Dr. Tiffany Lethabo King Wins the Lora Romero First Book Prize
The selection committee for the Lora Romero First Book Prize for the ASA is delighted to recognize TIFFANY LETHABO KING’s, The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies (Duke University Press, 2019) as the best first book published in American studies that highlights intersectional dynamics in the study of race, gender, class, sexuality, and/or nation in 2020. The Black Shoals is a beautifully-written and provocatively-argued critique of normative frames for theorizing conquest, colonization, genocide and anti-Black racism. Placing hemispheric traditions in Black Studies in conversation with Indigenous Studies, Lethabo-King mobilizes “the black shoals” as a capacious metaphor, an analytic, and a methodology, to explore a new conceptual territory in the indeterminate and ever shifting space between land and water, the conceptual frames through which Black and Indigenous studies have typically been imagined. King’s methodology offers not only sophisticated and compelling analyses of a wide array of imaginative and historical objects such as maps, film, history, and sculpture from the 18th century to 21st century, but also a ceremony to counter anti-blackness/genocide and conjure reimagined ethics and erotics between Black and Indigenous people. In this way, The Black Shoals opens up an alternative site of ethical engagement for Black and Indigenous Studies. Pushing beyond the conceptual limits of what Lethabo-King calls “conquistador humanism,” the black shoals offer a new landscape for theorizing the enmeshment of Black and Indigenous experiences of conquest.
Dr. Darius Bost won Honorable Mention in 2019.
Dr. Christina Hanhardt won Honorable Mention in 2014.