Indiana University Press is proud that our books have received over 60 awards (and counting!) during the 2020-2021 calendar year. Many congratulations to our well-deserving authors!
Runner-up: Jewish Book Award - Writing Based on Archival Material
Staging Nation and Community in Interwar France
Yiddish Paris explores how Yiddish-speaking emigrants from Eastern Europe in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s created a Yiddish diaspora nation in Western Europe and how they presented that nation to themselves and to others in France.
In this meticulously researched and first full-length study of interwar Yiddish culture in France, author Nicholas Underwood argues that the emergence of a Yiddish Paris was depended on "culture makers," mostly left-wing Jews from Socialist and Communist backgrounds who created cultural and scholarly organizations and institutions, including the French branch of YIVO (a research institution focused on East European Jews), theater troupes, choruses, and a pavilion at the Paris World's Fair of 1937.
Yiddish Paris examines how these left-wing Yiddish-speaking Jews insisted that even in France, a country known for demanding the assimilation of immigrant and minority groups, they could remain a distinct group, part of a transnational Yiddish-speaking Jewish nation. Yet, in the process, they in fact created a French-inflected version of Jewish diaspora nationalism, finding allies among French intellectuals, largely on the left.
Winner: Jewish Book Award - History
A "Jewish Marshall Plan"
The American Jewish Presence in Post-Holocaust France
Laura Hobson Faure
While the role the United States played in France's liberation from Nazi Germany is widely celebrated, it is less well known that American Jewish individuals and organizations mobilized to reconstruct Jewish life in France after the Holocaust. In A "Jewish Marshall Plan," Laura Hobson Faure explores how American Jews committed themselves and hundreds of millions of dollars to bring much needed aid to their French coreligionists.
Hobson Faure sheds light on American Jewish chaplains, members of the Armed Forces, and those involved with Jewish philanthropic organizations who sought out Jewish survivors and became deeply entangled with the communities they helped to rebuild. While well intentioned, their actions did not always meet the needs and desires of the French Jews.
A "Jewish Marshall Plan" examines the complex interactions, exchanges, and solidarities created between American and French Jews following the Holocaust. Challenging the assumption that French Jews were passive recipients of aid, this work reveals their work as active partners who negotiated their own role in the reconstruction process.
Winner: Jordan Schnitzer Book Award
Uprooting the Diaspora
Jewish Belonging and the "Ethnic Revolution" in Poland and Czechoslovakia, 1936–1946
Sarah A. Cramsey
In Uprooting the Diaspora, Sarah Cramsey explores how the Jewish citizens rooted in interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia became the ideal citizenry for a post–World War II Jewish state in the Middle East. She asks, how did new interpretations of Jewish belonging emerge and gain support amongst Jewish and non-Jewish decision makers exiled from wartime east central Europe and the powerbrokers surrounding them?
Usually, the creation of the State of Israel is cast as a story that begins with Herzl and is brought to fulfillment by the Holocaust. To reframe this trajectory, Cramsey draws on a vast array of historical sources to examine what she calls a "transnational conversation" carried out by a small but influential coterie of Allied statesmen, diplomats in international organizations, and Jewish leaders who decided that the overall disentangling of populations in postwar east central Europe demanded the simultaneous intellectual and logistical embrace of a Jewish homeland in Palestine as a territorial nationalist project.
Uprooting the Diaspora slows down the chronology between 1936 and 1946 to show how individuals once invested in multi-ethnic visions of diasporic Jewishness within east central Europe came to define Jewishness primarily in ethnic terms. This revolution in thinking about Jewish belonging combined with a sweeping change in international norms related to population transfers and accelerated, deliberate postwar work on the ground in the region to further uproot Czechoslovak and Polish Jews from their prewar homes.
Long-listed: OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature
Citizenship and Freedom in the Caribbean Intellectual Tradition
Against the lethargy and despair of the contemporary Anglophone Caribbean experience, Aaron Kamugisha gives a powerful argument for advancing Caribbean radical thought as an answer to the conundrums of the present. Beyond Coloniality is an extended meditation on Caribbean thought and freedom at the beginning of the 21st century and a profound rejection of the postindependence social and political organization of the Anglophone Caribbean and its contentment with neocolonial arrangements of power. Kamugisha provides a dazzling reading of two towering figures of the Caribbean intellectual tradition, C. L. R. James and Sylvia Wynter, and their quest for human freedom beyond coloniality. Ultimately, he urges the Caribbean to recall and reconsider the radicalism of its most distinguished 20th-century thinkers in order to imagine a future beyond neocolonialism.
Winner: Outstanding Academic Title
A Study in Modern African Political Philosophy
Public deliberation, highly valued by many African societies, becomes the cornerstone of a new system of African political philosophy in this brilliant, highly original study. In Deliberative Agency, philosopher Uchenna Okeja offers a way to construct a new political center by building it around the ubiquitous African practice of public deliberation, a widely accepted means to resolve legal matters, reconcile feuding groups, and reestablish harmony.
In cities, hometown associations and voluntary organizations carry out the task of fostering deliberation among African groups for different reasons. In some instances, the deliberation aims to settle disputes. In others, the aim is to decide the best action to take to address unfortunate incidents such as death.
Through a measured, comparative analysis, Deliberative Agency argues that the best way to reimagine and harness the idea of public deliberation, based on current experiences in Africa, is to see it as performance of agency. Building a new political center around the practice places agency at the core of a new political life in Africa.