UC Press is proud to publish award-winning authors and books across many disciplines. Below are several of our February 2023 award winners. Please join us in celebrating these scholars by sharing the news!
2023 Katherine Singer Kovàcs Book Award
Society for Cinema and Media Studies
Kaveh Askari is Associate Professor and Director of the Film Studies Program at Michigan State University. He is author of Making Movies into Art.
Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran: Material Cultures in Transit
Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran investigates how the cultural translation of cinema has been shaped by the physical translation of its ephemera. Kaveh Askari examines film circulation and its effect on Iranian film culture in the period before foreign studios established official distribution channels and Iran became a notable site of world cinema. This transcultural history draws on cross-archival comparison of films, distributor memos, licensing contracts, advertising schemes, and audio recordings. Askari meticulously tracks the fragile and sometimes forgotten material of film as it circulated through the Middle East into Iran and shows how this material was rerouted, reengineered, and reimagined in the process.
Helen Anne Curry
2023 Hughes Prize Longlist
British Society for the History of Science
Helen Anne Curry is Peter Lipton Lecturer in History of Modern Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge.
Endangered Maize: Industrial Agriculture and the Crisis of Extinction
Many people worry that we’re losing genetic diversity in the foods we eat. Over the past century, crop varieties standardized for industrial agriculture have increasingly dominated farm fields. Concerned about what this transition means for the future of food, scientists, farmers, and eaters have sought to protect fruits, grains, and vegetables they consider endangered. They have organized high-tech genebanks and heritage seed swaps. They have combed fields for ancient landraces and sought farmers growing Indigenous varieties. Behind this widespread concern for the loss of plant diversity lies another extinction narrative that concerns the survival of farmers themselves, a story that is often obscured by urgent calls to collect and preserve. Endangered Maize draws on the rich history of corn in Mexico and the United States to uncover this hidden narrative and show how it shaped the conservation strategies adopted by scientists, states, and citizens.
2023 Joseph Levenson Prize, Post-1900
Association for Asian Studies
Joshua Goldstein is Associate Professor of modern Chinese history at the University of Southern California and the author of Drama Kings: Players and Publics in the Re-creation of Peking Opera, 1870–1937.
Remains of the Everyday: A Century of Recycling in Beijing
Remains of the Everyday traces the changing material culture and industrial ecology of China through the lens of recycling. Over the last century, waste recovery and secondhand goods markets have been integral to Beijing’s economic functioning and cultural identity, and acts of recycling have figured centrally in the ideological imagination of modernity and citizenship. On the one hand, the Chinese state has repeatedly promoted acts of voluntary recycling as exemplary of conscientious citizenship. On the other, informal recycling networks—from the night soil carriers of the Republican era to the collectors of plastic and cardboard in Beijing’s neighborhoods today—have been represented as undisciplined, polluting, and technologically primitive due to the municipal government’s failure to control them. The result, Joshua Goldstein argues, is the repeatedly re-inscribed exclusion of waste workers from formations of modern urban citizenship as well as the intrinsic liminality of recycling itself as an economic process.
2023 PROSE Awards Cultural, Finalist
Anthropology and Sociology Association of American Publishers
Lynne Haney is Professor of Sociology at New York University and author of the award-winning books Offending Women and Inventing the Needy. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Justice, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Fulbright New Century Scholars Program.
Prisons of Debt: The Afterlives of Incarcerated Fathers
In the first study of its kind, sociologist Lynne Haney travels into state institutions across the country to document the experiences of the millions of fathers cycling through the criminal justice and child support systems. Prisons of Debt shows how these systems work together to create complex entanglements—rather than “piling up” in men’s lives, these entanglements form feedback loops of disadvantage. The prison–child support pipeline flows in both directions, deepening parents’ debt and criminal justice involvement.
2023 John Whitney Hall Prize, Honorable Mention
Association Association for Asian Studies
Reginald Jackson is Associate Professor of Premodern Japanese Literature and Performance at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Textures of Mourning: Calligraphy, Mortality, and the Tale of Genji Scrolls.
A Proximate Remove: Queering Intimacy and Loss in The Tale of Genji
How might queer theory transform our interpretations of medieval Japanese literature and how might this literature reorient the assumptions, priorities, and critical practices of queer theory? Through a close reading of The Tale of Genji, an eleventh-century text that depicts the lifestyles of aristocrats during the Heian period, A Proximate Remove explores this question by mapping the destabilizing aesthetic, affective, and phenomenological dimensions of experiencing intimacy and loss. The spatiotemporal fissures Reginald Jackson calls “proximate removes” suspend belief in prevailing structures. Beyond issues of sexuality, Genji queers in its reluctance to romanticize or reproduce a flawed social order. An understanding of this hesitation enhances how we engage with premodern texts and how we question contemporary disciplinary stances.
2023 PROSE Award, Finalist
North American & US History Association of American University Presses
Natalia Molina is Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. She is the author of the award-winning books How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts and Fit to Be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879–1939 and coeditor of Relational Formations of Race: Theory, Method, and Practice.
