Award Winning Titles

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!

Award-Winning Books

Masquerading Politics

Winner: Chief Isaac Oluwole Delano Book Prize

Masquerading Politics

Kinship, Gender, and Ethnicity in a Yoruba Town

John Thabiti Willis

In West Africa, especially among Yoruba people, masquerades have the power to kill enemies, appoint kings, and grant fertility. John Thabiti Willis takes a close look at masquerade traditions in the Yoruba town of Otta, exploring transformations in performers, performances, and the institutional structures in which masquerade was used to reveal ongoing changes in notions of gender, kinship, and ethnic identity. As Willis focuses on performers and spectators, he reveals a history of masquerade that is rich and complex. His research offers a more nuanced understanding of performance practices in Africa and their role in forging alliances, consolidating state power, incorporating immigrants, executing criminals, and projecting individual and group power on both sides of the Afro-Atlantic world.

An Ethnography of Hunger

Winner: SEA Book Prize

An Ethnography of Hunger

Politics, Subsistence, and the Unpredictable Grace of the Sun

Kristin Phillips

In An Ethnography of Hunger Kristin D. Phillips examines how rural farmers in central Tanzania negotiate the interconnected projects of subsistence, politics, and rural development. Writing against stereotypical Western media images of spectacular famine in Africa, she examines how people live with—rather than die from—hunger. Through tracing the seasonal cycles of drought, plenty, and suffering and the political cycles of elections, development, and state extraction, Phillips studies hunger as a pattern of relationships and practices that organizes access to food and profoundly shapes agrarian lives and livelihoods. Amid extreme inequality and unpredictability, rural people pursue subsistence by alternating between—and sometimes combining—rights and reciprocity, a political form that she calls "subsistence citizenship." Phillips argues that studying subsistence is essential to understanding the persistence of global poverty, how people vote, and why development projects succeed or fail.

African Photographer J. A. Green

Winner: Arnold Rubin Outstanding Publication Award

African Photographer J. A. Green

Reimagining the Indigenous and the Colonial

Martha G. Anderson, Lisa Aronson, Christraud M. Geary, Tam Fiofori, Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa

J. A. Green (1873–1905) was one of the most prolific and accomplished indigenous photographers to be active in West Africa. This beautiful book celebrates Green's photographs and opens a new chapter in the early photographic history of Africa. Soon after photography reached the west coast of Africa in the 1840s, the technology and the resultant images were disseminated widely, appealing to African elites, European residents, and travelers to the region. Responding to the need for more photographs, expatriate and indigenous photographers began working along the coasts, particularly in major harbor towns. Green, whose identity remained hidden behind his English surname, maintained a photography business in Bonny along the Niger Delta. His work covered a wide range of themes including portraiture, scenes of daily and ritual life, commerce, and building. Martha G. Anderson, Lisa Aronson, and the contributors have uncovered 350 of Green's images in archives, publications, and even albums that celebrated colonial achievements. This landmark book unifies these dispersed images and presents a history of the photographer and the area in which he worked.

The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust

Winner: Yad Vashem Book Prize

The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust

Ion Popa

In 1930, about 750,000 Jews called Romania home. At the end of World War II, approximately half of them survived. Only recently, after the fall of Communism, are details of the history of the Holocaust in Romania coming to light. Ion Popa explores this history by scrutinizing the role of the Romanian Orthodox Church from 1938 to the present day. Popa unveils and questions whitewashing myths that covered up the role of the church in supporting official antisemitic policies of the Romanian government. He analyzes the church's relationship with the Jewish community in Romania, with Judaism, and with the state of Israel, as well as the extent to which the church recognizes its part in the persecution and destruction of Romanian Jews. Popa's highly original analysis illuminates how the church responded to accusations regarding its involvement in the Holocaust, the part it played in buttressing the wall of Holocaust denial, and how Holocaust memory has been shaped in Romania today.

Feeling Normal

Winner: Outstanding Academic Title

Feeling Normal

Sexuality and Media Criticism in the Digital Age

F. Hollis Griffin

The explosion of cable networks, cinema distributors, and mobile media companies explicitly designed for sexual minorities in the contemporary moment has made media culture a major factor in what it feels like to be a queer person. F. Hollis Griffin demonstrates how cities offer a way of thinking about that phenomenon. By examining urban centers in tandem with advertiser-supported newspapers, New Queer Cinema and B-movies, queer-targeted television, and mobile apps, Griffin illustrates how new forms of LGBT media are less "new" than we often believe. He connects cities and LGBT media through the experiences they can make available to people, which Griffin articulates as feelings, emotions, and affects. He illuminates how the limitations of these experiences—while not universally accessible, nor necessarily empowering—are often the very reasons why people find them compelling and desirable.