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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Kudos for JTAS Authors

The Shelley Fishkin Prize for International Scholarship in Transnational American Studies honours the work of Shelley Fisher Fishkin by recognizing outstanding and original scholarship.

The International Committee of the American Studies Association has awarded Y-Dang Troeung the Fishkin Prize for 2023 for her book Refugee Lifeworlds: The Afterlife of the Cold War in Cambodia, published by Temple University Press. The jury commended the book by the late Dr. Troeung as "powerful and moving in ways that demand rethinking of the Cold War narratives with Asia (more specifically, Cambodia), refugee narratives, and critical disability studies. It's methodologically innovative and breathtaking in its emotional impact." We are honoured to be able to reprint an excerpt in this issue, along with an introduction by the author's surviving husband, Dr. Christopher B. Patterson. Read here.

We are delighted that Mahshid Mayar (Universität zu Köln) received the 2022 Fishkin Prize for her excellent monograph Citizens and Rulers of the World: The American Child and the Cartographic Pedagogies of Empire (University of North Carolina Press, 2022). An excerpt from Dr. Mayar's prizewinning book has been specially adapted for publication in the Journal of Transnational American Studies, Vol. 14, No. 1, with thanks to Mahshid Mayar and the University of North Carolina Press: PDF. Dario Fazzi has been awarded Honorable Mention for “Imperial Constraints: Labor and U.S. Military Bases in Italy, 1954-1979,” in the same round of adjudication of the Fishkin Prize for 2022. Dario Fazzi's essay appears in Diplomatic History, Volume 45, Issue 3, 2021.

In 2021, Padraig Kirwan (Senior Lecturer, Goldsmiths, University of London) was  selected for the Shelley Fisher Fishkin Prize for International Scholarship in Transnational American Studies for his essay “Recognition, Resilience, and Relief: The Meaning of Gift.” Dr. Kirwan's essay analyses the transatlantic bonds forged by a gift made by the Choctaw nation to the Irish during the potato famine. It  originally was published in Famine Pots: The ChoctawIrish Gift Exchange, 1847Present, edited by LeAnne Howe and Padraig Kirwan (Michigan State University Press, 2020) and an excerpt can be downloaded here, with thanks to Padraig Kirwan and courtesy of Michigan State University Press: PDF.

In 2020, the Shelley Fisher Fishkin Prize for International Scholarhip in Transnational American Studies was awarded to Christopher B. Patterson (Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia) for his monograph Transitive Cultures: Anglophone Literature of the Transpacific. An excerpt is reprinted in the Journal of Transnational American Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1, with thanks to Christopher B. Patterson and Rutgers University Press, and can be downloaded here: PDF. Dr. Patterson researches transpacific literature in relation to empire, race, and queer theory, exploring these intersecting discourses in Transitive Cultures. He has also written two novels, All Flowers Bloom and Stamped, under the pseudonym Kawika Guillermo, an adaptation of his mother's name and the name she intended to give him. He is managing editor of decomp, a journal of art and literature on the margins. 

In its first year, the Fishkin Prize was awarded to David Struthers, External Lecturer in the Department of Management, Society, and Communication at the Copenhagen Business School. Dr. Struthers's prizewinning book chapter "Internationalism and its Limits" is reprinted in the Journal of Transnational American Studies with thanks to the University of Illinois Press and David Struthers: PDF

The Shelley Fisher Fishkin Prize in Transnational American Studies Scholarship

Shelley Fisher Fishkin's leadership in creating crossroads for international scholarly collaboration and exchange has transformed the field of American Studies in both theory and practice. This award was created by the International Committee of the Association for American Studies to honor Professor Fishkin’s outstanding dedication to the field by promoting exceptional scholarship that seeks multiple perspectives that enable comprehensive and complex approaches to American Studies, and which produce culturally, socially, and politically significant insights and interpretations relevant to Americanists around the world.

The prize is awarded for excellent publications that present original research in Transnational American Studies (including original interdisciplinary research in Transnational American Studies) and which meet the following criteria:

  • are authored by scholars based at institutions located outside the United States or by international independent scholars and
  • have been published as monographs, journal articles, book chapters (monographs or edited collections) and
  • have been published not earlier than three years prior to the submission deadline.