A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community
The Nayarit was much more than a popular eating spot: it was an urban anchor for a robust community, a gathering space where ethnic Mexican workers and customers connected with their patria chica (their “small country”). That meant connecting with distinctive tastes, with one another, and with the city they now called home. Through deep research and vivid storytelling, Molina follows restaurant workers from the kitchen and the front of the house across borders and through the decades. These people’s stories illuminate the many facets of the immigrant experience: immigrants’ complex networks of family and community and the small but essential pleasures of daily life, as well as cross-currents of gender and sexuality and pressures of racism and segregation. The Nayarit was a local landmark, popular with both Hollywood stars and restaurant workers from across the city and beloved for its fresh, traditionally prepared Mexican food. But as Molina argues, it was also, and most importantly, a place where ethnic Mexicans and other Latinx L.A. residents could step into the fullness of their lives, nourishing themselves and one another. A Place at the Nayarit is a stirring exploration of how racialized minorities create a sense of belonging. It will resonate with anyone who has felt like an outsider and had a special place where they felt like an insider.
2022 Wellcome Medal for Anthropology as Applied for Medical Problem
Royal Anthropology Institute
Amy Moran-Thomas is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Traveling with Sugar: Chronicles of a Global Epidemic
Traveling with Sugar reframes the rising diabetes epidemic as part of a five-hundred-year-old global history of sweetness and power. Amid eerie injuries, changing bodies, amputated limbs, and untimely deaths, many people across the Caribbean and Central America simply call the affliction “sugar”—or, as some say in Belize, “traveling with sugar.” A decade in the making, this book unfolds as a series of crónicas—a word meaning both slow-moving story and slow-moving disease. It profiles the careful work of those “still fighting it” as they grapple with unequal material infrastructures and unsettling dilemmas. Facing a new incarnation of blood sugar, these individuals speak back to science and policy misrecognitions that have prematurely cast their lost limbs and deaths as normal. Their families’ arts of maintenance and repair illuminate ongoing struggles to survive and remake larger systems of food, land, technology, and medicine.
2023 Edinburgh Medal Winner
Edinburgh Science Foundation
Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University and author of a wide range of books about the politics of food, nutrition, health, and the environment.
Slow Cooked: An Unexpected Life in Food Politics
In this engrossing memoir, Marion Nestle reflects on how she achieved late-in-life success as a leading advocate for healthier and more sustainable diets. Slow Cooked recounts of how she built an unparalleled career at a time when few women worked in the sciences, and how she came to recognize and reveal the enormous influence of the food industry on our dietary choices. By the time Nestle obtained her doctorate in molecular biology, she had been married since the age of nineteen, dropped out of college, worked as a lab technician, divorced, and become a stay-at-home mom with two children. That’s when she got started. Slow Cooked charts her astonishing rise from bench scientist to the pinnacles of academia, as she overcame the barriers and biases facing women of her generation and found her life’s purpose after age fifty. Slow Cooked tells her personal story—one that is deeply relevant to everyone who eats, and anyone who thinks it’s too late to follow a passion.
2022 Food and Drink Book Awards, Shortlist
Andre Simon Memorial Fund
Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre is Professor of History at Trinity College, Connecticut, and author of Cosmopolitan Nationalism in the Victorian Empire. In 2019 she was named one of the “Future 50” of wine by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Imperial Wine: How the British Empire Made Wine’s New World
Imperial Wine is a bold, rigorous history of Britain’s surprising role in creating the wine industries of Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. Here, historian Jennifer Regan-Lefebvre bridges the genres of global commodity history and imperial history, presenting provocative new research in an accessible narrative. This is the first book to argue that today’s global wine industry exists as a result of settler colonialism and that imperialism was central, not incidental, to viticulture in the British colonies.
Wineries were established almost immediately after the colonization of South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand as part of a civilizing mission: tidy vines, heavy with fruit, were symbolic of Britain’s subordination of foreign lands. Economically and culturally, nineteenth-century settler winemakers saw the British market as paramount. However, British drinkers were apathetic towards what they pejoratively called “colonial wine.” The tables only began to turn after the First World War, when colonial wines were marketed as cheap and patriotic and started to find their niche among middle- and working-class British drinkers. This trend, combined with social and cultural shifts after the Second World War, laid the foundation for the New World revolution in the 1980s, making Britain into a confirmed country of wine-drinkers and a massive market for New World wines. These New World producers may have only received critical acclaim in the late twentieth century, but Imperial Wine shows that they had spent centuries wooing, and indeed manufacturing, a British market for inexpensive colonial wines. This book is sure to satisfy any curious reader who savors the complex stories behind this commodity chain.
2023 Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize
Association for Asian Studies
Elora Shehabuddin is Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and Global Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is author of Reshaping the Holy: Democracy, Development, and Muslim Women in Bangladesh, coeditor of Gender and Economics in Muslim Communities, and associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures.
Sisters in the Mirror: A History of Muslim Women and the Global Politics of Feminism
Western feminists, pundits, and policymakers tend to portray the Muslim world as the last and most difficult frontier of global feminism. Challenging this view, Elora Shehabuddin presents a unique and engaging history of feminism as a story of colonial and postcolonial interactions between Western and Muslim societies. Muslim women, like other women around the world, have been engaged in their own struggles for generations: as individuals and in groups that include but also extend beyond their religious identity and religious practices. The modern and globally enmeshed Muslim world they navigate has often been at the weaker end of disparities of wealth and power, of processes of colonization and policies of war, economic sanctions, and Western feminist outreach. Importantly, Muslims have long constructed their own ideas about women’s and men’s lives in the West, with implications for how they articulate their feminist dreams for their own societies.