UC Press is proud to publish award-winning authors and books across many disciplines. Below are several of our April 2024 award winners. Please join us in celebrating these scholars by sharing the news!

Alix Beeston and Stefan Solomon

BAFTTS Best Edited Collection 2024
British Association of Film, Television, and Screen Studies

Alix Beeston is Senior Lecturer in English at Cardiff University and author of In and Out of Sight: Modernist Writing and the Photographic Unseen.

Stefan Solomon is Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Macquarie University and author of William Faulkner in Hollywood: Screenwriting for the Studios.

Incomplete: The Feminist Possibilities of the Unfinished Film

This field-defining collection establishes unfinished film projects—abandoned, interrupted, lost, or open-ended—as rich and underappreciated resources for feminist film and media studies. In deeply researched and creatively conceived chapters, scholars join with film practitioners in approaching the unfinished film as an ideal site for revealing the lived experiences, practical conditions, and institutional realities of women’s film production across historical periods and national borders. Incomplete recovers projects and practices marginalized in film industries and scholarship alike, while also showing how feminist filmmakers have cultivated incompletion as an aesthetic strategy. Objects of loss and of possibility, incomplete films raise profound historiographical and ethical questions about the always unfinished project of film history, film spectatorship, and film studies.

Shannon Cram

Cultural and Political Ecology Outstanding Book Award 2024
American Association of Geographers

Shannon Cram is Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell.

Unmaking the Bomb: Environmental Cleanup and the Politics of Impossibility

What does it mean to reckon with a contaminated world? In Unmaking the Bomb, Shannon Cram considers the complex social politics of this question and the regulatory infrastructures designed to answer it. Blending history, ethnography, and memoir, she investigates remediation efforts at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a former weapons complex in Washington State. Home to the majority of the nation’s high-level nuclear waste and its largest environmental cleanup, Hanford is tasked with managing toxic materials that will long outlast the United States and its institutional capacities. Cram examines the embodied uncertainties and structural impossibilities integral to that endeavor. In particular, this lyrical book engages in a kind of narrative contamination, toggling back and forth between cleanup’s administrative frames and the stories that overspill them. It spends time with the statistical people that inhabit cleanup’s metrics and models and the nonstatistical people that live with their effects. And, in the process, it explores the uneven social relations that make toxicity a normative condition.

Michael Dear

Best Book Award 2023
Association of Borderland Studies

Michael Dear is author of Why Walls Won’t Work and other works on border urbanism, Latinx culture in Los Angeles, and the urban humanities. He is a critic and curator, most recently of Califas: Art of the US-Mexico Borderlands.

Border Witness: Reimagining the US-Mexico Borderlands through Film

Border Witness is an account of cultural collision and fusion between Mexico and the United States, as seen on the ground and in films from the past hundred years. Blending film studies with political and cultural geography, Michael Dear investigates the making of cross-border identity and community in the territories between two nations.

Julian Hanich and Martin P. Rossouw

Ray and Pat Browne Best Edited Collection in Popular and American Culture 2024
Popular Culture Association

Julian Hanich is Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Groningen. He is author of The Audience Effect: On the Collective Cinema Experience and Cinematic Emotion in Horror Films and Thrillers: The Aesthetic Paradox of Pleasurable Fear.

Martin P. Rossouw is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Art History and Image Studies at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He is author of Transformational Ethics of Film: Thinking the Cinemakeover in the Film-Philosophy Debate.

What Film Is Good For: On the Values of Spectatorship

For well over a century, going to the movies has been a favorite pastime for billions across the globe. But is film actually good for anything? This volume brings together thirty-six scholars, critics, and filmmakers in search of an answer. Their responses range from the most personal to the most theoretical—and, together, recast current debates about film ethics. Movie watching here emerges as a wellspring of value, able to sustain countless visions of “the good life.” Films, these authors affirm, make us reflect, connect, adapt; they evoke wonder and beauty; they challenge and transform. In a word, its varieties of value make film invaluable.

Sarah Hines

Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Book Award 2023, Honorable Mention
American Society for Ethnohistory

LASA Environmental Section Best Book of 2022
Latin American Studies Association

Sarah T. Hines is Assistant Professor of Latin American History at the University of Oklahoma.

