The “Best First” Book Prize Committee for the Association for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies has voted unanimously to award this year’s prize, which considered first monographs published between 2019 and 2021, to S. Elizabeth Penry’s The People Are King: The Making of an Indigenous Andean Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). Drawing on an impressive array of documentation from a long list of archives on both sides of the Atlantic, The People Are King advances a convincing and timely revisionary examination of the processes by which Andean peoples within the viceroyalty of Peru strategically submitted to, collaborated with, and resisted Spanish imperial institutions from the sixteenth-century conquests through the age of revolutions and independence into the modern day. Via an exploration of the long-term development of five Andean highland towns and the ways in which their local populaces forged the social institution of the común to identify and assert their common interests and attain greater agency, Penry brilliantly demonstrates how indigenous peoples appropriated, refashioned, and repurposed Christian and Spanish ideas of natural rights and sovereignty, blending them with pre-conquest Andean principles of community obligation, in order to navigate the legal landscape and manipulate power structures within the Spanish-ruled administrative framework. Her expertly crafted book exhibits a rare level of erudition and historical craftsmanship for a first monograph and promises to serve as both an essential reference work for those working in the field and an aspirational exemplar for all historians.
Congratulations, Dr. Penry!
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In The Cambridge Connection, Susan Wabuda’s essay, “‘We walk as pilgrims’: Agnes Cheke and Cambridge, c. 1500–1549” is about the career of Agnes Cheke as a prosperous vitner. She was one of the few pillars of the emerging evangelical establishment in Cambridge in the sixteenth century. Her financial success in selling wine allowed her to advance the career of her son, the famous humanist scholar Sir John Cheke, and her son-in-law William Cecil, the future Lord Burghley, the chief advisor of Queen Elizabeth I. Agnes Cheke died in 1549, much lamented in a sermon by the famous preacher Hugh Latimer, and her resting place is in the University Church, Great Saint Mary’s, where she was a parishioner.
Susan Wabuda’s previous books include Thomas Cranmer in the Routledge Historical Biographies Series (New York and London: Routledge, 2017), and Preaching during the English Reformation (Cambridge: University Press, 2002, 2008).
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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.
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We are thrilled to announce that the American Historical Association has awarded Dr. Yuko Miki’s, Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2018), the Wesley-Logan Prize for the best book in African diaspora history. Please reach out to Dr. Yuko Miki at firstname.lastname@example.org to send her your heartfelt congratulations on receiving this wonderful achievement!!!
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Dr. Kirsten Swinth enjoyed a packed crowd earlier this month as she spoke about her upcoming book, “Having it All:” Feminist Struggles over Work and Family, 1963 – 1978 (Harvard University Press, 2018). The book comments on the challenges that working professionals have faced as they have sought to build a career while raising a family from the 1970s through the present. She also discussed Continue reading →
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Philadelphia was the location on the weekend of October 26-29 for the annual meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT). For the conference, Professor Asif Siddiqi organized a panel titled “Democratizing the Technologies of Pop Music: Songs in the Key of Gender, Fandom and Digital Sampling.” The panel forms the basis for a new book project by Professor Siddiqi, a collection of essays provisionally titled One Track Mind. The book will bring together academics and cultural critics to talk about Continue reading →
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Dr. Steven Stoll’s forthcoming new book, Ramp Hallow: The Ordeal of Appalachia(Hill and Wang) received an in-depth review in Washington Monthly, published jointly with ProPublica (October 30). As described by the reviewer, Stoll, “has set out to tell the story of how the people of a sprawling region of our country—one of its most physically captivating and ecological bountiful—went from enjoying a modest by self-sufficient existence as small- scale agrarians for much of the eighteen and nineteenth centuries to a dreary dependency on the indulgence of coal barons or the alms of government.” Dr. Stoll will discuss his new book at The New School on November 13.