Press Release



Washington, DC – The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today unveiled finalists for the 45thannual Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) Awards, honoring scholarly works published in 2020, comprising a total of 130 finalists across 45 subject categories.

Since 1976, the Association of American Publishers’ annual PROSE Awards have recognized publishers who produce books, journals, reference works, and digital products of extraordinary merit that make a significant contribution to a field of study each year.

“We are delighted to be celebrating the PROSE Awards 45thanniversary with an extraordinary group of finalists, representing the full range of scholarly publishing,” commented Syreeta Swann, Vice President, Programs and Administration, AAP. “We look forward to announcing the Subject Category and Excellence Award winners, as well as the PROSE Awards’ top honor, the R.R. Hawkins Award, in the weeks ahead.”

In announcing the finalists, AAP commends the panel of 23 judges who reviewed more than 590 entries in this year’s competition, ultimately discovering works that speak to the breadth, depth, and criticality of scholarly publishing. 

In the next few weeks, AAP will further refine the field by announcing a Subject Category Winner from among the finalists in each of the 44 categories. Subject Category Winners will go on to compete for one of five awards:

  • The 2021 PROSE Award for Excellence in Biological and Life Sciences
  • The 2021 PROSE Award for Excellence in Humanities
  • The 2021 PROSE Award for Excellence in Physical Sciences and Mathematics
  • The 2021 PROSE Award for Excellence in Reference Works
  • The 2021 PROSE Award for Excellence in Social Sciences

One of these five Excellence Winners will receive the prestigious R.R. Hawkins Award, the top prize of the annual PROSE competition. 

The R.R. Hawkins Award is named for the long-time New York Public Library executive and author whose dedication and passion for professional and scholarly works significantly contributed to the acceptance of American science and scholarship across the globe. The 2020 R.R. Hawkins Award recipient was Carmen C. Bambach’s Leonardo Da Vinci Rediscovered from Yale University Press, a “modern rethinking of the career and vision of one of the greatest artists of all time on the 500th anniversary of his death.” 

The list of finalists is below:

2021 PROSE Biological and Life Sciences Finalists

Biological Science

  • Army Ants: Nature’s Ultimate Social Hunters, Daniel J. C. Kronauer, Harvard University Press
  • Chimpanzee Lessons from our Sister Species, Kevin D. HuntCambridge University Press
  • Desert Navigator: The Journey of an Ant, Rüdiger WehnerHarvard University Press


  • Cognition and Addiction, Antonio Verdejo GarcíaElsevier
  • The Plasticity of Sex: The Molecular Biology and Clinical Features of Genomic Sex, Gender Identity and Sexual Behavior, Marianne J. LegatoElsevier
  • Tumor Vascularization, Domenico Ribatti and Francesco Pezzella, Elsevier

Clinical Medicine

  • Case Studies in Geriatric Primary Care and Multimorbidity Management, Karen Dick and Terry Mahan ButtaroElsevier
  • Diagnosing from a Distance: Debates over Libel Law, Media, and Psychiatric Ethics from Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump, John Martin-JoyCambridge University Press
  • Managing Health in the Genomic Era: A Guide to Family Health History and Disease Risk, Vincent Henrich, Lori Orlando, and Brian Shirts, Elsevier

Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

  • Liberation Psychology: Theory, Method, Practice, and Social Justice, Lillian Comas-Díaz and Edil Torres RiveraAmerican Psychological Association
  • The Wiley Handbook of Healthcare Treatment Engagement, Andrew Hadler, Stephen Sutton, and Lars Osterberg, John Wiley & Sons


  • Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them, Alberto Espay and Benjamin Stecher, Cambridge University Press
  • Music and the Aging Brain, Lola Cuddy, Sylvie Belleville, and Aline Moussard, Elsevier
  • Handbook of Amygdala Structure and Function, Janice Urban and J. Amiel Rosenkranz, Elsevier
  • The Highly Sensitive Brain, Bianca Acevedo, Elsevier

Nursing and Allied Health

  • Handbook of Perinatal and Neonatal Palliative Care: A Guide for Nurses, Physicians, and Other Health Professionals, Rana Limbo PhD, RN, CPLC, FAAN; Charlotte Wool PhD, RN; and Brian Carter MD, FAAPSpringer Publishing Company
  • Pediatric Nursing: A Case-Based Approach, 1st Edition, Catherine Gannon Tagher and Lisa Marie Knapp, Wolters Kluwer
  • The Cambridge Handbook of Substance and Behavioral Addictions, Steve Sussman, Cambridge University Press

