2022 Award Recipients
Sonia Hernández and Stephanie Hinnershitz
The Taft Prize Committee (which consists of Ileen A. DeVault and Veronica Martinez-Matsuda from Cornell University’s ILR School and LAWCHA-appointed members Kimberley Phillips Boehm, Dennis Deslippe, and Paul Ortiz) is extremely happy to announce that we are naming two books as equal co-winners of this year’s Taft Prize. Both books are beautifully and imaginatively written on extremely different topics. Unable to make a clear decision between the two, we decided to award the prize for this year to both.
For a Just and Better World: Engendering Anarchism in the Mexican Borderlands, 1900-1938, written by Sonia Hernández and published by the University of Illinois Press, anchors anarcho-syndicalism in the Gulf of Mexico as a powerful way to understand transnational political and labor networks. Hernández’s framing of women's lives brings to the fore the importance of gender rights in the period, as well as issues of race, ethnicity and nationalism. Based on impressive research on both sides of the Mexican border, this beautifully argued study of feminist politics in borderland communities provides a model for how to present transnational scholarship.
Japanese American Incarceration: The Camps and Coerced Labor During World War II, written by Stephanie Hinnershitz and published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, presents a true labor history of the prison camps set up for Japanese Americans during the War. Mining both legal and historical archives in innovative ways, Hinnershitz provides a fascinating comparison of the camps to prison labor and the most thorough “labor history” of the camps to date. Along the way, she sheds new theoretical and historical light on other groups and times when coerced labor was entrenched.
Both books will receive a Taft Prize check for $2000 as well as a plaque.