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AAS Book Prize Competitions,
Awards & Citations

View recipients of the Association for Asian Studies' highest honor:

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Below is a list of the book prizes administered by the regional councils of the AAS.

Submission procedures vary each year, and are posted each spring after the councils meet at the AAS Annual Meeting.

Prizes are awarded for:

  • Pre-1900 English-language, non-fiction scholarly books on CHINA (LEVENSON)
  • Post-1900 English-language, non-fiction scholarly books on CHINA (LEVENSON)
  • English-language scholarly books published on INNER ASIA (SMITH)
  • English-language scholarly books published on JAPAN (HALL)
  • English-language scholarly books published on KOREA (PALAIS)
  • A first book on SOUTH ASIA (COHN)
  • English-language scholarly works on SOUTH ASIAN Studies (COOMARASWAMY)
  • TRANSLATIONS from SOUTH ASIAN languages into English (RAMANUJAN)
  • English-language scholarly, non-fiction works on SOUTHEAST ASIAN Studies (BENDA)
  • Distinguished scholarly works on SOUTHEAST ASIA (KAHIN)
  • TRANSLATIONS from SOUTHEAST ASIAN languages into English (BECKER)
  • Educators who develop CURRICULUM MATERIALS dealing exclusively with one or more of the countries and cultures represented by the AAS (BUCHANAN)

 

AAS CIAC LEVENSON PRIZES FOR BOOKS IN CHINESE STUDIES

The AAS China and Inner Asia Council will offer two $1,000 Joseph Levenson Prizes for nonfiction scholarly books on China published in 2012.

The Merlin Foundation, established by the late Audrey Sheldon, has provided for the two awards, one for works whose main focus is on China before 1900 and the other for works on post-1900 China. The prizes will be awarded to the English-language books that make the greatest contribution to increasing understanding of the history, culture, society, politics, or economy of China. Works in all disciplines and in all periods of Chinese history are eligible, but anthologies, edited works, and pamphlets will not be considered. In keeping with the broad scholarly interests of Joseph Levenson, special consideration will be given to books that, through comparative insights or groundbreaking research, promote the relevance of scholarship on China to the wider world of intellectual discourse. To be eligible, books must have a 2012 copyright date. A copy of each entry, clearly labeled "Joseph Levenson Prize" must be sent to each member of the appropriate committee by JUNE 30, 2013. Either presses or individuals may submit books, and it is suggested that authors consult with their presses concerning submission. The winners will be announced at the AAS annual conference next year. Eligible authors should be aware that since many publishers do not automatically submit nominations, authors must assume responsibility for having their books be placed in nomination and sent to members of the prize committee.

Pre-1900 Committee:

  • Beverly Bossler (Chair), 509 Flicker Avenue, Davis CA 95616
  • Eugenio Menegon, Dept. of History, Boston University, 226 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215
  • Michael Nylan, Dept. of History, UC-Berkeley, 3212 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-2550

Post-1900 Committee:

  • Kirk Denton (Chair), 398 Hagerty Hall, Ohio State University, 1775 College Road, Columbus, OH 43201
  • Timothy Cheek, Institute of Asian Research, UBC 1855 West Mall, Rm. 276, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada
  • Susan Blum, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

 

AAS CIAC E. GENE SMITH BOOK PRIZE (Inner Asia)

The E. Gene Smith Inner Asia Book Prize, to be offered annually, honors outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a book on Inner Asia published during the preceding year.

The Prize, named to honor the distinguished scholar of Tibet, Mongolia, and other areas of Inner Asia, E. Gene Smith, carries with it a $1,000 award for the author. Books nominated may address either contemporary or historical topics in any field of the humanities or the social sciences related to any of the countries and regions in the wide swath of Asia stretching from Afghanistan to Mongolia. To be eligible, books must have a 2012 copyright date. A copy of each entry, clearly labeled "Gene Smith Prize" must be sent to each member of the committee by JUNE 30, 2013. Either presses or individuals may submit books, and it is suggested that authors consult with their presses concerning submission. The winners will be announced at the AAS Conference in 2013. Eligible authors should be aware that since many publishers do not automatically submit nominations, authors must assume responsibility for having their books be placed in nomination and sent to members of the prize committee.

Smith Prize Committee:

  • Christopher Attwood (Chair), Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University, 157 Goodbody Hall, 1011 East Third St., Bloomington, IN 47405-7005
  • Matthew Kapstein, 131 Bd. Brune, 75014 Paris, France
  • Ildiko Beller-Hann, University of Copenhagen, Institut for Tværkulturelle og Regionale Studier, Snorresgade 17-19, 2300 København S, Denmark

 

AAS NEAC JOHN WHITNEY HALL BOOK PRIZE (Japan)

The Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies announces the competition for the 21st annual John Whitney Hall Book Prize to be awarded in 2014 for an outstanding English language book published on Japan during 2012.

