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Faculty News

News and Book Publications

updated May 17, 2019

News 2018-19

  • Kim Welch's book, Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South, has been selected as a co-winner of the 2019 J. Willard Hurst Prize for the best work in socio-legal history. The prize will be awarded during the 2019 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, to be held May 30 – June 2 in Washington, DC. Black Litigants has also won the 2018 David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History from the Langum Charitable Trust and the 2018 SHEAR's Broussard Best First Book Prize.
  • Lauren Benton has been named a Guggenheim Fellow and she will be spending the academic year 2019-2020 as a member at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University.
  • Rhonda Williams has received an award to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Professors and Scholars Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she will be a visiting professor for the academic year 2019-2020.
  • At the April 2019 OAH meeting, Sarah Igo won the Merle Curti Intellectual History Award for her book, The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America.
  • Kimberly Welch is a 2019 ACLS Fellow! She is the ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow in American History, working on the project "Lending and Borrowing Across the Color Line in the Antebellum American South." The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) selected 81 fellows from over 1,100 applicants in a review process with multiple stages. Awards range from $40,000 to $70,000, depending on the scholar's career stage, and support six to twelve months of full-time research and writing.
  • Jane Landers was awarded the Distinguished Scholar Award for "Outstanding Scholarship, Teaching and Service in African Diaspora Studies," after giving the keynote talk at Tennessee State University's 7th Annual African Conference. The title of her talk was, "The Wolofs who Led the First Slave Revolt in the Americas: Espanola,1521."
  • William Caferro Petrarch's War: Florence and the Black Death in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2018) has won the book prize of the American Association of Italian Studies. (web page not up to date yet)
  • Three of our colleagues have been awarded Mellon Partners in Humanities Education Faculty Collaboration Funds (focusing on the digital humanities in the College of Arts & Science). Brandon Byrd, Pataj/Partage: Shared Visions Between Fisk and Haiti; Jane Landers for her project, Haiti: The Need to Know and Preserve the Past; Ole Molvig for his project, Historic Black Nashville in Augmented Reality. Molvig has also received an Immersion Scholar Grant from the College of Arts & Science for 2019-2021.
  • Richard Blackett  received the College of Arts and Science Graduate Mentoring Award. Please link here to see all awards. Also, his book, The Captive's Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery, is a finalist for the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. 
  • Sarah Igo's book  The  Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America (Harvard University Press, 2018) was named Washington Post's "50 notable works of non-fiction books in 2018."
  • Jane Landers, Catherine Molineux, Kimberly Welch (summer stipend) and Laura Stark have received Research Scholar Grants. Link here for article.
  • Kimberly Welch has received a Mellon Digital Humanities Faculty Fellowship for 2018-19.
  • Sarah Igo has been awarded a summer NEH stipend.  These awards are highly competitive with an 8% success rate.  
  • Joel Harrington and Edward Wright-Rios have been chosen, from nearly 3,000 applicants, for the highly coveted Guggenheim fellowship. Guggenheim recipients are appointed on the basis of prior impressive achievement and exceptional promise. Link to VU article here.
  • For her exemplary work as an historian and author, Jane Landers is being recognized with the 2018 Caroline P. Rossetter Award for Outstanding Woman in Florida History. The award will be presented during the annual Banquet dinner at the Florida Historical Society Annual Meeting and Symposium, on Friday, May 18, at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota.
  • Frank Wcislo has just received the Richard Stites Senior Scholar Award awarded by the Southern Conference in Slavic Studies, the largest and oldest regional Slavic Studies organization in the country: http://www.sewanee.edu/scss/awards/
  • Lauren Benton, Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Professor of History and professor of law, has been named winner of the Toynbee Prize for 2019 . The Toynbee Prize is awarded biennially for work that makes a significant contribution to the study of global history. Link to article.
  • Celso Castilho's book, Slave Emancipation and Transformations in Brazilian Political Citizenship (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016), has won a third award. In March 2018 this book was chosen as co-winner of the Roberto Reis Best Book Award for books published in Brazilian studies in 2016 and 2017.This work has previously been awarded the Bolton-Johnson and Warren Dean prizes from the Conference on Latin American History.
  • Congratulations! Jane Landers' application Delia Zapata Olivella Collection has been selected as an awardee for Library Collections Initiative , a Vanderbilt University Library 2018 grant.
  • Yoshikuni Igarashi's book, Homecomings: The Belated Return of Japan's Lost Soldiers , was given Honorable Mention for the 2018 John Whitney Hall Book Prize for Best Book on Japan. It's the top prize for Japananese Studies! Here is the link to the Association for Asian Studies prize announcement page: http://www.asian-studies.org/asia-now/entryid/116/aas-2018-book-prize-winners
  • Lauren Benton has been elected to serve as the next president of the American Society for Legal History. Her two-year term begins in fall 2019.

Book Publications 2017-19

  • Jonathan Metzl, Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America's Heartland (Basic Books, 2019)
  • Daniel Usner, American Indians in Early New Orleans: From Calumet to Raquette (Louisiana State University Press, 2018)
  • Katherine Crawford, Eunuchs and Castrati: Disability and Normativity in Early Modern Europe (Routledge Press, 2019 – available beginning August 2018)
  • James Hudnut-Beumler ,   Strangers and Friends at the Welcome Table: Contemporary Christianities in the American South (University of North Carolina Press, 2018), and also,   James Hudnut-Beumler  and  Mark Silk The Future of Mainline Protestantism in America (The Future of Religion in America) (Columbia University Press, 2018)
  • Thomas A.J. McGinnTable IV of the XII Tables (Naples: Jovene Editore, 2017 [2018]).
  • William Caferro, Petrarch's War: Florence and the Black Death in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • Sarah E. Igo, Th e Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America  (Harvard University Press, 2018)
  • Moses Ochonu, editor, Entrepreneurship in Africa: A Historical Approach (Indiana University Press, 2018)
  • Joel Harrington , Dangerous Mystic: Meister Echkhart’s Path to the God Within (Penguin Press, 2018)
  • Richard Blackett, The Captive’s Quest for Freedom: Fugitive Slaves, the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, and the Politics of Slavery (Cambridge University, 2018)
  • Michael Bess and Diana Walsh Pasulka, eds., Posthumanism: The Future of Homo Sapiens, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks (Macmillan Cengage, 2018).
  • Kimberly M. Welch, Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South (The University of North Carolina Press, 2018). Selected as a co-winner of the 2019 J. Willard Hurst Prize for the best work in socio-legal history. 
  • Lauren Benton, Adam Clulow and Bain Atwood, editors, Protection and Empire: A Global History (Cambridge University Press, 2017)
  • David Wasserstein, Black Banners of ISIS: The Roots of the New Caliphate (Yale University Press, 2017)
  • Thomas McGinn, co-editor with Dennis Kehoe, Ancient Law, Ancient Society (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2017)
  • Jane Landers, editor, Slavery and Abolition in the Atlantic World: New Sources and New Findings (Routledge, 2017)
  • Marshall Eakin, Becoming Brazilians: Race and National Identity in Twentieth-Century Brazil (Cambridge University Press, 2017).
  • The Turkish translation of Julia Cohen's book Becoming Ottomans: Sephardi Jews and Imperial Citizenship in the Modern Era.
  • Celia Applegate, The Necessity of Music: Variations on a German Theme (University of Toronto Press, 2017)
  • William Caferro, editor, The Routledge History of the Renaissance (Routledge Press, 2017)