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Outstanding Dissertation Award

The Immigration and Ethnic History Society makes an annual award for an outstanding dissertation in the field of immigration and ethnic history. The IEHS will confer the 2022 award at its annual meeting in the spring of 2022. The award carries a cash gift of $1,500.


To be considered, a dissertation must focus on some aspect of North American immigration and/or ethnicity, be successfully defended between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, be in English, and be submitted to outstandingdissertation@iehs.org by the deadline: December 31, 2021.

All submissions must be accompanied by a letter of support from the dissertation director. Inquiries and application materials should be submitted by email to outstandingdissertation@iehs.org.

2021 Committee Members

Anna Law (Chair), Yukari Takai, Yuridia Ramirez

Previous Recipients

Dr. Brianna Nofil – 2021

(Columbia University): “Detention Power: Jails, Camps, and the Origins of Immigrant Incarceration, 1900-2002.”

Honorable Mention

Dr. Kathleen Reed, (Manchester University): “Graffiti at Ellis Island: Personal Testimony, Mark-Making and Experiences of Immigration Detention, 1900-1924.”

Matthew Guariglia – 2020

University of Connecticut, “The American Problem: Race, Empire, and Policing in New York City, 1840–1930.”

Brendan A. Shanahan – 2019

“Making Modern American Citizenship: Citizens, Aliens, and Rights, 1865-1965”

Honorable Mention

Evan Taparata,”No Asylum for Mankind: The Creation of Refugee Law and Policy in the United States, 1776-1951.″

Bernadette Jeanne Perez – 2018

Before the Sun Rises: Contesting Power and Cultivating Nations in the Colorado Beet Fields (University of Minnesota, 2017)

Sarah R. Coleman – 2017

Redefining American: The Shifting Politics of Immigration at the End of the Twentieth Century (Princeton University, 2016)

Megan Asaka – 2016

“The Unsettled City: Migration, Race, and the Making of Seattle’s Urban Landscape” (Yale University, 2014)

Jared Toney – 2015

“Locating Diaspora: Afro-caribbean Migration and the Transnational Dialectics of Race and Community in North America, 1910-1929” (University of Toronto, 2014)

Elizabeth Craft (honorable mention) “Becoming American Onstage: Broadway Narratives of Immigrant Experiences in the United States” (Harvard University, 2014)

Julian Lim – 2014

“The Future Immense:’ Race and Immigration in the Multiracial U.S. – Mexico Borderlands” (Cornell University, 2013)