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!


Milena Belloni

2020 Best Book Honorable Mention
International Studies Association RC31 Award

Milena Belloni is a sociologist at the University of Antwerp. Her doctoral research on Eritrean migration received the 2016 IMISCOE Award. Belloni has published in the Journal of Refugee Studies and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

The Big Gamble
The Migration of Eritreans to Europe

A free open access ebook is available upon publication.

Tens of thousands of Eritreans make perilous voyages across Africa and the Mediterranean Sea every year. Why do they risk their lives to reach European countries where so many more hardships await them? By visiting family homes in Eritrea and living with refugees in camps and urban peripheries across Ethiopia, Sudan, and Italy, Milena Belloni untangles the reasons behind one of the most under-researched refugee populations today. Balancing encounters with refugees and their families, smugglers, and visa officers, The Big Gamble contributes to ongoing debates about blurred boundaries between forced and voluntary migration, the complications of transnational marriages, the social matrix of smuggling, and the role of family expectations, emotions, and values in migrants’ choices of destinations.


Genevieve Carpio

2020 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies Book Award

Genevieve Carpio is Assistant Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Collisions at the Crossroads
How Place and Mobility Make Race

 In Collisions at the Crossroads, Genevieve Carpio argues that mobility, both permission to move freely and prohibitions on movement, helped shape racial formation in the eastern suburbs of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By examining policies and forces as different as historical societies, Indian boarding schools, bicycle ordinances, immigration policy, incarceration, traffic checkpoints, and Route 66 heritage, she shows how local authorities constructed a racial hierarchy by allowing some people to move freely while placing limits on the mobility of others. Highlighting the ways people of color have negotiated their place within these systems, Carpio reveals a compelling and perceptive analysis of spatial mobility through physical movement and residence.


Ismael García-Colón

Latino/a Section Outstanding Book Award 2021 Honorable Mention
LASA Latino/a Studies Section

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 Puerto Rican migrant 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.


Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini

Susan Strange Best Book Prize 2021 Shortlist
British International Studies Association

Neve Gordon is Professor of Human Rights and the Politics of Humanitarian Law at Queen Mary University of London.

Nicola Perugini is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh.

Human Shields
A History of People in the Line of Fire

Describing the use of human shields in key historical and contemporary moments across the globe, Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini demonstrate how the increasing weaponization of human beings has made the position of civilians trapped in theaters of violence more precarious and their lives more expendable. They show how the law facilitates the use of lethal violence against vulnerable people while portraying it as humane, but they also reveal how people can and do use their own vulnerability to resist violence and denounce forms of dehumanization. Ultimately, Human Shields unsettles our common ethical assumptions about violence and the law and urges us to imagine entirely new forms of humane politics.


Jessica S. Henry

The Montaigne Medal 2021
Eric Hoffer Awards

Jessica S. Henry was a public defender for nearly ten years in New York City before joining the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University, where she is Professor and a frequent commentator on national television, on radio, and in print media.

Smoke but No Fire
Convicting the Innocent of Crimes that Never Happened

The first book to explore this common but previously undocumented type of wrongful conviction, Smoke but No Fire tells the heartbreaking stories of innocent people convicted of crimes that simply never happened. A suicide is mislabeled a homicide. An accidental fire is mislabeled an arson. Corrupt police plant drugs on an innocent suspect.  A false allegation of assault is invented to resolve a custody dispute. With this book, former New York City public defender Jessica S. Henry sheds essential light on a deeply flawed criminal justice system that allows—even encourages—these convictions to regularly occur. Smoke but No Fire promises to be eye-opening reading for legal professionals, students, activists, and the general public alike as it grapples with the chilling reality that far too many innocent people spend real years behind bars for fictional crimes.


Adria L. Imada

Andrew Carnegie Fellows Recipient 2021
Carnegie Corporation of New York

Adria L. Imada is Professor of History at University of California, Irvine, where she also teaches Medical Humanities. She is author of the award-winning Aloha America: Hula Circuits through the U.S. Empire.

An Archive of Skin, An Archive of Kin
Disability and Life-Making during Medical Incarceration

What was the longest and harshest medical quarantine in modern history and how did people survive it? Beginning in 1866, men, women, and children in Hawai’i suspected of having leprosy were removed from their families. Most were sentenced over the next century to lifelong exile at an isolated settlement. Thousands of photographs taken of their skin provided forceful, if conflicting, evidence of disease and disability for colonial health agents. And yet, a competing knowledge system of kinship and collectivity emerged during this incarceration. An Archive of Skin, an Archive of Kin shows how exiled people pieced together their own intimate archives of care and companionship through unanticipated adaptations of photography.


Laresh Jayasanker

Lawrence W. Levine Award 2021 Finalist
Organization of American Historians

Laresh Jayasanker (1972–2018) was Associate Professor of History at Metropolitan State University of Denver and the author of numerous articles on food in US history.

Sameness in Diversity
Food and Globalization in Modern America

Americans of the 1960s would have trouble navigating the grocery aisles and restaurant menus of today. Once-exotic ingredients—like mangoes, hot sauces, kale, kimchi, and coconut milk—have become standard in the contemporary American diet. Laresh Jayasanker explains how food choices have expanded since the 1960s: immigrants have created demand for produce and other foods from their homelands; grocers and food processors have sought to market new foods; and transportation improvements have enabled food companies to bring those foods from afar. Yet, even as choices within stores have exploded, supermarket chains have consolidated. Throughout the food industry, fewer companies manage production and distribution, controlling what American consumers can access. Mining a wealth of menus, cookbooks, trade publications, interviews, and company records, Jayasanker explores Americans’ changing eating habits to shed light on the impact of immigration and globalization on American culture.


