Press Release



Washington, DC – The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today unveiled 45 Subject Category Winners for the 2021 PROSE Awards honoring the best scholarly works published in 2020. 

A panel of 23 judges selected these winners from a total of 130 Finalists from an overall pool of 595 entries for this year’s PROSE Awards competition. 

“These 45 works all represent exceptional scholarship, and significant contributions to their various fields,” commented Syreeta Swann, Vice President, Programs and Administration, AAP. “We are delighted to announce this year’s Subject Category Winners and look forward to announcing the next round of PROSE honors – the Excellence Award Winners – next month.”

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

The R.R. Hawkins Awardis 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 Awardrecipient was Carmen C. Bambach’s Leonardo Da Vinci Rediscoveredfrom 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 Category Winners is below:

2021 PROSE Biological and Life Sciences Category Winners

Biological Science

  • Desert Navigator: The Journey of an Ant, Rüdiger WehnerHarvard University Press


  • The Plasticity of Sex: The Molecular Biology and Clinical Features of Genomic Sex, Gender Identity and Sexual Behavior, Marianne J. LegatoElsevier

Clinical Medicine

  • 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

  • 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

Nursing and Allied Health

  • Pediatric Nursing: A Case-Based Approach, 1st Edition, Catherine Gannon Tagher and Lisa Marie Knapp, Wolters Kluwer

2021 PROSE Humanities Category Winners

Architecture and Urban Planning

  • Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment, Fabio BarryYale University Press

Art Exhibitions

  • Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins, Edited by Ariane Thomas and Timothy Potts, J. Paul Getty Museum

Art History & Criticism

  • A History of Arab Graphic Design, Bahia Shehab and Haytham Nawar, American University in Cairo Press

Biography & Autobiography

  • Goya: A Portrait of the Artist, Janis A. Tomlinson, Princeton 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


  • Scale, Space and Canon in Ancient Literary Culture, Reviel Netz, Cambridge University Press

European History

  • Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe, Judith Herrin, Princeton University Press

Language & Linguistics

  • The Handbook of Asian Englishes, Kingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, and Andy Kirkpatrick, Wiley Blackwell


  • 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

Music & the Performing Arts

  • Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works, and Why It Matters, Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, Oxford University Press

Nonfiction Graphic Novels

  • Witness to the Age of Revolution: The Odyssey of Juan Bautista Tupac Amaru, Charles F. Walker and Liz ClarkeOxford University Press

North American History

  • The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants, Adam Goodman, Princeton, University Press

Outstanding Works by a Trade Publisher

  • The Turnaway Study, Diana Greene Foster, Scribner


  • Freedom: An Unruly History, Annelein de Dijn, Harvard University Press

Theology & Religious Studies

  • How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others, T. M. Luhrmann, Princeton University Press

World History

  • Forging a Unitary State, John P. LeDonne, University of Toronto Press 

2021 PROSE Physical Sciences and Mathematics Category Winners

Computing & Information Sciences 

  • 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 

Earth Science 

  • Deep Carbon: Past to Present, Edited by Beth N. Orcutt, Isabelle Daniel, and Rajdeep Dasgupta, Cambridge University Press

Engineering & Technology 

  • Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need, Sasha Costanza-Chock, The MIT Press

Environmental Science 

  • River Networks as Ecological Corridors: Species, Populations, Pathogens, Andrea Rinaldo, Marino Gatto, and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, Cambridge University Press

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology 

  • Diabetes: A History of Race and Disease, Arleen Marcia Tuchman, Yale 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 

2021 PROSE Social Sciences Category Winners

Business, Finance & Management

  • Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder, Margaret M. Chin, New York University Press

Cultural Anthropology & Sociology

  • The Tragedy of Heterosexuality, Jane Ward, New York University Press


  • 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.

Government & Politics

  • Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump, Jennifer Mercieca, Texas A&M University Press

Legal Studies and Criminology

  • Whitelash: Unmasking White Grievance at the Ballot Box, Terry Smith, Cambridge University Press

Psychology and Applied Social Work

  • Introduction to Social Neuroscience, Stephanie Cacioppo and John T. Cacioppo, Princeton University Press

2021 PROSE Reference Works Category Winners

Best eProduct

  • 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

Best New Journal in Humanities & Social Sciences

  • Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, Editor-in-Chief: Charlene Villaseñor Black; Associate Editor: Emily Engel, University of California Press

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

Single and Multivolume Reference, & Textbooks in the Humanities

  • 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

Textbook in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics

  • Lectures on Astrophysics, Steven Weinberg, Cambridge University