UC Press is proud to publish award-winning authors and books across many disciplines. Below are several of our May 2023 award winners. Please join us in celebrating these scholars by sharing the news!

Silvia Marina Arrom

Howard F. Cline Book Prize in Mexican History, Winner  LASA Mexico Section

Silvia Marina Arrom is Jane’s Professor Emerita of Latin American Studies at Brandeis University. She has published widely on Mexican social history, with books and articles focusing on women and gender, the family, social welfare, and the poor.

La Guera: Rodriguez The Life and Legends of a Mexican Independence Heroine

In La Güera Rodríguez, Silvia Marina Arrom approaches the legends of Rodríguez de Velasco with a keen eye, seeking to disentangle the woman from the myth. Arrom uses a wide array of primary sources from the period to piece together an intimate portrait of this remarkable woman, followed by a review of her evolving representation in Mexican arts and letters that shows how the legends became ever more fanciful after her death. How much of the story is rooted in fact, and how much is fiction sculpted to fit the cultural sensibilities of a given moment in time? In our contemporary moment of unprecedented misinformation, it is particularly relevant to analyze how and why falsehoods become part of historical memory. La Güera Rodriguez will prove an indispensable resource for those searching to understand late-colonial Mexico, the role of women in the independence movement, and the use of historic figures in crafting national narratives.

Cati Connell

2023 Outstanding Book Award, Winner
SSSP Sexual Behavior, Politics, and Communities Division

Cati Connell is Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Boston University.

A Few Good Gays: The Gendered Compromises behind Military Inclusion

In this book, Cati Connell identifies the homonormative bargain that underwrites these uneven patterns of reception—a bargain that comes with significant concessions, upholding and even exacerbating race, class, and gender inequality in the pursuit of sexual equality. In this handshake deal, even the widespread support for open LGB service is highly conditional, revocable upon violation of the bargain. Despite the promise of inclusivity, in practice, the military has made room only for a “few good gays,” to the exclusion of all others. 

E Cram

2023 Rhetoric Society of America Award, Winner

E Cram is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa and associate editor of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Queer Studies and Communication.

Violent Inheritance: Sexuality, Land, and Energy in Making the North American West

Violent Inheritance deepens the analysis of settler colonialism’s endurance in the North American West and how infrastructures that ground sexual modernity are both reproduced and challenged by publics who have inherited them. E Cram redefines sexual modernity through extractivism, wherein sexuality functions to extract value from life including land, air, minerals, and bodies. Analyzing struggles over memory cultures through the region’s land use controversies at the turn of and well into the twentieth century, Cram unpacks the consequences of western settlement and the energy regimes that fueled it. Transfusing queer eco-criticism with archival and ethnographic research, Cram reconstructs the linkages—”land lines”—between infrastructure, violence, sexuality, and energy and shows how racialized sexual knowledges cultivated settler colonial cultures of both innervation and enervation

Hamid Dabashi

2023 Lionel Trilling Book Award, Winner
Columbia College

Hamid Dabashi is Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Among his most recent books are Islamic Liberation Theology: Resisting the EmpireShi’ism: A Religion of Protest; and Europe and Its Shadows: Coloniality after Empire.

The End of Two Illusions: Islam after the West

MacArthur Genius Natalia Molina unveils the hidden history of the Nayarit, a restaurant in Los Angeles that nourished its community of Mexican immigrants with a sense of belonging.

Extending from the front-page news coverage of our daily lives back into the deepest and most revelatory histories of the last two hundred years and earlier, Hamid Dabashi’s The End of Two Illusions is a daring, provocative, and groundbreaking work that dismantles the most dangerous delusions manufactured between two vastly fetishized abstractions: “Islam” and “the West.” With this book, Dabashi shows how the civilizational divides imagined between these two cosmic binaries have defined their entanglement—in ways that have nothing to do with the lived experiences of either Muslims or the diverse and changing communities scarcely held together by the myth of “the West.”

William Darity

2023 Phillis Wheatley Book Award (Historical, Current Events) Nonfiction, Winner
Sons and Daughters of the United States Middle Passage

William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and founding director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. With A. Kirsten Mullen, he is author of the award-winning From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century. Most recently, he is one of the editors of The Pandemic Divide: How COVID Increased Inequality in America.

The Black Reparations Project: A Handbook for Racial Justice

The first section of The Black Reparations Project crystallizes the rationale for reparations, cataloguing centuries of racial repression, discrimination, violence, mass incarceration, and the immense black-white wealth gap. Drawing on the contributors’ expertise in economics, history, law, public policy, public health, and education, the second section unfurls direct guidance for building and implementing a reparations program, including draft legislation that addresses how the program should be financed and how claimants can be identified and compensated. Rigorous and comprehensive, The Black Reparations Project will motivate, guide, and speed the final leg of the journey for justice.