The Prize, named to honor the distinguished scholar, John Whitney Hall, carries with it a $1,000 award for the author. Books nominated for the Prize in this competition must bear a 2012 copyright date. Books nominated may address either contemporary or historical topics in any field of the humanities or the social sciences. Translations from Japanese into English are eligible only if they include a substantial introduction, annotation, and critical apparatus. Reference works, exhibition catalogs, multi-authored collections of essays, textbooks, original poetry or fiction, memoirs, or autobiographies are not eligible. Authors need not be members of the AAS. Nominations must be made by publishers (trade publishers or university presses). Nominations are not accepted from authors. Publishers are allowed to submit no more than two nominations and must notify the Prize Committee Chair in writing of their intent to submit by June 30, 2012. Presses must also send one copy of each work nominated, clearly labeled "John Whitney Hall Prize Nomination" to each of the four members of the Prize Committee by JUNE 30, 2013.

Hall Prize Committee:

  • Sabine Fruhstucke (Chair), Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-7075
  • Alexis Dudden, 108 Prospect Hill Road, Noank, CT 06340
  • Thomas LaMarre, McGill University, 3434 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC H3A 0E2, Canada
  • Jonathan Reynolds, 452 Riverside Drive #75, New York, NY 10027

The recipient of this year's John Whitney Hall Book Prize will be announced at the 2014 AAS Annual Conference in Philadelphia.


 

AAS NEAC JAMES B. PALAIS BOOK PRIZE (Korea)

The James B. Palais Prize of the Association for Asian Studies is given annually to an outstanding scholar of Korean studies from any discipline or country specialization to recognize distinguished scholarly work on Korea. There are no citizenship or residence requirements for nominees. The award was initiated by the Palais Prize committee headed by AAS President Robert Buswell, 2008–09, and includes a cash award of $1,000.

The Palais Prize Committee, appointed by the Northeast Asia Council of the Association, seeks and receives nominations from which to select the annual recipient. Nominations for the prize may be made by trade book publishers, university presses, or any member of the Association for Asian Studies. Self-nomination is not allowed. Authors need not be AAS members. Any original, scholarly, nonfiction works with a copyright date of 2011 or 2012 are eligible, but reference works, exhibition catalogs, translations, textbooks, collections of previously published essays, poetry, fiction, travel books, memoirs or autobiographies are not eligible.

Nominators must send one copy of a nominated work to each of the four members of the review committee listed below. Copies must be received by the committee members no later than AUGUST 1, 2013. Each entry should be submitted in an envelope clearly labeled "Palais Prize" or have a letter of nomination enclosed.

Palais Prize Committee:

  • Kelly Jeong (Chair), 900 University Ave., HMNSS 2401, Dept. of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages, UC-Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
  • Eleana Kim, 440 Lattimore Hall, U. of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627
  • Donald Baker, Dept. of Asian Studies, 1871 West Mall, U. of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Canada
  • Namhee Lee, Asian Langs & Civs, UCLA, 290 Royce Hall Box 951540, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540

The winner will be announced at the 2014 AAS conference in Philadelphia.


 

AAS SAC BERNARD S. COHN BOOK PRIZE (South Asia)

The Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize honors outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a first single-authored monograph on South Asia, published during the preceding year. The Prize, named to honor the distinguished scholar, Bernard S. Cohn, carries with it a $1,000 award for the author. Books nominated may address either contemporary or historical topics in any field of the humanities or the social sciences related to any of the countries of South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal in the spirit of Barney Cohn's broad and critical scholarship on culture and history in South Asia. Nominations for the Prize may be made by authors, publishers, or other interested members in the field. To be eligible, books must have a 2012 copyright date. Prior publication of an edited volume, exhibition catalog, or translations without critical apparatus does not necessarily disqualify authors; a list of such publications, if any, must accompany the submission. A copy of nominated books must be sent to each member of the selection committee listed below by the AUGUST 1, 2013 deadline. The winner will be announced at the AAS conference next spring.

Cohn Prize Committee:

  • Daud Ali (Chair), 255 S. 36th St., 820 Williams Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Kathleen Morrison, Dept. of Anthropology, 1126 E. 59th St., U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637
  • Carla Petievich, South Asia Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Austin TX 78712


 

AAS SAC COOMARASWAMY BOOK PRIZE (South Asia)

The Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize will honor a distinguished work of scholarship in South Asian Studies that promises to define or redefine the understanding of whole subject areas.

The committee particularly seeks nominations of broad scholarly works with innovative approaches that may concern any topic in any discipline or may cross disciplinary lines. The prize recognizes a distinguished scholarly monograph beyond the author or authors' first monograph or published research project. Nominations for the book prize may be made by authors, publishers, or other interested members in the field. To be eligible, nominated books must be original, scholarly, nonfiction works with a 2012 copyright date, and must be the first publication of this text in English anywhere in the world. Nominated books should be accompanied by a list of the authors' prior publications. The book's subject matter must deal with South Asia (India, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh). Works are not eligible if they are reference works, exhibition catalogs, textbooks, essay collections, poetry, fiction, memoirs, or autobiographies. Translations will be eligible only if they include a substantial introduction, annotation, or critical apparatus. Co-authored books are eligible; edited volumes of essays are not. Presses may nominate up to six titles for the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Prize. Nominators must send a copy of each work nominated to each of the three members of the review committee below. The winner will be announced at the AAS conference next spring.

