Dr. Elizabeth Penry wins Prestigious Book Award

Cover of Dr. Penry’s book, The People are King

Dr. Elizabeth Penry, Associate Professor of History and Latin American and Latinx Studies, has won the Conference on Latin American History’s Howard F. Cline Memorial Prize for her book, The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Oxford University Press, 2019). Penry received her award during the American Historical Association’s 135th annual meeting held in New Orleans in January 2022.

The Cline Prize, established in 1976 is awarded every other year “to the book or article in English, German, or a Romance language judged to make the most significant contribution” to the history of indigenous people in Latin America. Affiliated with the American Historical Association, the Conference on Latin American History “is devoted to encourage the diffusion of knowledge about Latin America through fostering the study and improving the teaching of Latin American history.” 

The People Are King re-examines two key moments in history: the massive resettlement of indigenous people in the wake of the Spanish invasion, and the revolutionary movements of the late 18th century. As one reviewer wrote, The People Are King demonstrates how indigenous Andean communities became “grassroots laboratories” for participatory democracy and popular sovereignty, and in doing so “helped establish the foundations of the modern world.” 

The People Are King has previously won four other prizes: the 2020 best book on Bolivia Prize, given by the Bolivian Section of the Latin American Studies Association; the 2019 Flora Tristán Prize for the best book published in any subject that offers a “significant contribution to Peruvian academic knowledge,” given by the Peruvian Section of the Latin American Studies Association; 2019 Murdo J. MacLeod Book Prize for the best book on Latin American History from the Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association (Honorable Mention); and the 2019 Susan M. Socolow-Lyman L. Johnson Chile-Rio de la Plata Prize, awarded biennially for the best book on Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay given by the Conference on Latin American History.

Dr. Penry receiving her award.
Photo by Dr. Stephanie Huezo

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