2021 PROSE Humanities Finalists

Architecture and Urban Planning

  • Frederick Law Olmsted: Plans and Views of Communities and Private Estates, Edited by Charles E. Beveridge, Lauren Meier, and Irene MillsJohns Hopkins University Press
  • Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment, Fabio BarryYale University Press
  • Remaking Berlin: A History of the City through Infrastructure, 1920–2020, Timothy Moss, The MIT Press

Art Exhibitions

  • Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins, Edited by Ariane Thomas and Timothy Potts, J. Paul Getty Museum
  • ¡Printing the Revolution!: The Rise and Impact of Chicano Graphics, 1965 to Now, Claudia E. Zapata, Terezita Romo, E. Carmen Ramos, and Tatiana Reinoza, Edited by E. Carmen Ramos, Princeton University Press
  • Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde, Edited by Starr Figura, Isabelle Cahn and Philippe Peltier, with contributions by Cécile Bargues, Yaelle Biro, Anna Blaha, Isabelle Cahn, Starr Figura, Megan Fontanella, Claudine Grammont, Joan U. Halperin, Charlotte Hellman, Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, Patricia Leighten, Philippe Peltier, Léa Saint-Raymond, Élodie Vaudry, and Marnin Young, The Museum of Modern Art

Art History & Criticism

  • A History of Arab Graphic Design, Bahia Shehab and Haytham Nawar, American University in Cairo Press
  • Making Art Work: How Cold War Engineers and Artists Forged a New Creative Culture, W. Patrick McCray, The MIT Press
  • The Art of Sculpture in Fifteenth Century Italy, Edited by Amy R. Bloch and Daniel M. ZolliCambridge University Press

Biography & Autobiography

  • At the Risk of Thinking: An Intellectual Biography of Julia Kristeva, Alice Jardine, Bloomsbury
  • Crystal Eastman: A Revolutionary Life, Amy Aronson,Oxford University Press
  • Goya: A Portrait of the Artist, Janis A. Tomlinson, Princeton University Press
  • Naoroji: Pioneer of Indian Nationalism, Dinyar PatelHarvard University Press

Biological Anthropology, Ancient History & Archaeology

  • Ancient Maya Politics: A Political Anthropology of the Classic Period 150–900 CE, Simon Martin, Cambridge University Press
  • New World Monkeys: The Evolutionary Odyssey, Alfred L. Rosenberger, Princeton University Press
  • Sex, Skulls, and Citizens: Gender and Racial Science in Argentina (1860-1910), Ashley Elizabeth Kerr, Vanderbilt University Press


  • Empire of the Black Sea: The Rise and Fall of the Mithridatic World, Duane W. Roller, Oxford University Press
  • Scale, Space and Canon in Ancient Literary Culture, Reviel Netz, Cambridge University Press
  • The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History, Greg WoolfOxford University Press

European History

  • Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe, Suzanne L. Marchand, Princeton University Press
  • Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe, Judith Herrin, Princeton University Press

Language & Linguistics

  • Forty Narratives in the Wyandot Language, John L. Steckley, McGill-Queen’s University Press
  • The Handbook of Asian Englishes, Kingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, and Andy Kirkpatrick, Wiley Blackwell
  • You Talkin’ to Me? The Unruly History of New York English, E. J. White, Oxford University Press 


  • How to Think like Shakespeare: Lessons from a Renaissance Education, Scott Newstok, Princeton University Press
  • Impostures, By al-Hariri, Translated by Michael Cooperson, New York University/Library of Arabic Literature
  • The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism, Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, Katherine Hill, and Jill Richards, Columbia University Press

Media and Cultural Studies

  • The Decisive Network: Magnum Photos and the Postwar Image Market, Nadya BairUniversity of California Press
  • The Process Genre: Cinema and the Aesthetic of Labor, Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky, Duke University Press
  • Who Invented Oscar Wilde?: The Photograph at the Center of Modern American Copyright, David Newhoff, University of Nebraska Press

Music & the Performing Arts

  • Macbeth in Harlem: Black Theater in America from the Beginning to Raisin in the Sun, Clifford MasonRutgers University Press
  • Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works, and Why It Matters, Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, Oxford University Press
  • To Live and Defy in LA: How Gangsta Rap Changed America, Felicia Angeja Viator, Harvard University Press

Nonfiction Graphic Novels

  • Light in Dark Times, Alisse Waterston and Charlotte Corden, University of Toronto Press
  • Witness to the Age of Revolution: The Odyssey of Juan Bautista Tupac Amaru, Charles F. Walker and Liz ClarkeOxford University Press

North American History

  • A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War, William G. Thomas IIIYale University Press
  • Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War, Vincent Brown, Harvard University Press
  • The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants, Adam Goodman, Princeton, University Press