The prize includes a three-year membership in the ASA with an electronic subscription to the American Quarterly, a cash prize, and the invitation to reprint (parts of) the respective publication in the Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS).* Publications by undergraduate and graduate students are ineligible. Submissions of coauthored work are not accepted.

[applications now closed until 2024]
Applications should include:

  • one publication for consideration for the prize (full article; in case of monographs: introduction; contents; and a representative excerpt of no more than 50 pages not exceeding 8 MB)
  • a two-page vita, including a selected bibliography
  • a one-page abstract for this publication

Please watch this space for details for the 2024 round.

*reproducible formats only; author needs to obtain publisher’s permission to reprint; author is responsible for all copyright procedures

Shelley Fisher Fishkin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof. Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Photo credit: Steve Castillo)

(Photo Credit: Steve Castillo)

Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Stanford University) was honoured with the John S. Tuckey Award on Aug. 4 at the Eighth International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies for “helping to assure that a rigorous, dynamic account of Twain stays in the public consciousness,” according to the award announcement.

Fishkin, the Joseph S. Atha Professor in the Humanities, was the first woman to receive the award, which was established in 1991 and is given every four years by the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College in New York State.

“Nobody has done more to recruit, challenge and inspire new generations and new genres of Mark Twain studies,” the award committee said.

Fishkin has written, edited and co-edited more than 46 books and has published over 150 articles, essays, columns and reviews, and much of her work has centered on Twain. Among her publications are Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture and Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices. She also edited the 29-volume Oxford Mark Twain and other anthologies and scholarly editions by and about Twain.

The committee also praised her work as a consultant for organizations like PBS and the American Writers Museum.

“(Fishkin) writes scholarship which is innovative and rigorous, yet accessible, addresses audiences beyond the academy and across borders, organizes and promotes transnational and interdisciplinary communities of scholars,” said Matt Seybold, assistant professor of American literatures and Mark Twain studies at Elmira College.

The honor was presented to Fishkin amid a group of about 150 Twain scholars from around the world.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” Fishkin said. “I welcome this award as a vindication in the scholarly community of my understanding of Twain as one of America’s important social critics.”

Throughout her career, Fishkin has focused on Twain’s use of satire and humor, as well as on the concept of the “lie of silent assertion” that Twain coined – the idea that if people stay silent about what’s going on around them, they are allowing it to happen by default.

In the light of the ongoing injustices around the world, Twain’s legacy and ideas are still relevant today, Fishkin said.

“He was someone who asked his countrymen to confront our history of racism, hypocrisy, corruption and greed in compelling ways,” Fishkin said. “He tried to help us break out of and question a mindless acceptance of an unjust status quo. That is the Twain that matters most to me.”

By Alex Shashkevich, The Stanford Report of 17 Aug. 2017, 08:24 am. Reprinted by permission.

Mark Rice's JTAS Article Reprinted for CA+T Exhibition Empire's Eyes

The Journal of Transnational American Studies is delighted that Mark Rice's article, “Colonial Photography across Empires and Islands,” originally published in JTAS 3.2 (2011), has been selected to accompany the exhibition Empires Eyes: Colonial Stereographs of the Philippines, hosted online by the Center for Art and Thought (CA+T) in Los Angeles. Covering the tumultuous start of US colonialism in the Philippines (1898) through the early decades of the 20th century, Empires Eyes explores how US government and business interests deployed stereographic photography to visually and ideologically manage Filipinos and influence governance in the American colonial possession.

JTAS congratulates contributor Carole Stewart on her recent book publication

book cover

Temperance and Cosmopolitanism (Penn State University Press, 2018) explores the nature and meaning of cosmopolitan freedom in the nineteenth century through a study of selected African American authors and reformers: William Wells Brown, Martin Delany, George Moses Horton, Frances E. W. Harper, and Amanda Berry Smith. Their voluntary travels, a reversal of the involuntary movement of enslavement, form the basis for a critical mode of cosmopolitan freedom rooted in temperance.

By elucidating the concept of the “black Atlantic” through the lenses of literary reformers, Carole Stewart challenges the narrative of Atlantic history, empire, and European elite cosmopolitanism. The interdisciplinary approach of Temperance and Cosmopolitanismwill be of particular value to scholars of African American literature and history as well as scholars of nineteenth-century cultural, political, and religious studies.