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


Abigail Andrews

2023 C. Wright Mills Award, Finalist
Society for the Study of Social Problems

Abigail Andrews is Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of the Mexican Migration Field Research Program. She researched this book together with thirty-one Latinx students.

Banished Men: How Migrants Endure the Violence of Deportation

What becomes of men the U.S. locks up and kicks out? From 2009 to 2020, the U.S. deported more than five million people—over 90 percent of them men. In Banished Men, Abigail Andrews and her students tell 186 of their stories. How, they ask, does expulsion shape men’s lives and sense of themselves? The book uncovers a harrowing carceral system that weaves together policing, prison, detention, removal, and border militarization to undermine migrants as men. Guards and gangs beat them down, till they feel like cockroaches, pigs, or dogs. Many lose ties with family. They do not go “home.” Instead, they end up in limbo: stripped of their very humanity. Against the odds, they fight for new ways to belong. At once devastating and humane, Banished Men offers a clear-eyed critique of the violence of deportation.


Abigail Andrews and Stefan Solomon

2024 Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Award, Longlist
Kraszna-Krausz Foundation

2024 Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthology, Multi-Authored, or Edited Book in Feminist Studies in Popular and American Culture, Honorable Mention
Popular Culture Association

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

2024 Independent Publisher Book Award, Bronze Medal in Environment/Ecology
Independent Publisher Book Awards

2024 Ludwik Fleck Prize, Winner
Society for Social Studies of Science

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.


Laurie Denyer Willis

2023 LASA Brazil Section Award, Honorable Mention
Latin American Studies Association, Brazil Section

Laurie Denyer Willis is Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh.

Go with God: Political Exhaustion and Evangelical Possibility in Suburban Brazil

Through deep attention to sense and feeling, Go with God grapples with the centrality of Evangelical faith in Rio de Janeiro’s subúrbios, the city’s expansive and sprawling peripheral communities. Based on sensory ethnographic fieldwork and attuned to religious desire and manipulation, this book shows how Evangelical belief has changed the way people understand their lives in relation to Brazil’s history of violent racial differentiation and inequality. From expressions of otherworldly hope to political exhaustion, Go with God depicts Evangelical life as it is lived and explores where people turn to find grace, possibility, and a future.


Sean J. Drake

SSSP Educational Problems Division Outstanding Book Award 2024
Society for the Study of Social Problems

Sean J. Drake is Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and Senior Research Associate at the Maxwell Center for Policy Research.

Academic Apartheid: Race and the Criminalization of Failure in an American Suburb

In Academic Apartheid, sociologist Sean J. Drake addresses long-standing problems of educational inequality from a nuanced perspective, looking at how race and class intersect to affect modern school segregation. Drawing on more than two years of ethnographic observation and dozens of interviews at two distinct high schools in a racially diverse Southern California suburb, Drake unveils hidden institutional mechanisms that lead to the overt segregation and symbolic criminalization of Black, Latinx, and lower-income students who struggle academically. His work illuminates how institutional definitions of success contribute to school segregation, how institutional actors leverage those definitions to justify inequality, and the ways in which local immigrant groups use their ethnic resources to succeed. Academic Apartheid represents a new way forward for scholars whose work sits at the intersection of education, race and ethnicity, class, and immigration.


Chiara Galli

2024 Children & Youth Outstanding Scholarly Contribution Award (Book), Winner
American Sociological Association Section on Children and Youth

Chiara Galli is a sociologist and Assistant Professor of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago.

Precarious Protections: Unaccompanied Minors Seeking Asylum in the United States

More children than ever are crossing international borders alone to seek asylum worldwide. In the past decade, over a half million children have fled from Central America to the United States, seeking safety and a chance to continue lives halted by violence. Yet upon their arrival, they fail to find the protection that our laws promise, based on the broadly shared belief that children should be safeguarded. A meticulously researched ethnography, Precarious Protections chronicles the experiences and perspectives of Central American unaccompanied minors and their immigration attorneys as they pursue applications for refugee status in the US asylum process. Chiara Galli debunks assumptions about asylum, including the idea that people are being denied protection because they file bogus claims. In practice, the United States interprets asylum law far more narrowly than what is necessary to recognize real-world experiences of escape from life-threatening violence. This is especially true for children from Central America. Galli reveals the formidable challenges of lawyering with children and exposes the human toll of the US immigration bureaucracy.


