About the Angela Y. Davis Prize

The Angela Y. Davis Prize recognizes scholars who have applied or used their scholarship for the "public good." This includes work that explicitly aims to educate the public, influence policies, or in other ways seeks to address inequalities in imaginative, practical, and applicable forms. Eligible projects include but are not limited to public art, exhibits, films, performances, books, collaborations with community-based organizations, and engaging students in community-based projects.

Recipients of the award receive lifetime membership in the association. The awardee will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, November 9, 2018.

The award is named after Angela Y. Davis, prominent black feminist thinker, writer, activist, and prison abolitionist who has authored such books as Women, Race, and Class; Are Prisons Obsolete?; and Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire. Davis was a prominent voice in black freedom struggles and continues to organize against the prison-industrial complex. She has held academic positions at the University of California, Los Angeles, San Francisco State University, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she retired.

Application Procedure

To apply or nominate someone for the Angela Y. Davis Prize, complete this application form and upload the following documents:

  1. A statement describing the nominee's career in American studies, noting special achievements and contributions in research and scholarship; service to the ASA; other public service and teaching; collaborations with community-based organizations; and examples of work that helped to educate the public, influence policies, or in other ways addressed inequalities in imaginative, practical, and applicable forms.
  2. A copy of the nominee's CV.
  3. Supporting letters from collaborators, colleagues, and mentored students. These letters can be individually authored, but nominators might consider soliciting a smaller set of collectively authored letters with multiple signatories.
  4. A list of URLs for any relevant websites (if applicable).

Submitted materials should be representative, rather than exhaustive. Total materials submitted should not exceed 50 pages.  One set of nominating materials must be submitted to the prize committee no later than June 30, 2018.

The awardee must be a member of the American Studies Association.

This Year's Winner (2017)

The Angela Y. Davis Prize was not awarded this year.

Past Winners 2012-2016

  • 2016: Stephen Salaita, American University of Beirut (Lebanon)
  • 2015: Robin Davis Gibran Kelley, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2014: Rosa-Linda Fregoso, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 2013: George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 2012: Ruth Wilson Gilmore, City University of New York Graduate Center