UC Press is proud to publish award-winning authors and books across many disciplines. Below are several of our recent award winners. Please join us in celebrating these scholars by sharing the news!


Angela S. García

Mirra Komarovsky Book Award 2021
Eastern Sociological Society

Angela S. García is a sociologist and Assistant Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. 

Legal Passing
Navigating Undocumented Life and Local Immigration Law

Legal Passing offers a nuanced look at how the lives of undocumented Mexicans in the US are constantly shaped by federal, state, and local immigration laws. Angela S. García compares restrictive and accommodating immigration measures in various cities and states to show that place-based inclusion and exclusion unfold in seemingly contradictory ways. Instead of fleeing restrictive localities, undocumented Mexicans react by presenting themselves as “legal,” masking the stigma of illegality to avoid local police and federal immigration enforcement. Restrictive laws coerce assimilation, because as legal passing becomes habitual and embodied, immigrants distance themselves from their ethnic and cultural identities.


Macabe Keliher

Joseph Levenson Prize (Pre-1900) Honorable Mention 2021
Association for Asian Studies

Macabe Keliher is Assistant Professor of History at Southern Methodist University.

The Board of Rites and the Making of Qing China

The Board of Rites and the Making of Qing China presents a major new approach in research on the formation of the Qing empire (1636–1912) in early modern China. Focusing on the symbolic practices that structured domination and legitimized authority, the book challenges traditional understandings of state-formation, and argues that in addition to war making and institution building, the disciplining of diverse political actors, and the construction of political order through symbolic acts were essential undertakings in the making of the Qing state. Beginning in 1631 with the establishment of the key disciplinary organization, the Board of Rites, and culminating with the publication of the first administrative code in 1690, Keliher shows that the Qing political environment was premised on sets of intertwined relationships constantly performed through acts such as the New Year’s Day ceremony, greeting rites, and sumptuary regulations, or what was referred to as li in Chinese. 


Tony K. Stewart

Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize 2021
Association for Asian Studies

Tony K. Stewart is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in Humanities at Vanderbilt University and a specialist in the religions and literatures of early modern Bengal. His works include The Final Word: The Caitanya Caritamrta and the Grammar of Religious Tradition and Fabulous Females and Peerless Pirs: Tales of Mad Adventure in Old Bengal.

Witness to Marvels
Sufism and Literary Imagination

There is a vast body of imaginal literature in Bengali that introduces fictional Sufi saints into the complex mythological world of Hindu gods and goddesses. Dating to the sixteenth century, the stories—pir katha—are still widely read and performed today. The events that play out rival the fabulations of the Arabian Nights, which has led them to be dismissed as simplistic folktales, yet the work of these stories is profound: they provide fascinating insight into how Islam habituated itself into the cultural life of the Bangla-speaking world. In Witness to Marvels, Tony K. Stewart unearths the dazzling tales of Sufi saints to signal a bold new perspective on the subtle ways Islam assumed its distinctive form in Bengal

A free open access ebook is available.


Jatin Dua

Media Ecology Association Book Award Finalist 2021
Media Ecology Association

Jacob Stewart-Halevy is Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Tufts University.

Slant Steps
On the Art World’s Semi-Periphery

Slant Steps explores the vital role of the semi-periphery—artistic communities working between the provinces and the metropole. Premised on the collective fascination with the found object Slant Step, the book details a history of encounters among artists, filmmakers, critics, and others operating in and out of the Bay Area during the long 1960s. They revised the terms of the counterculture, the appeal of consumer goods, and the surfaces and materials of industrial design and contemporary sculpture. Whether extending to international exchanges or shrinking to local coteries, these circles helped develop process, funk, and conceptual art as they forged new directions for the art world and its members. Yet when these groups degraded their own works alongside those of their rivals, they made their political and aesthetic commitments difficult to decipher, reorganizing the ties between the visual arts and the New Left.


David Vine

L.A. Times Book Prize Finalist in History 2020

David Vine is Professor of Anthropology at American University. His other books include Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World and Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia.

The United States of War
A Global History of America’s Endless Conflicts, from Columbus to the Islamic State

In The United States of War, David Vine traces this pattern of bloody conflict from Columbus’s 1494 arrival in Guantanamo Bay through the 250-year expansion of a global US empire. Drawing on historical and firsthand anthropological research in fourteen countries and territories, The United States of War demonstrates how US leaders across generations have locked the United States in a self-perpetuating system of permanent war by constructing the world’s largest-ever collection of foreign military bases—a global matrix that has made offensive interventionist wars more likely. Beyond exposing the profit-making desires, political interests, racism, and toxic masculinity underlying the country’s relationship to war and empire, The United States of War shows how the long history of U.S. military expansion shapes our daily lives, from today’s multi-trillion–dollar wars to the pervasiveness of violence and militarism in everyday U.S. life.


Celeste Watkins-Hayes

Mirra Komarovsky Book Award 2021

Eastern Sociological Society

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. With an eye towards improving the lives of women, Remaking a Life provides techniques to encourage private, nonprofit, and government agencies to successfully collaborate, and shares policy ideas with the hope of alleviating the injuries of inequality faced by those living with HIV/AIDS everyday.


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