Jean Ma

2023 Kraszna-Krausz Book Award, Shortlist
Kraszna Krausz Foundation

Jean Ma is the author of Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema and Sounding the Modern Woman: The Songstress in Chinese Cinema. She is the Victoria and Roger Sant Professor in Art in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.

At the Edges of Sleep: Moving Images and Somnolent Spectators

Many recent works of contemporary art, performance, and film turn a spotlight on sleep, wresting it from the hidden, private spaces to which it is commonly relegated. At the Edges of Sleep considers sleep in film and moving image art as both a subject matter to explore onscreen and a state to induce in the audience. Far from negating action or meaning, sleep extends into new territories as it designates ways of existing in the world, in relation to people, places, and the past. Defined positively, sleep also expands our understanding of reception beyond the binary of concentration and distraction. These possibilities converge in the work of Thai filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who has explored the subject of sleep systematically throughout his career. In examining Apichatpong’s work, Jean Ma brings together an array of interlocutors—from Freud to Proust, George Méliès to Tsai Ming-liang, Weegee to Warhol—to rethink moving images through the lens of sleep. Ma exposes an affinity between cinema, spectatorship, and sleep that dates to the earliest years of filmmaking, and sheds light upon the shifting cultural valences of sleep in the present moment.

W. Andrew Marcus

2022 Wildlife Society Publication Award, Shortlist

W. Andrew Marcus is Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography at the University of Oregon.

Atlas of Yellowstone: Second Edition

The publication of the Atlas of Yellowstone, Second Edition coincides with the 150th anniversary of the founding of Yellowstone National Park—a major international event. The atlas is an accessible, comprehensive guide that presents Yellowstone’s story through compelling visualizations rendered by award-winning cartographers at the University of Oregon. Readers of this new edition of the Atlas of Yellowstone will explore the contributions of Yellowstone to preserving and understanding natural and cultural landscapes, to informing worldwide conservation practices, and to inspiring national parks around the world, while also learning about the many struggles the park faces in carrying out its mission. Ranging from Indigenous Americans and local economies to geysers and wildlife migrations, from the life of one wolf to the threat of wildfires, each page provides leading experts’ insights into the complexity and significance of Yellowstone. Key elements of the atlas include:

Doug Meyer

2023 Outstanding Book Award, Honorable Mention
Organization of American Historians SSSP Sexual Behavior, Politics, and Communities Division.

Doug Meyer is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of Virginia and author of Violence against Queer People: Race, Class, Gender, and the Persistence of Anti-LGBT Discrimination.

Violent Differences: The Importance of Race in Sexual Assault against Queer Men

Despite rising attention to sexual assault and sexual violence, queer men have been largely excluded from the discussion. Violent Differences is the first book of its kind to focus specifically on queer male survivors and to devote particular attention to Black queer men. Whereas previous scholarship on male survivors has emphasized the role of masculinity, Doug Meyer shows that race and sexuality should be regarded as equally foundational as gender.

Megan Tobias Neely

2023 Alice Amsden Best book Award, Winner Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Megan Tobias Neely is Assistant Professor in the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School and coauthor of Divested: Inequality in the Age of Finance.

Hedged Out: Inequality and Insecurity on Wall Street

Hedged Out dives into the upper echelons of Wall Street, where elite white masculinity is the standard measure for the capacity to manage risk and insecurity. Facing an unpredictable and risky stock market, hedge fund workers protect their interests by working long hours and building tight-knit networks with people who look and behave like them. Using ethnographic vignettes and her own industry experience, Neely showcases the voices of managers and other workers to illustrate how this industry of politically mobilized elites excludes people on the basis of race, class, and gender. Neely shows how this system of elite power and privilege not only sustains itself but builds over time as the beneficiaries concentrate their resources. Hedged Out explains why the hedge fund industry generates extreme wealth, why mostly white men benefit, and why reforming Wall Street will create a more equal society.

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva

2023 Stirling Book Prize, Winner
Society for Psychological Anthropology

Chikako Ozawa-de Silva is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Emory University and the author of Psychotherapy and Religion in Japan.

