UC Press is proud to publish award-winning authors and books across many disciplines. Below are some of our recent award winners from September 2021. Please join us in celebrating these scholars by sharing the news!
Damon B. Akins and William J. Bauer Jr.
15th Annual Hehdey Harvest History Award
William J. Bauer, Jr. is an enrolled citizen of the Round Valley Indian Tribes and Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Damon B. Akins is Associate Professor of History at Guilford College, in Greensboro, North Carolina, and a former high school teacher in Los Angeles.
We Are the Land: A History of Native California
“A Native American rejoinder to Richard White and Jesse Amble White’s California Exposures.”—Kirkus Reviews
Rewriting the history of California as Indigenous.
Before there was such a thing as “California,” there were the People and the Land. Manifest Destiny, the Gold Rush, and settler colonial society drew maps, displaced Indigenous People, and reshaped the land, but they did not make California. Rather, the lives and legacies of the people native to the land shaped the creation of California. We Are the Land is the first and most comprehensive text of its kind, centering the long history of California around the lives and legacies of the Indigenous people who shaped it. Beginning with the ethnogenesis of California Indians, We Are the Land recounts the centrality of the Native presence from before European colonization through statehood—paying particularly close attention to the persistence and activism of California Indians in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The book deftly contextualizes the first encounters with Europeans, Spanish missions, Mexican secularization, the devastation of the Gold Rush and statehood, genocide, efforts to reclaim land, and the organization and activism for sovereignty that built today’s casino economy. A text designed to fill the glaring need for an accessible overview of California Indian history, We Are the Land will be a core resource in a variety of classroom settings, as well as for casual readers and policymakers interested in a history that centers the native experience.
Maria E. Doerfler
Best First Book in the History of Religions 2021
American Academy of Religion
Maria E. Doerfler is Assistant Professor of Late Antiquity in Yale University’s Department of Religious Studies.
Jephthah’s Daughter, Sarah’s Son: The Death of Children in Late Antiquity
Late antiquity was a perilous time for children, who were often the first victims of economic crisis, war, and disease. They had a one in three chance of dying before their first birthday, with as many as half dying before age ten. Christian writers accordingly sought to speak to the experience of bereavement and to provide cultural scripts for parents who had lost a child. These late ancient writers turned to characters like Eve and Sarah, Job and Jephthah as models for grieving and for confronting or submitting to the divine.
Jephthah’s Daughter, Sarah’s Son traces the stories these writers crafted and the ways in which they shaped the lived experience of familial bereavement in ancient Christianity. A compelling social history that conveys the emotional lives of people in the late ancient world, Jephthah’s Daughter, Sarah’s Son is a powerful portrait of mourning that extends beyond antiquity to the present day.