Water for All: Community, Property, and Revolution in Modern Bolivia

Water for All chronicles how Bolivians democratized water access, focusing on the Cochabamba region, which is known for acute water scarcity and explosive water protests. Sarah T. Hines examines conflict and compromises over water from the 1870s to the 2010s, showing how communities of water users increased supply and extended distribution through collective labor and social struggle. Analyzing a wide variety of sources, from agrarian reform case records to oral history interviews, Hines investigates how water dispossession in the late nineteenth century and reclaimed water access in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries prompted, shaped, and strengthened popular and indigenous social movements. The struggle for democratic control over water culminated in the successful 2000 Water War, a decisive turning point for Bolivian politics. This story offers lessons for contemporary resource management and grassroots movements about how humans can build equitable, democratic, and sustainable resource systems in the Andes, Latin America, and beyond.

Darshana Sreedhar Mini

Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Indian Humanities
American Institute of Indian Studies

Darshana Sreedhar Mini is Assistant Professor of Film at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and coeditor of South Asian Pornographies: Vernacular Formations of the Permissible and the Obscene.

Rated A: Soft-Porn Cinema and Mediations of Desire in India

In the 1990s, India’s mediascape saw the efflorescence of edgy soft-porn films in the Malayalam-speaking state of Kerala. In Rated A, Darshana Sreedhar Mini examines the local and transnational influences that shaped Malayalam soft-porn cinema—such as vernacular pulp fiction, illustrated erotic tales, and American exploitation cinema—and maps the genre’s circulation among blue-collar workers of the Indian diaspora in the Middle East, where pirated versions circulate alongside low-budget Bangladeshi films and Pakistani mujra dance films as South Asian pornography. Through a mix of archival and ethnographic research, Mini also explores the soft-porn industry’s utilization of gendered labor and trust-based arrangements, as well as how actresses and production personnel who are marked by their involvement with a taboo form negotiate their social lives. By locating the tense negotiations between sexuality, import policy, and censorship in contemporary India, this study offers a model for understanding film genres outside of screen space, emphasizing that they constitute not just industrial formations but entire fields of social relations and gendered imaginaries.

Masha Salazkina

Chronicle of Higher Education Best Book of 2023
Chronicle of Higher Education

Masha Salazkina is Concordia Research Chair in Transnational Media Arts and Cultures at Concordia University, Montreal. She is the author of In Excess: Sergei Eisenstein’s Mexico and a coeditor of Sound, Speech, Music in Soviet and Post-Soviet Cinema and Global Perspectives on Amateur Film Histories and Cultures.

World Socialist Cinema: Alliances, Affinities, and Solidarities in the Global Cold War

In this capacious transnational film history, renowned scholar Masha Salazkina proposes a groundbreaking new framework for understanding the cinematic cultures of twentieth-century socialism. Taking as a point of departure the vast body of work screened at the Tashkent International Festival of Cinemas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s, World Socialist Cinema maps the circulation of films between the Soviet Bloc and the countries of the Global South in the mid- to late twentieth century, illustrating the distribution networks, festival circuits, and informal channels that facilitated this international network of artistic and intellectual exchange. Building on decades of meticulous archival work, this long-anticipated film history unsettles familiar stories to provide an alternative to Eurocentric, national, and regional narratives, rooted outside of the capitalist West.

William T. Taylor

Eugene M. Kayden Book Award 2024
Eugene M. Kayden Fund, University of Colorado Bounder

William T. Taylor is Assistant Professor and Curator of Archaeology at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History in Boulder.

Hoof Beats: How Horses Shaped Human History

From the Rockies to the Himalayas, the bond between horses and humans has spanned across time and civilizations. In this archaeological journey, William T. Taylor explores how momentous events in the story of humans and horses helped create the world we live in today. Tracing the horse’s origins and spread from the western Eurasian steppes to the invention of horse-drawn transportation and the explosive shift to mounted riding, Taylor offers a revolutionary new account of how horses altered the course of human history.