Saida Grundy

2024 Race, Gender, & Class Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award, Winner
American Sociological Association Race, Gender, and Class Section

Saida Grundy is a feminist sociologist of race and Assistant Professor of Sociology, African American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at Boston University. A proud graduate of Spelman College, she received her PhD in Sociology and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan and often contributes to the Atlantic.

Respectable: Politics and Paradox in Making the Morehouse Man

Respectable gathers the experiences of former students and others connected to Morehouse to illustrate the narrow, conservative vision of masculinity molded at a competitive Black institution. The thirty-two men interviewed unveil a culture that forges confining ideas of respectable Black manhood within a context of relentless peer competition and sexual violence, measured against unattainable archetypes of idealized racial leadership. Grundy underlines the high costs of making these men—the experiences of low-income students who navigate class issues at Morehouse, the widespread homophobia laced throughout the college’s notions of Black male respectability, and the crushingly conformist expectations of a college that sees itself as making “good” Black men. As Morehouse’s problems continue to pour out into national newsfeeds, this book contextualizes these issues not as a defect of Black masculinity, but as a critique of what happens when an institution services an imagination of what Black men should be, at the expense of more fully understanding the many ways these young people see themselves.


Helena Hansen, Jules Netherland, David Herzberg

Rachel Carson Prize 2024, Winner
Society for Social Studies of Science

Helena Hansen is an addiction psychiatrist and anthropologist and Professor of Psychiatry and Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jules Netherland is a sociologist and policy advocate and Managing Director of the Department of Research and Academic Engagement at the Drug Policy Alliance.

David Herzberg is a historian and Professor of History at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Whiteout: How Racial Capitalism Changed the Color of Opioids in America

In the past two decades, media images of the surprisingly white “new face” of the US opioid crisis abounded. But why was the crisis so white? Some argued that skyrocketing overdoses were “deaths of despair” signaling deeper socioeconomic anguish in white communities. Whiteout makes the counterintuitive case that the opioid crisis was the product of white racial privilege as well as despair.

Anchored by interviews, data, and riveting firsthand narratives from three leading experts—an addiction psychiatrist, a policy advocate, and a drug historian—Whiteout reveals how a century of structural racism in drug policy, and in profit-oriented medical industries led to mass white overdose deaths. The authors implicate racially segregated health care systems, the racial assumptions of addiction scientists, and relaxed regulation of pharmaceutical marketing to white consumers. Whiteout is an unflinching account of how racial capitalism is toxic for all Americans.


Julia Kelto Lillis

2024 Best First Book Prize
North American Patristics Society

Julia Kelto Lillis is Assistant Professor of Early Church History at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

Virgin Territory: Configuring Female Virginity in Early Christianity

Women’s virginity held tremendous significance in early Christianity and the Mediterranean world. Early Christian thinkers developed diverse definitions of virginity and understood its bodily aspects in surprising, often nonanatomical ways. Eventually Christians took part in a cross-cultural shift toward viewing virginity as something that could be perceived in women’s sex organs. Treating virginity as anatomical brought both benefits and costs. By charting this change and situating it in the larger landscape of ancient thought, Virgin Territory illuminates unrecognized differences among early Christian sources and historicizes problematic ideas about women’s bodies that still persist today.


Alka Vaid Menon

2024 Ludwik Fleck Prize, Finalist
Society for the Social Studies of Science

Sociology of the Body and Embodiment Book Award 2024, Winner
ASA Section on Body and Embodiment

Alka V. Menon is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Yale University.

