Migration

Cecilia Menjívar is Professor and Dorothy L. Meier Social Equities Chair in the Department of Sociology at UCLA. She is the author of Fragmented Ties: Salvadoran Immigrant Networks in America, among other books. Menjivar won the Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award from the Latino/a Sociology section of the American Sociological Association.  

Enduring Violence
Ladina Women’s Lives in Guatemala

Drawing on revealing, in-depth interviews, Cecilia Menjívar investigates the role that violence plays in the lives of Ladina women in eastern Guatemala, a little-visited and little-studied region. While much has been written on the subject of political violence in Guatemala, Menjívar turns to a different form of suffering—the violence embedded in institutions and in everyday life so familiar and routine that it is often not recognized as such. Rather than painting Guatemala (or even Latin America) as having a cultural propensity for normalizing and accepting violence, Menjívar aims to develop an approach to examining structures of violence—profound inequality, exploitation and poverty, and gender ideologies that position women in vulnerable situations— grounded in women’s experiences.

Fragmented Ties
Salvadoran Immigrant Networks in America

In one of the most comprehensive treatments of Salvadoran immigration to date, Cecilia Menjívar gives a vivid and detailed account of the inner workings of the networks by which immigrants leave their homes in Central America to start new lives in the Mission District of San Francisco. Menjívar traces crucial aspects of the immigrant experience, from reasons for leaving El Salvador, to the long and perilous journey through Mexico, to the difficulty of finding work, housing, and daily necessities in San Francisco. Fragmented Ties argues that hostile immigration policies, shrinking economic opportunities, and a resource-poor community make assistance conditional and uneven, deflating expectations both on the part of the new immigrants and the relatives who preceded them.

Ranita Ray

Bourdieu Best Book Award 2020
American Sociological Association Sociology of Education Section     

Ranita Ray is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

The Making of a Teenage Service Class
Poverty and Mobility in an American City

In The Making of a Teenage Service Class, Ranita Ray uncovers the pernicious consequences of focusing on risk behaviors such as drug use, gangs, violence, and teen parenthood as the key to ameliorating poverty. Ray recounts the three years she spent with sixteen poor black and brown youth, documenting their struggles to balance school and work while keeping commitments to family, friends, and lovers. Hunger, homelessness, untreated illnesses, and long hours spent traveling between work, school, and home disrupted their dreams of upward mobility.

Tom Rice

2019 Richard Wall Memorial Award Finalist
Theatre Library Association

Tom Rice is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of White Robes, Silver Screens: Movies and the Making of the Ku Klux Klan.

Films for the Colonies
Cinema and the Preservation of the British Empire

Films for the Colonies examines the British Government’s use of film across its vast Empire from the 1920s until widespread independence in the 1960s. Central to this work was the Colonial Film Unit, which produced, distributed, and, through its network of mobile cinemas, exhibited instructional and educational films throughout the British colonies. Using extensive archival research and rarely seen films, Films for the Colonies provides a new historical perspective on the last decades of the British Empire. 

Nazanin Shahrokni

The Latifeh Yarshater Award 2020
Association for Iranian Studies   

Nazanin Shahrokni is Assistant Professor of Gender and Globalization at the London School of Economics. Prior to establishing an academic career, she worked as a journalist for Zanan, a feminist monthly in Tehran, Iran.

Women in Place
The Politics of Gender Segregation in Iran

While much has been written about the impact of the 1979 Islamic revolution on life in Iran, discussions about the everyday life of Iranian women have been glaringly missing. Women in Place offers a gripping inquiry into gender segregation policies and women’s rights in contemporary Iran. Author Nazanin Shahrokni takes us onto gender-segregated buses, inside a women-only park, and outside the closed doors of stadiums where women are banned from attending men’s soccer matches. The Islamic character of the state, she demonstrates, has had to coexist, fuse, and compete with technocratic imperatives, pragmatic considerations regarding the viability of the state, international influences, and global trends. 

H. Colin Slim

2020 ARSC Awards for Excellence Best Historical Research in Classical Music Best History 2021, Association for Recorded Sound Collections

H. Colin Slim was Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California, Irvine, where he served as the first Chair of the music program. He was president of the American Musicological Society (1989­–1990) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His two-volume A Gift of Madrigals and Motets was awarded the Otto Kinkeldey Award. He met Igor Stravinsky in 1952 and again in 1966, events that inspired a lifelong interest in the composer’s personal and professional life. His collection of Stravinsky ephemera, manuscripts, and documents was donated to the University of British Columbia, which published an annotated catalog of the collection in 2002.

Stravinsky in the Americas
Transatlantic Tours and Domestic Excursions from Wartime Los Angeles (1925-1945)

Stravinsky in the Americas explores the “pre-Craft” period of Igor Stravinsky’s life, from when he first landed on American shores in 1925 to the end of World War II in 1945. Through a rich archival trove of ephemera, correspondence, photographs, and other documents, eminent musicologist H. Colin Slim examines the twenty-year period that began with Stravinsky as a radical European art-music composer and ended with him as a popular figure in American culture. This collection traces Stravinsky’s rise to fame—catapulted in large part by his collaborations with Hollywood and Disney and marked by his extra-marital affairs, his grappling with feelings of anti-Semitism, and his encounters with contemporary musicians as the music industry was emerging and taking shape in midcentury America. 

Celeste Watkins-Hayes

C. Wright Mills Award 2019 Finalist
Society for the Study of Social Problems

Celeste Watkins-Hayes is Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University. She is also the author of The New Welfare Bureaucrats: Entanglements of Race, Class, and Policy Reform.

Remaking a Life
How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality

Remaking a Life uses the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a lens to understand how women generate radical improvements in their social well being in the face of social stigma and economic disadvantage. Drawing on interviews with nationally recognized AIDS activists as well as over one hundred Chicago-based women living with HIV/AIDS, Celeste Watkins-Hayes takes readers on an uplifting journey through women’s transformative projects, a multidimensional process in which women shift their approach to their physical, social, economic, and political survival, thereby changing their viewpoint of “dying from” AIDS to “living with” it.

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