Outstanding Works by a Trade Publisher

  • Reconsidering Reagan, Daniel S. Lucks, Beacon Press
  • The Last American Aristocrat, David S. Brown, Scribner
  • The Turnaway Study, Diana Greene Foster, Scribner


  • Freedom: An Unruly History, Annelein de Dijn, Harvard University Press
  • No Refuge: Ethics and the Global Refugee Crisis, Serena Parekh, Oxford University Press
  • Sick Souls, Healthy Minds: How William James Can Save Your Life, John Kaag, Princeton University Press

Theology & Religious Studies

  • How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others, T. M. Luhrmann, Princeton University Press
  • Meaning and Method in Comparative Theology, Catherine Cornille, Wiley Blackwell
  • Motherhood: A Confession, Natalie Carnes, Stanford University Press

World History

  • Forging a Unitary State, John P. LeDonne, University of Toronto Press 
  • Inca Apocalypse: The Spanish Conquest and the Transformation of the Andean World, R. Alan Covey, Oxford University Press
  • Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities, Mahmood Mamdani, Harvard University Press

2021 PROSE Physical Sciences and Mathematics Finalists

Computing & Information Sciences 

  • Data Feminism, Catherine D’Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein, The MIT Press
  • The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design, Michael Kearns and Aaron RothOxford University Press


  • A Philosophical Approach to MOND: Assessing the Milgromian Research Program in Cosmology, David Merritt, Cambridge University Press 
  • Cosmology’s Century: An Inside History of Our Modern Understanding of the Universe, P.J.E. Peebles, Princeton University Press 

Earth Science 

  • Deep Carbon: Past to Present, Edited by Beth N. Orcutt, Isabelle Daniel, and Rajdeep Dasgupta, Cambridge University Press
  • Drought Early Warning and Forecasting: Theory and Practice, Chris Funk and Shraddhanand Shukla, Elsevier 
  • Geological Records of Tsunamis and Other Extreme Waves, Max Engel, Jessica Pilarczyk, Simon Matthias May, Dominik Brill, and Ed Garrett, Elsevier 
  • Iceland: Tectonics, Volcanics, and Glacial Features, Tamie J. Jovanelly, John, Wiley & Sons Inc. 

Engineering & Technology 

  • Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need, Sasha Costanza-Chock, The MIT Press
  • Modern Control: State-Space Analysis and Design Methods, Arie Nakhmani, McGraw Hill 

Environmental Science 

  • River Networks as Ecological Corridors: Species, Populations, Pathogens, Andrea Rinaldo, Marino Gatto, and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, Cambridge University Press
  • Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings, Valerie Trouet, Johns Hopkins University Press 
  • Nitrogen Overload: Environmental Degradation, Ramifications, and Economic Costs, Brian G. Katz, John Wiley & Sons Inc.

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology 

  • Diabetes: A History of Race and Disease, Arleen Marcia Tuchman, Yale University Press 
  • The Scientific Method: An Evolution of Thinking from Darwin to Dewey, Henry M. Cowles, Harvard University Press 
  • War Against Smallpox: Edward Jenner and the Global Spread of Vaccination, Michael Bennett, Cambridge University Press


  • Lumen Naturae: Visions of the Abstract in Art and Mathematics, Matilde Marcolli, The MIT Press 

Popular Science/Math 

  • Neutron Stars: The Quest to Understand the Zombies of the Cosmos, Katia Moskvitch, Harvard University Press 
  • On Task: How Our Brain Gets Things Done, David Badre, Princeton University Press 
  • The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another, Ainissa Ramirez, The MIT Press 

2021 PROSE Social Sciences Finalists

Business, Finance & Management

  • Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder, Margaret M. Chin, New York University Press
  • The Catalyst, Jonah Berger, Simon & Schuster
  • The Power of Experiments: Decision Making in a Data-Driven World, Michael Luca and Max H. Bazerman, The MIT Press

Cultural Anthropology & Sociology

  • Ballad of the Bullet: Gangs, Drill Music, and the Power of Online Infamy, Forrest Stuart, Princeton University Press
  • The Lives of Amish Women, Karen M. Johnson-Weiner, Johns Hopkins University Press
  • The Tragedy of Heterosexuality, Jane Ward, New York University Press


  • Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, Princeton University Press
  • Journal of Public Economics Plus, John Friedman and Wojciech Kopczuk, Elsevier B.V.
  • The Free-Market Family: How the Market Crushed the American Dream (and How It Can Be Restored), Maxine Eichner, Oxford University Press