The Anatomy of Loneliness: Suicide, Social Connection, and the Search for Relational Meaning in Contemporary Japan

Loneliness is everybody’s business. Neither a pathology nor a rare affliction, it is part of the human condition. Severe and chronic loneliness, however, is a threat to individual and public health and appears to be on the rise. In this illuminating book, anthropologist Chikako Ozawa-de Silva examines loneliness in Japan, focusing on rising rates of suicide, the commodification of intimacy, and problems impacting youth. Moving from interviews with college students, to stories of isolation following the 2011 natural and nuclear disasters, to online discussions in suicide website chat rooms, Ozawa-de Silva points to how society itself can exacerbate experiences of loneliness. A critical work for our world, The Anatomy of Loneliness considers how to turn the tide of the “lonely society” and calls for a deeper understanding of empathy and subjective experience on both individual and systemic levels.

Joshua Savala

2023 Spcial Science Award, Honorable Mention
LASA Southern Cone Studies

Joshua Savala is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at Rollins College.

Beyond Patriotic Phobias: Connections, Cooperation, and Solidarity in the Peruvian-Chilean Pacific World

The War of the Pacific (1879–1883) looms large in the history of Peru and Chile. Upending the prevailing historiographical focus on the history of conflict, Beyond Patriotic Phobias explores points of connection shared between Peruvians and Chileans despite war. Through careful archival work, historian Joshua Savala highlights the overlooked cooperative relationships of workers across borders, including maritime port workers, doctors, and the police. These groups, in both countries, were intimately tied together through different forms of labor: they worked the ships and ports, studied and treated disease transmission in the face of a cholera outbreak, and conducted surveillance over port and maritime activities because of perceived threats like transnational crime and labor organizing. By following the movement of people, diseases, and ideas, Savala reconstructs the circulation that created a South American Pacific world. The resulting story is one in which communities, classes, and states formed transnationally through varied, if uneven, forms of cooperation.

Josh Seim

2023 Max Weber Book Award, Winner
ASA Section on Occupations, Organizations, and Work

Josh Seim is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston College.

Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering

Drawing on field observations, medical records, and his own experience as a novice emergency medical technician, sociologist Josh Seim reimagines paramedicine as a frontline institution for governing urban suffering. Bandage, Sort, and Hustle argues that the ambulance is part of a fragmented regime that is focused more on neutralizing hardships (which are disproportionately carried by poor people and people of color) than on eradicating the root causes of agony. Whether by compressing lifeless chests on the streets or by transporting the publicly intoxicated into the hospital, ambulance crews tend to handle suffering bodies near the bottom of the polarized metropolis. 

Merav Shohet

2023 Stirling Book Prize, Winner
Society for Psychological Anthropology

Merav Shohet is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Boston University.

Silence and Sacrifice: Family Stories of Care and the Limits of Love in Vietnam

How do families remain close when turbulent forces threaten to tear them apart? In this groundbreaking book based on more than a decade of research set in Vietnam, Merav Shohet explores what happens across generations to families that survive imperialism, war, and massive political and economic upheaval. Placing personal sacrifice at the center of her story, Shohet recounts vivid experiences of conflict, love, and loss. In doing so, her work challenges the idea that sacrifice is merely a blood-filled religious ritual or patriotic act. Today, domestic sacrifices—made largely by women—precariously knot family members together by silencing suffering and naturalizing cross-cutting gender, age, class, and political hierarchies. In rethinking ordinary ethics, this intimate ethnography reveals how quotidian acts of sacrifice help family members forge a sense of continuity in the face of trauma and decades of dramatic change.

Nomi Stone

2023 IPPY Awards Gold Medal, Winner
(Current Events/Political/Economic/Foreign Affairs) Independent Publisher Book Awards

Nomi Stone is an award-winning anthropologist and poet. An Assistant Professor of Poetry at the University of Texas, Dallas, she was most recently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Anthropology at Princeton. She is author of two ethnographic collections of poetry, Stranger’s Notebook and Kill Class, and her poems appear in The AtlanticThe New RepublicThe Nation, and widely elsewhere.

Pinelandia: An Anthropology and Field Poetics of War and Empire

Across the pine forests and deserts of America, there are mock Middle Eastern villages, mostly hidden from public view. Containing mosques, restaurants, street signs, graffiti in Arabic, and Iraqi role-players, these villages serve as military training sites for cultural literacy and special operations, both seen as crucial to victory in the Global War on Terror. In her gripping and highly original ethnography, anthropologist Nomi Stone explores US military predeployment training exercises and the lifeworlds of the Iraqi role-players employed within the mock villages, as they act out to mourn, bargain, and die like the wartime adversary or ally. Spanning fieldwork across the United States and Jordan, Pinelandia traces the devastating consequences of a military project that seeks to turn human beings into wartime technologies recruited to translate, mediate, and collaborate. Theorizing and enacting a field poetics, this work enlarges the ethnographic project into new cross-disciplinary worlds. Pinelandia is a political phenomenology of American empire and Iraq in the twenty-first century.