IHR Book Award

An annual award presented for a nonfiction work that reflects the finest contemporary humanities-based scholarship on any topic.



Celebrating humanities scholarship

Established in 2008, the IHR  Book Award is presented for a non-fiction work of humanities-based scholarship. The award recognizes and celebrates humanities faculty authors from ASU and around the U.S. and the substantial body of humanistic research reflected in their publications.


2019 Humanities Book Award

Deadline for nominations: February 4, 2019

Every other year, this annual award honors a book of academic non-fiction by an Arizona State University humanities faculty member on any campus. To be eligible, books must be written in English, published in 2017 or 2018, and written or co-written by a tenured or tenure-track, full-time ASU faculty member whose work reflects the finest contemporary humanities-based scholarship on any topic. The IHR welcomes submissions that are original and innovative contributions to a traditional humanities discipline as well as those that, while grounded in the humanities, employ interdisciplinary and/or transdisciplinary methods to advance knowledge in the author’s field.  The IHR also welcomes books that are accessible to readers who are not specialists in the author’s field, and whose work has the potential to engage a diverse public.

 Application Guidelines and Form



Rebecca J. Kinney

Winner of the 2018 Transdisciplinary Book Award: Rebecca J. Kinney

Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America's Postindustrial Frontier reveals the contemporary story of Detroit’s rebirth as an upcycled version of the American Dream, which has long imagined access to work, home and upward mobility as race-neutral projects. Rebecca Kinney tackles key questions about the future of postindustrial America, and shows how the narratives of Detroit’s history are deeply steeped in material and ideological investments in whiteness. As cities around the country reckon with their own postindustrial landscapes, she cautions that development that elides considerations of race and class will only continue to replicate uneven access to the city for the poor, working class and people of color.   

Rebecca J. Kinney is an interdisciplinary teacher and scholar of race, place and popular culture. She is an assistant professor in the School of Cultural and Critical Studies at Bowling Green State University. Dr. Kinney’s book, Beautiful Wasteland: The Rise of Detroit as America’s Postindustrial Frontier (University of Minnesota Press, 2016) argues that contemporary stories told about Detroit’s potential for rise enables the erasure of white privilege and systemic racism in the past and present. Through situating Detroit as “beautiful wasteland” she examines how the racialized mythology of the frontier in American culture is redeployed in the stories we tell about the rise, fall and potential for rise again in Detroit. She is currently at work on a book-length study, Rust Belt Chinatowns: Restaurants, Race, and Redevelopment in the Twenty First Century which analyzes the complexities of race and redevelopment.

2018 Honorable Mention: Jordan Camp

The United States currently has the largest carceral regime on the planet; a development without historical precedent, but not without historical explanation. In this searing critique, Jordan T. Camp traces the rise of the neoliberal carceral state to a series of turning points in U.S. history including the Watts insurrection of 1965, the Detroit rebellion of 1967, the Los Angeles uprising of 1992, and post-Katrina New Orleans in 2005. Incarcerating the Crisis argues that these events coincided with the rise of neoliberalism and the state’s crushing of social movements. Through an examination of the poetry of social movements—including those by James Baldwin, Jayne Cortez, June Jordan, and Sunni Patterson—it suggests that the making of the neoliberal carceral state was not inevitable and that there could have been, and still could be, a different world in the making.

Jordan T. Camp is a term assistant professor of American Studies at Barnard College. He is the author of Incarcerating the Crisis: Freedom Struggles and the Rise of the Neoliberal State (University of California Press, 2016), co-editor (with Christina Heatherton) of Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), and co-editor (with Laura Pulido) of the late Clyde Woods’ Development Drowned and Reborn: The Blues and Bourbon Restorations in Post-Katrina New Orleans (University of Georgia Press, 2017). His work also appears or is forthcoming in American Quarterly, Ord & Bild, Jacobin, Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, Race & Class, as well as edited volumes including: In the Wake of Hurricane Katrina (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010), Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), and Futures of Black Radicalism (Verso, 2017). 

Jordan Camp
C. Riley Snorton

2018 Honorable Mention: C. Riley Snorton

Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials—early sexological texts, fugitive slave narratives, Afro-modernist literature, sensationalist journalism, Hollywood films—Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity attends to how slavery and the production of racialized gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable. In tracing the twinned genealogies of blackness and transness, Snorton follows multiple trajectories, from the medical experiments conducted on enslaved black women by J. Marion Sims, the “father of American gynecology,” to the negation of blackness that makes transnormativity possible.

C. Riley Snorton is an Associate Professor at the Africana Studies & Research Center at Cornell University. He is a recipient of a predoctoral fellowship at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University (2009), a Mellon postdoctoral fellowship at Pomona College (2010) and a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (2015). Snorton's research and teaching expertise include cultural theory, queer and transgender theory and history, Africana studies, performance studies, and popular culture.

Previous Winners


Ingenious Citizenship: Recrafting Deomocracy for Social Change

Charles Lee, Associate Professor of Justice and Social Inquiry, School of Social Transformation, ASU

Ingenious Citizenship: Recrafting Democracy for Social Change by Charles T. Lee focuses on the daily experiences and actions of marginalized people such as migrant domestic workers, prostitutes, and transgendered people as central in the rethinking of mainstream models of social change.


The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed

Martijn Konings, Senior Lecturer and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney

The IHR Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award is presented for a non-fiction work that exemplifies transdisciplinary, socially engaged humanities-based scholarship. This year’s award goes to Martijn Konings for his work The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed. Konings, a political economist, moves beyond traditional Marxist critiques of capitalism by employing humanistic scholarship, drawing on the works of theorists such as Bruno Latour, Giorgio Agamben, Michel Foucault, and Judith Butler.


