About the Lora Romero First Book Prize

The Lora Romero First Book Prize is awarded every year to the best first book published in American studies that highlights intersectional dynamics in the study of race, gender, class, sexuality, and/or nation. The awardee receives a lifetime membership in the association. The awardee will be announced at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, November 9, 2018.

The prize is a memorial tribute to Lora Romero, a long-active member of the American Studies Association who died in 1997 as her first book, Home Fronts: Nineteenth Century Domesticity and Its Critics, appeared in print. She was an Assistant Professor at Stanford University, an esteemed colleague, and a treasured friend to many in the association.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Procedures

The period of eligibility for the 2018 Lora Romero First Book Prize includes books published between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. To be eligible, books must be written in English by a single author, but the competition is not restricted to works printed in the United States. First books are also eligible for the Franklin Prize and may be submitted in both competitions. Nominated authors must be current ASA members. 

Authors and publishers may submit books for review. For a book to be considered, complete this application form and upload a written statement that includes:

  1. The book's full title.
  2. Press name and place of publication.
  3. The official publication date.
  4. The author's ASA membership number and a statement confirming that the author's ASA membership is up to date for the year 2018.

Submissions for 2018

One paper copy and one electronic copy (if available) of each entry must be sent to each of the following committee members no later than March 1, 2018. All entries must be clearly marked "Romero Prize Entry." Late nominations will not be accepted.

Margo Natalie Crawford, Department of English, University of Pennsylvania, Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 236, 3340 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104-6273; (margocr@english.upenn.edu).

Mimi Thuy Nguyen, Gender and Women's Studies, University of Illinois, 1205 W. Nevada Street, Urbana, IL 61801; (mimin@illinois.edu).

Shane Vogel, Department of English, Indiana University, 411 Ballantine Hall, 1020 East Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IL 47405-9700; (shvogel@indiana.edu) and Chair of the Romero Prize Committee.

This Year's Winner (2017)

Sarah Haley, No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity (University of North Carolina Press, 2016)

Past Winners 2002-2016

  • 2016: Simone Browne, Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Duke University Press, 2015)
  • 2015: Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press, 2014)
  • 2014: Alexandra T. Vazquez, Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Duke University Press, 2013)
  • 2013: Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century (New York University Press, 2012)
  • 2012: Nicole Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
  • 2011: Cynthia M. Blair, I've Got to Make My Livin': Black Women's Sex Work in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2010)
  • 2010: Margot Canaday, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (Princeton University Press, 2009)
  • 2009: Alicia R. Schmidt Camacho, Migrant Imaginaries: Latino Cultural Politics in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands (New York University Press, 2008)
  • 2008: Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007)
  • 2007: Ned Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Harvard University Press, 2006).
  • 2006: Tiya Miles, Ties That Bind: An Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and in Freedom (University of California Press, 2005)
  • 2005: Mae M. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton University Press, 2004)
  • 2004: Kandice Chuh, Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique (Duke University Press, 2003)
  • 2003: Shelley Streeby, American Sensations: Class, Empire, and the Production of Popular Culture (University of California Press, 2002)
  • 2002: Sharon Holland, Raising the Dead: Readings of Death and (Black) Subjectivity (Duke University Press, 2001)