NOTE: The deadline for this year's prize competition has been extended until SEPTEMBER 1, 2013. We encourage all scholars whose work is eligible for the prize (2012 copyright) to remind their respective presses about the extension and to nominate their work if appropriate.

Coomaraswamy Prize Committee:

  • Raka Ray (Chair), Department of Sociology, 410 Barrows, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1980
  • Catherine Asher, Dept. of Art History, U. of Minnesota, 338 Heller Hall 271 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Sudipta Sen, Dept. of History, UC-Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616


 

AAS SAC RAMANUJAN BOOK PRIZE FOR TRANSLATION (South Asia)

A.K. Ramanujan (1929–1993) was born and educated in Mysore, India. He taught at the University of Chicago for more than three decades, where he served as the chairman of the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. He earned the Padma Shri in 1976 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 1983. In recognition of the excellence of his translations, the South Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies has established the A.K. Ramanujan Book Prize for Translation. The award of $1,000, is given every other year, and is intended to recognize and encourage translations from South Asian languages into English. Translations will be judged by their aesthetic quality and contributions to the field of South Asian studies. Special consideration will be given to innovative work that reaches a wide audience.

Books published in 2011 or 2012 are eligible for the prize which will be announced at the AAS annual conference next spring. The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2013. Copies should be sent to each committee member at the following addresses:

  • Tony Stewart (Chair), Department of Religious Studies, 301 Garland Hall, Vanderbilt University, VU Box #351585, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37235-1585
  • Syed Akbar Hyder, 1 University Station, G9300, Austin, TX 78712
  • Paula Richman, Dept. of Religion, Rice 325, Oberlin College, 10 N. Professor Street, Oberlin, OH 44074-1095

 

AAS SEAC HARRY J. BENDA PRIZE (Southeast Asia)

The Harry J. Benda Prize of the AAS is given annually to an outstanding newer scholar from any discipline or country specialization of Southeast Asian studies for a first book in the field.

There are no citizenship or residence requirements for nominees. The award, which honors one of the pioneers in the field of Southeast Asian studies, has been presented 28 times since 1977. The Benda Prize Committee, appointed by the Southeast Asia Council of the AAS, seeks and receives nominations from which to select the yearly recipient. Nominations for the prize may be made by trade book publishers, university presses, or any interested AAS member. Self-nomination is discouraged. Authors need not be AAS members. Original, scholarly, nonfiction works in English with a copyright date of 2011 or 2012 are eligible, but reference works, exhibition catalogs, translations, textbooks, essay collections, poetry, fiction, travel books, memoirs, or autobiographies are not eligible. Nominators must send one copy of each nominated work to each of the committee members listed below, to be received by them no later than AUGUST 1, 2013. Each entry must be clearly labeled "Benda Prize." The winner will be announced at the AAS annual meeting next spring.

Benda Prize Committee:

  • Henk Maier (Chair), Dept of Comparative Literature & Foreign Languages, 2401 Humanities and Social Sciences Building, University of California, Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521
  • Shawn McHale, 1809 McAuliffe Drive, Rockville, MD 20851
  • Anne Hansen, 1248 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Dr., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706
  • Andrew Willford, 211 McGraw Hall Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

 

AAS SEAC GEORGE McT. KAHIN BOOK PRIZE (Southeast Asia)

The George McT. Kahin Prize of the Association for Asian Studies is given biennially to an outstanding scholar of Southeast Asian studies from any discipline or country specialization to recognize distinguished scholarly work on Southeast Asia beyond the author's first book.

There are no citizenship or residence requirements for nominees. The award was initiated in 2007 at the behest of the Cornell University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, friends and students of George Kahin, and the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies to honor the contributions of George McT. Kahin to the field of Southeast Asian Studies.

The next competition will be announced in spring 2014.


 

A.L. BECKER SOUTHEAST ASIAN LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION PRIZE

The A.L. Becker Southeast Asian Literature in Translation Prize is given triennially to an outstanding English translation of a work of Southeast Asian literature from any country of the region (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam).

The next competition will be announced in spring 2015.


 

FRANKLIN R. BUCHANAN PRIZE: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) invites submissions for the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize.

Established in 1995 by the AAS Committee on Educational Issues and Policy and the Committee on Teaching about Asia, the prize is awarded annually to recognize an outstanding curriculum publication on Asia designed for any educational level, elementary through university.

The winning submission will reflect current scholarship, present innovative teaching strategies, and make a significant impact on the intended audience. Submissions must have been published after January 1, 2012, and include extensive teaching strategies in order to be considered. Various formats are acceptable, including print, CD, video, and online formats. Submissions that address underrepresented regions of Asia are encouraged.

The 2014 Buchanan Prize will be awarded to the author of the work at the 2014 AAS Annual Conference in Philadelphia. The prize includes a $1,000 monetary award and a one-year membership to AAS. Submissions are due NOVEMBER 1, 2013.

For more information and a submission form, please contact: Jennifer Murawski, JENNM@pitt.edu.