Sex and Herbs and Birth Control

Dr. Ann Hibner Koblitz

Throughout the ages, women have had to fight to maintain control of their sexuality and fertility, regardless of the specific era or culture. Whether it is the use of special herbs to reduce fertility or sea sponges serving as diaphragms, women have been incessantly innovative in their approach to fertility and pregnancy.

Recent ASU Faculty Humanities Publications

Title Author Department
An Early History of Compassion: Emotion and Imagination in Hellenistic Judaism Françoise Mirguet SILC
Art World City: The Creative Economy of Artists and Urban Life in Dakar Joanna Grabski Other
At Home with the Aztecs: An Archaeologist Uncovers Their Daily Life Michael Smith SHESC
Beasts of Burden: Biopolitics, Labor, and Animal Life in British Romanticism Ron Broglio English
Being Black Donald Guillory Other
Being Ethical: Classic and New Voices on Contemporary Issues Bertha Manninen Other
Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit Marlon M. Bailey SST
Ecocriticism and Indigenous Studies: Conversations from Earth to Cosmos Joni Adamson English
El Eternauta, Daytripper, and Beyond: Graphic Narrative in Argentina and Brazil David William Foster SILC
Elizabeth of York and Her Six Daughters-in-Law: Fashioning Tudor Queenship, 1485-1547 Retha M. Warnicke SHPRS
Emotion in Multilingual Interaction Matthew Prior English
Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds Ed Finn Other
Germans on the Kenyan Coast: Land, Charity, and Romance Nina Berman SILC
Global Christianity and the Black Atlantic: Tuskegee, Colonialism, and the Shaping of African Industrial Education Andrew E. Barnes SHPRS
Gluckskinder der Einheit? Volker Benkert SHPRS
Humanities for the Environment: Integrating knowledge, forging new constellations of practice Joni Adamson English
Hunt the Devil: A Demonology of US War Culture Oscar Giner Other
In June the Labyrinth Cynthia Hogue Creative Writing
Invisible Hosts: Performing the Nineteenth-Century Spirit Medium's Autobiography Elizabeth Lowry English
Keywords for Environmental Studies Joni Adamson English
Knowledge as Acceptable Testimony Steven Reynolds SHPRS
Living Salvation in the East African Revival in Uganda Jason Bruner SHPRS
Los Cigarrales de la Privanza y Mecenazgo Juan Pablo Gil-Osle SILC
Out for Blood: Essays on Menstruation and Resistance Breanne Fahs Other
Race in American Film: Voices and Visions That Shaped a Nation Michael Green English
Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love, and Die at the Movies Tara Ison Creative Writing
Selected Proverbs Michael Cryer Creative Writing
Singing and Wellbeing: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Proof Kay Norton Other
Spanish Perspectives on Chicano Literature: Literary & Cultural Essays Jesús Rosales SILC
Spatializing Blackness: Architectures of Confinement and Black Masculinity in Chicago Rashad Shabazz SST
Technicians of Human Dignity: Bodies, Souls, and the Making of Intrinsic Worth Gaymon Bennett SHPRS
The Literary and Linguistic Construction of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: No Ordinary Doubt Patricia Friedrich Other
The Making of Jane Austen Devoney Looser English
The Token Black Guide Donald Guillory Other
Tracts on the Modern Reformation of Korean Buddhism Pori Park SHPRS
U.S. Mexico Transborder Region: Cultural Dynamics and Historical Interactions Carlos Velez-Ibanez STS
Utilitarian Confucianism Hoyt Tillman SILC
What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing Ed Finn Other
Title Author Department
2015 Wang Meng-ou xueshu jiangzuo yanjiangji Hoyt Tillman SILC
A Gossip's Story Devoney Looser English
A Small Story About the Sky Albertos Rios English
After Marriage: Rethinking Marital Relationships Elizabeth Brake SHPRS
American Quarterly: Tours of Duty and Tours of Leisure Hava Tirosh-Samuelson Jewish Studies
Ball: Stories Tara Ison English
Birdman of Assisi: Art and the Apocalyptic in the Colonial Andes Jaime Lara ACMRS
Continuity and Innovation in Honors College Curricula Katherine O'Flaherty SHPRS
Culture and Money in the Nineteenth Century Dan Bivona English
Cyclical Change Continued Elly Van Gelderen English
Emotion and Discourse in L2 Narrative Research Mathew Prior English
Feral Animals in the American South: An Evolutionary History Abraham Gibson SHPRS
Hamka's Great Story: A Master Writer's Vision of Islam for Modern Indonesia Jim Rush SHPRS
Ingenious Citizenship: Recrafting Democracy for Social Change Charles Lee SST
Jewish Hermeneutical Theology (Volumes 14-18) Hava Tirosh-Samuelson Jewish Studies
Lexical Conflict: Theory and Practice Danko Sipka SILC
Los Cigarrales de la Privanza y el Mecenazgo en Tirso de Molina Juan Gil-Osle SILC
Making Robots Matthew Delmont SHPRS
Manuscripts Changing Hands Corine Schleif HIDA
Norton Field Guide to Writing Maureen Goggin English
Orientalism, Eroticism & Modern Visuality in Global Cultures Julie Codell HIDA
Perfecting Human Futures: Transhuman Visions and Technological Imaginations Hava Tirosh-Samuelson Jewish Studies
Present Success and Future Challenges in Honors Education Katherine O'Flaherty SHPRS
Shifiting Perspectives: Personal and Political Transformations Maureen Goggin English
The Circulation of Power in Medieval Biblical Drama Robert Sturges English
Time and a Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island Joshua MacFadyen SHPRS
Visiones de aca y de alla Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez STS
Why Busing Failed Matthew Delmont SHPRS