Education Practice & Theory

  • Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education in a Digital Age, Renee Hobbs, foreword by Douglas Rushkoff, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
  • Start Where You Are, But Don’t Stay There: Understanding Diversity, Opportunity Gaps, and Teaching in Today’s Classrooms, Second Edition, H. Richard Milner IV, Harvard Education Press
  • The Power of Student Agency: Looking Beyond Grit to Close the Opportunity Gap, Anindya Kundu, Teachers College Press

Government & Politics

  • Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump, Jennifer Mercieca, Texas A&M University Press
  • Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior, Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird, Princeton University Press
  • The Loud Minority: Why Protests Matter in American Democracy, Daniel Q. Gillion, Princeton University Press

Legal Studies and Criminology

  • Criminality in Context: The Psychological Foundations of Criminal Justice Reform, Craig Haney, American Psychological Association
  • Defend the Sacred: Native American Religious Freedom beyond the First Amendment, Michael D. McNally, Princeton University Press
  • New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI, Frank Pasquale, Harvard University Press
  • Whitelash: Unmasking White Grievance at the Ballot Box, Terry Smith, Cambridge University Press

Psychology and Applied Social Work

  • A Theory of System Justification, John T. Jost, Harvard University Press
  • Introduction to Social Neuroscience, Stephanie Cacioppo and John T. Cacioppo, Princeton University Press
  • The Origins of You: How Childhood Shapes Later Life, Jay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt, and Richie Poulton, Harvard University Press

2021 PROSE Reference Works

Best eProduct

  • Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism, Bloomsbury Digital Resources, Bloomsbury
  • Cambridge Shakespeare, Edited by Brian Gibbons, A.R. Braunmiller, J.S. Bratton, Julie Hankey, Bruce Smith, Katherine Rowe, and Emma Smith, Cambridge University Press
  • i used to love to dream, A.D. Carson, University of Michigan Press

Best New Journal in Science, Technology & Medicine

  • Harvard Data Science Review, Xiao-Li Meng, The MIT Press
  • iScience: “i” stands for interdisciplinary, Stefano Tonzani and Simona Fiorani, Cell Press
  • One Earth, Lewis Collins, Izzy Andrew, Erika Freimuth, and Shanshan Zhang, Cell Press

Best New Journal in Humanities & Social Sciences

  • Journal of Public Economics Plus, John Friedman and Wojciech Kopczuk, Elsevier B.V.
  • Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, Editor-in-Chief: Charlene Villaseñor Black; Associate Editor: Emily Engel, University of California Press
  • Technology | Architecture + Design, Caryn Brause, Chris Ford, Chad Kraus, Gregory Luhan, Scott Murray, Winifred Elysse Newman, Clare Olsen, Jeana Ripple, Anne-Catrin Schultz, Marci Uihlein, Julian (Jialiang) Wang, and Andrzej Zarzycki,Taylor & Francis Group

Single and Multivolume Reference, & Textbooks in the Biological & Life Sciences

  • Frogfishes: Biodiversity, Zoogeography, and Behavioral Ecology, Theodore W. Pietsch and Rachel J. Arnold, Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Freshwater Fishes of North America, Volume 2: Characidae to Poeciliidae, Edited by Melvin L. Warren, Jr., and Brooks M. Burr, with Anthony A. Echelle, Bernard R. Kuhajda, and Stephen T. Ross and illustrated by Joseph R. Tomelleri, Johns Hopkins University Press

Single and Multivolume Reference, & Textbooks in the Humanities

  • A Companion to World Literature, Ken Seigneurie, Wiebke Denecke, Christine Chism, Ilaria Ramelli, Christopher Lupke, Evan Nicholl-Johnson, Frieda Ekotto, Abigail Celis, and B. Venkat Mani, Wiley Blackwell
  • A Cultural History of Disability, David Bolt and Robert McRuer, Bloomsbury
  • The Cambridge World History of Violence 4 Volume Hardback Set, General editor Phillip Dwyer and Joy Damousi, Cambridge University Press

Single and Multivolume Reference, & Textbooks in the Social Sciences

  • Seasonal Sociology, Tonya K. Davidson and Ondine Park, University of Toronto Press
  • The Bloomsbury Handbook of Global Education and Learning, Douglas Bourn, Bloomsbury
  • The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Human Rights, Edited by Neal S. Rubin and Roseanne L. Flores, Cambridge University Press

Textbook in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics

  • Lectures on Astrophysics, Steven Weinberg, Cambridge University Press
  • Mathematics for Machine Learning, Marc Peter Deisenroth, A. Aldo Faisal, and Cheng Soon Ong, Cambridge University Press
  • Probability and Random Processes, Fourth Edition, Geoffrey Grimmett and David Stirzaker, Oxford University Press