About the Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize

The Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize recognizes the outstanding achievement of an individual who has dedicated a lifetime of work to the mission and values of American studies. Recipients of the award receive lifetime membership in the association. The prize winner is announced at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association.

The award honors two early pioneers in American studies, both of whom were integral in the early movement to institutionalize American studies. Carl Bode was the founder and first president of the American Studies Association. He was a literary critic and cultural historian known for The American Lyceum and he spent his academic career in the American Civilization program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Norman Holmes Pearson was an editor, literary critic, and archivist and he co-founded the American Civilization program at Yale University in the 1940s.

Eligibility Requirements and Application Procedure

Who is eligible: ASA members who have dedicated a lifetime of work to the mission and values of American studies

Who can nominate: Anyone can submit a nomination on an ASA member's behalf. Individuals can also apply, or self-nominate. While those submitting the nomination need not be active members, they must create an account online in order to submit a nomination.

How to submit a nomination:

Step 1: Assemble the materials required for consideration. These include: 

  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 academic service and teaching, work in academic journals, public forums and/or on the internet, and any involvement with international projects and conferences. 
  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 to relevant websites (if applicable).

Selected materials should be representative, rather than exhaustive. Taken altogether, they should not exceed 50 pages—and, where possible, they should be combined into a single PDF. 

Step 2: Log onto the ASA website to upload the materials and submit the nominationYou will be asked to enter the nominee’s information (title, affiliation, address) before being prompted to upload a PDF of the materials outlined above. Nominations must be received no later than June 30. On your behalf, the Office of the Executive Director will share the nominating materials with the prize committee. 

Committee Members: 

  • Chair: Karin Aguilar-San Juan, Macalester College
  • Laura Pulido- University of Oregon
  • Barry Shank - Oho State University

When is the deadline: June 30

This Year's Winner (2023)

 Professor Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Stanford University

Past Winners 1975-2022

  • 2022: Nadine Naber, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • 2021: No selection
  • 2020: Avery F. Gordon, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 2019: No selection
  • 2018: Lisa Lowe, Yale University
  • 2017: No selection
  • 2016: George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • 2015: Mary Helen Washington, University of Maryland, College Park
  • 2014: Michael Denning, Yale University
  • 2013: Alfred Hornung, University of Mainz, Germany
  • 2012: Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth College
  • 2011: Janice Radway, Northwestern University
  • 2010: No selection
  • 2009: Miles Orvell, Temple University
  • 2008: H. Bruce Franklin, Rutgers University, Newark
  • 2007: Sacvan Bercovitch, Harvard University
  • 2006: Paul Lauter, Trinity College
  • 2005: Lois W. Banner, University of Southern California
  • 2004: Murray G. Murphey, University of Pennsylvania
  • 2003: Doris Friedensohn, New Jersey City University
  • 2002: Martha Banta, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2001: Gloria E. Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga
  • 2000: John Hope Franklin, Duke University
  • 1999: Günter H. Lenz, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany
  • 1998: Gary Y. Okihiro, Columbia University
  • 1997: Bernice Johnson Reagon, American University
  • 1996: Allen F. Davis, Temple University
  • 1995: Leo Marx, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • 1994: No selection
  • 1993: Daniel Aaron, Harvard University
  • 1992: No selection
  • 1991: Arthur Dudden, Bryn Mawr College
  • 1990: Betty Ch'maj, California State University, Sacramento
  • 1989: John A. Hague, Stetson University
  • 1988: Albert E. Stone, University of Iowa
  • 1987: Michael Cowan, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 1986: No selection
  • 1985: Warren Susman, Rutgers University and Gene Wise, University of Maryland
  • 1984: No selection
  • 1983: Ralph Henry Gabriel, Yale University
  • 1982: No selection
  • 1981: Robert E. Spiller, University of Pennsylvania
  • 1980: No selection
  • 1979: Henry Nash Smith, University of California, Berkeley
  • 1978: No selection
  • 1977: Merle Curti, University of Wisconsin
  • 1976: Mary Turpie, University of Minnesota
  • 1975: Norman Holmes Pearson, Yale University