Refashioning Race: How Global Cosmetic Surgery Crafts New Beauty Standards

Cosmetic surgery was once associated with a one-size-fits-all approach, modifying patients to conform to a single standard of beauty. As this surgery has become more accessible worldwide, changing beauty trends have led to a proliferation of beauty standards for members of different racial groups. Alka V. Menon enters the world of cosmetic surgeons, journeying from a sprawling convention center in Kyoto to boutique clinics in the multicultural countries of the United States and Malaysia. She shows how surgeons generate and apply knowledge using racial categories and how this process is affected by transnational clinical and economic exchanges. Surgeons not only measure and organize but also elaborate upon racial differences in a globalized field of medicine. Focusing on the role of cosmetic surgeons as gatekeepers and producers of desired appearances, Refashioning Race argues that cosmetic surgeons literallyreshape race—both on patients’ bodies and at the broader level of culture.


Victor Roy

Alice Amsden Best Book Award 2024, Honorable Mention
Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Victor Roy, MD, PhD, is a family physician, sociologist, and a fellow in the National Clinician Scholars Program at Yale University.

Capitalizing a Cure: How Finance Controls the Price and Value of Medicines

Capitalizing a Cure takes readers into the struggle over a medical breakthrough to investigate the power of finance over business, biomedicine, and public health. When curative treatments for hepatitis C launched in 2013, sticker shock over their prices intensified the global debate over access to new medicines. Weaving historical research with insights from political economy and science and technology studies, Victor Roy demystifies an oft-missed dynamic in this debate: the reach of financialized capitalism into how medicines are made, priced, and valued.


Benjamín Schultz-Figueroa

Kraszna-Krausz Moving Image Award 2024, Longlist
Kraszna-Krausz Foundation

Benjamín Schultz-Figueroa is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at Seattle University.

The Celluloid Specimen: Moving Image Research into Animal Life

In The Celluloid Specimen, Benjamín Schultz‑Figueroa examines rarely seen behaviorist films of animal experiments from the 1930s and 1940s. These laboratory recordings—including Robert Yerkes’s work with North American primate colonies, Yale University’s rat‑based simulations of human society, and B. F. Skinner’s promotions for pigeon‑guided missiles—have long been considered passive records of scientific research. In Schultz‑Figueroa’s incisive analysis, however, they are revealed to be rich historical, political, and aesthetic texts that played a crucial role in American scientific and cultural history—and remain foundational to contemporary conceptions of species, race, identity, and society.


Rebecca Sharpless

Independent Publisher Book Awards Current Events I (Political/Economic/Foreign Affairs) 2024, Bronze Medal
Independent Publisher Book Awards

Rebecca A. Sharpless is an immigration lawyer and professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where she directs the immigration clinic.

Shackled: 92 Refugees Imprisoned on ICE Air

In December 2017, U.S. immigration authorities shackled and abused 92 African refugees for two days while attempting to deport them by plane to Somalia. When national media broke the story, government officials lied about what happened. Shackled tells the story of this harrowing failed deportation, the resulting class action litigation, and two men’s search for safety in the United States over the course of three long years.


Eline van Ommen

UKLAH Honorable Mention
UK Latin American History Network (UKLAH)

Eline van Ommen is Lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Leeds.

Nicaragua Must Survive: Sandinista Revolutionary Diplomacy in the Global Cold War

Nicaragua Must Survive tells the story of the Sandinistas’ innovative diplomatic campaign, which captured the imaginations of people around the globe and transformed Nicaraguan history at the tail end of the Cold War. The Sandinistas’ diplomacy went far beyond elite politics, as thousands of musicians, politicians, teachers, activists, priests, feminists, and journalists flocked to the country to experience the revolution firsthand. Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews, Eline van Ommen reveals the role that Western Europe played in Nicaragua’s revolutionary diplomacy. Blending grassroots organizing and formal foreign policy, pragmatic guerrillas, creative diplomats, and ambitious activists from Europe and the Americas were able to create an international environment in which the Sandinista Revolution could survive despite the odds. Nicaragua Must Survive argues that this diplomacy was remarkably effective, propelling Nicaragua into the global limelight and allowing the revolutionaries to successfully challenge the United States’ role in Central America.

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