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!

Caty Borum Chattoo and Lauren Feldman

Next Generation Indie Book Award
Social Justice 2021 Finalist

Next Generation Indie Book Award
Social Justice 2021 Finalist

Caty Borum Chattoo is Director of the Center for Media & Social Impact and Assistant Professor at American University’s School of Communication in Washington, DC.

Lauren Feldman is Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University.

A Comedian and an Activist Walk into a Bar
The Serious Role of Comedy in Social Justice

Through rich case studies, audience research, and interviews with comedians and social justice leaders and strategists, A Comedian and an Activist Walk Into a Bar: The Serious Role of Comedy in Social Justice explains how comedy – both in the entertainment marketplace and as cultural strategy – can engage audiences with issues such as global poverty, climate change, immigration, and sexual assault, and how activists work with comedy to reach and empower publics in the networked, participatory digital media age.

Emine Fidan Elcioglu

C. Wright Mills Award 2020 Finalist
Society for the Study of Social Problems

Emine Fidan Elcioglu is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto.

Divided by the Wall
Progressive and Conservative Immigration Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Divided by the Wall offers a one-of-a-kind comparative study of progressive pro-immigrant activists and their conservative immigration-restrictionist opponents. Using twenty months of ethnographic research with five grassroots organizations, Emine Fidan Elcioglu shows how immigration politics has become a substitute for struggles around class inequality among white Americans. She demonstrates how activists mobilized not only to change the rules of immigration but also to experience a change in themselves. Elcioglu finds that the variation in social class and intersectional identity across the two sides mapped onto disparate concerns about state power. As activists strategized ways to transform the scope of the state’s power, they also tried to carve out self-transformative roles for themselves. Provocative and even-handed, Divided by the Wall challenges our understanding of immigration politics in times of growing inequality and insecurity.

Jessica S. Henry

First Horizon Award 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.

Danielle T. Raudenbush

C. Wright Mills Award 2020 Finalist
Society for the Study of Social Problems

Danielle T. Raudenbush is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego.

Health Care Off the Books
Poverty, Illness, and Strategies for Survival in Urban America

In Health Care Off the Books, Danielle T. Raudenbush provides an answer that challenges public perceptions and prior scholarly work. Informed by three and a half years of fieldwork in a public housing development, Raudenbush shows how residents who face obstacles to health care gain access to pharmaceutical drugs, medical equipment, physician reference manuals, and insurance cards by mobilizing social networks that include not only their neighbors but also local physicians. However, membership in these social networks is not universal, and some residents are forced to turn to a robust street market to obtain medicine. For others, health problems simply go untreated.

Raudenbush reconceptualizes U.S. health care as a formal-informal hybrid system and explains why many residents who do have access to health services also turn to informal strategies to treat their health problems. While the practices described in the book may at times be beneficial to people’s health, they also have the potential to do serious harm. By understanding this hybrid system, we can evaluate its effects and gain new insight into the sources of social and racial disparities in health outcomes.

Joachim J. Savelsberg

Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Award 2021
Law and Society Association

Joachim J. Savelsberg is Professor of Sociology and Law and holder of the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur.

Knowing about Genocide
Armenian Suffering and Epistemic Struggles

How do victims and perpetrators generate conflicting knowledge about genocide? Using a sociology of knowledge approach, Savelsberg answers this question for the Armenian genocide committed in the context of the First World War. Focusing on Armenians and Turks, he examines strategies of silencing, denial, and acknowledgment in everyday interaction, public rituals, law, and politics. Drawing on interviews, ethnographic accounts, documents, and eyewitness testimony, Savelsberg illuminates the social processes that drive dueling versions of history. He reveals counterproductive consequences of denial in an age of human rights hegemony, with implications for populist disinformation campaigns against overwhelming evidence.

A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org.

This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)—a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries—and the generous support of the University of Minnesota. Learn more at the TOME website, available at openmonographs.org.

Representing Mass Violence
Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur

How do interventions by the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court influence representations of mass violence? What images arise instead from the humanitarianism and diplomacy fields? How are these competing perspectives communicated to the public via mass media? Zooming in on the case of Darfur, Joachim J. Savelsberg analyzes more than three thousand news reports and opinion pieces and interviews leading newspaper correspondents, NGO experts, and foreign ministry officials from eight countries to show the dramatic differences in the framing of mass violence around the world and across social fields. Representing Mass Violence contributes to our understanding of how the world acknowledges and responds to violence in the Global South.

A free ebook version of this title is available upon publication. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more.

Philip G. Schrag

Outstanding Academic Titles 2020: Law & Incarceration in the US Choice/American Library Association

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

Baby Jails
The Fight to End the Incarceration of Refugee Children in America

For decades, advocates for refugee children and families have fought to end the U.S. government’s practice of jailing children and families for months, or even years, until overburdened immigration courts could rule on their claims for asylum. Baby Jails is the history of that legal and political struggle. Philip G. Schrag, the director of Georgetown University’s asylum law clinic, takes readers through thirty years of conflict over which refugee advocates resisted the detention of migrant children. The saga began during the Reagan administration when 15-year-old Jenny Lisette Flores languished in a Los Angeles motel that the government had turned into a makeshift jail by draining the swimming pool, barring the windows, and surrounding the building with barbed wire. What became known as the Flores Settlement Agreement was still at issue years later, when the Trump administration resorted to the forced separation of families after the courts would not allow long-term jailing of the children. Schrag provides recommendations for the reform of a system that has brought anguish and trauma to thousands of parents and children. Provocative and timely, Baby Jails exposes the ongoing struggle between the U.S. government and immigrant advocates over the duration and conditions of confinement of children who seek safety in America.

Jessica Graham

Jessica Lynn Graham is Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego.

Shifting the Meaning of Democracy
Race, Politics, and Culture in the United States and Brazil

And a special shout-out to Jessica Graham, who has now been awarded a staggering seven honors for her book, Shifting the Meaning of Democracy!

  • SSSP Global Division Book Award 2020, Society for the Study of Social Problems, Global Division
  • Bryce Wood Book Award 2021, Latin American Studies Association
  • Luciano Tomassini Latin American International Relations Book Award 2021, Latin American Studies Association
  • Warren Dean Memorial Prize 2021, The Conference on Latin American History
  • Outstanding First Book Prize Finalist, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora
  • Roberto Reis Book Award, Brazilian Studies Association
  • Antonio Candido Prize Honorable Mention, Latin American Studies Association, Brazil Section

Learn more in this interview between UC Press editor Kate Marshall and the author.

Explore more UC Press award-winning titles