Harshita Mruthinti Kamath

Southeast Regional Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC/AAS) Book Prize 2021

Harshita Mruthinti Kamath is Visweswara Rao and Sita Koppaka Assistant Professor in Telugu Culture, Literature and History at Emory University.

Impersonations
The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance

Impersonations: The Artifice of Brahmin Masculinity in South Indian Dance centers on an insular community of Smarta Brahmin men from the Kuchipudi village in Telugu-speaking South India who are required to don stri-vesam (woman’s guise) and impersonate female characters from Hindu religious narratives. Impersonation is not simply a gender performance circumscribed to the Kuchipudi stage, but a practice of power that enables the construction of hegemonic Brahmin masculinity in everyday village life. However, the power of the Brahmin male body in stri-vesam is highly contingent, particularly on account of the expansion of Kuchipudi in the latter half of the twentieth century from a localized village performance to a transnational Indian dance form. This book analyzes the practice of impersonation across a series of boundaries—village to urban, Brahmin to non-Brahmin, hegemonic to non-normative—to explore the artifice of Brahmin masculinity in contemporary South Indian dance.

A free open access ebook is available upon publication.


Marisol LeBrón

Latino/a Section Outstanding Book Award 2021 Honorable Mention
LASA Latino/a Studies Section

Marisol LeBrón is Assistant Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Policing Life and Death
Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico

In her exciting new book, Marisol LeBrón traces the rise of punitive governance in Puerto Rico over the course of the twentieth century and up to the present. Punitive governance emerged as a way for the Puerto Rican state to manage the deep and ongoing crises stemming from the archipelago’s incorporation into the United States as a colonial territory. A structuring component of everyday life for many Puerto Ricans, police power has reinforced social inequality and worsened conditions of vulnerability in marginalized communities.

This book provides powerful examples of how Puerto Ricans negotiate and resist their subjection to increased levels of segregation, criminalization, discrimination, and harm. Policing Life and Death shows how Puerto Ricans are actively rejecting punitive solutions and working toward alternative understandings of safety and a more just future.


J.M. Mancini

Peggy O’Brien Book Prize 2020
Irish Association for American Studies

J. M. Mancini is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History, Maynooth University, Ireland. Her publications include Pre-Modernism: Art-World Change and American Culture from the Civil War to the Armory Show and Architecture and Armed Conflict, edited with Keith Bresnahan.

Art and War in the Pacific World
Making, Breaking, and Taking from Anson’s Voyage to the Philippine-American War

The Pacific world has long been recognized as a hub for the global trade in art objects, but the history of art and architecture has seldom reckoned with another profound aspect of the region’s history: its exposure to global conflict during the British and US imperial incursions of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Art and War in the Pacific World provides a new view of the Pacific world and of global artistic interaction by exploring how the making, alteration, looting, and destruction of images, objects, buildings, and landscapes intersected with the exercise of force. Focusing on the period from Commodore George Anson’s voyage to the Philippine-American War, J. M. Mancini’s exceptional study deftly weaves together disparate strands of history to create a novel paradigm for cultural analysis.


Mark D. McCoy

Popular Book Award
Society for American Archaeology

Mark D. McCoy is an expert in geospatial archaeology and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of over forty scientific journal articles on the archaeology of the Pacific Islands.

Maps for Time Travelers
How Archaeologists Use Technology to Bring Us Closer to the Past

Written by a preeminent expert in geospatial archaeology, Maps for Time Travelers is a guide to how technology is revolutionizing the way archaeologists study and reconstruct humanity’s distant past. From satellite imagery to 3D modeling, today archaeologists are answering questions about human history that could previously only be imagined. As archaeologists create a better and more complete picture of the past, they sometimes find that truth is stranger than fiction.


Nicola Pratt

Susan Strange Best Book Prize 2021 Shortlist
British International Studies Association

Nicola Pratt is Associate Professor of International Politics of the Middle East at the University of Warwick. She is the coauthor of What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq and author of Democracy and Authoritarianism in the Arab World.

Embodying Geopolitics
Generations of Women’s Activism in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon

Based on over a hundred extensive personal narratives from women of different generations in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, Nicola Pratt traces women’s activism from national independence through to the Arab uprisings, arguing that activist women are critical geopolitical actors. Weaving together these personal accounts with the ongoing legacies of colonialism, Embodying Geopolitics demonstrates how the production and regulation of gender is integrally bound up with the exercise and organization of geopolitical power, with consequences for women’s activism and its effects.


Aliya Hamid Rao

2021 Silver Medal Women/Minorities in Business Category
Axiom Business Book Awards

Aliya Hamid Rao is Assistant Professor in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics.

Crunch Time
How Married Couples Confront Unemployment

In Crunch Time, Aliya Hamid Rao gets up close and personal with college-educated, unemployed men, women, and spouses to explain how comparable men and women have starkly different experiences of unemployment. Traditionally gendered understandings of work—that it’s a requirement for men and optional for women—loom large in this process, even for marriages that had been not organized in gender-traditional ways. These beliefs serve to make men’s unemployment an urgent problem, while women’s unemployment—cocooned within a narrative of staying at home—is almost a non-issue. Crunch Time reveals the minutiae of how gendered norms and behaviors are actively maintained by spouses at a time when they could be dismantled, and how gender is central to the ways couples react to and make sense of unemployment.


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