Books win awards!

Two more authors added their excellent works to the UIP trophy case, a piece of furniture already fill to burstin’ in recent weeks.

sunardiChristina Sunardi won the Philip Brett Award from the LBTQ Study Group of the American Musicological Society (AMS) for her book Stunning Males and Powerful Females: Gender and Tradition in East Javanese Dance. The AMS gives the award to an exceptional musicological work in the field of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual studies.

In the book, Sunardi ventures into the regency of Malang in east Java to study and perform with dancers. Through formal interviews and casual conversation, Sunardi learns about their lives and art. Her work shows how performers continually transform dance traditions to negotiate, and renegotiate, the boundaries of gender and sex—sometimes reinforcing lines of demarcation, sometimes transgressing them, and sometimes doing both simultaneously. But Sunardi’s investigation moves beyond performance. It expands notions of the spiritual power associated with female bodies and feminine behavior, and the ways women, men, and waria (male-to-female transvestites) access the magnetic power of femaleness.

birkMegan Birk’s Fostering on the Farm: Child Placement in the Rural Midwest received the 2017 Vincent De Santis First Book Prize, awarded by the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE). The award committee stated that the book stood out among this year’s submissions “for its particular value to our understanding of labor, region and childhood in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.” As the awards committee put it:

Fostering the Farm broadens the literature on child-saving to explain the rise of the emerging administrative state’s social policies and the origins of foster care. Birk is especially adept at unraveling how such policies and popular beliefs emerged from the interactions between local and state level actors. Birk adds an important chapter to a historiography that questions the romantic Jeffersonian myth of agrarian life. In combination with our understanding of the history of slavery, sharecropping, and migrant labor, Fostering of the Farm suggests that exploitive labor of especially vulnerable populations—rather than self-sufficiency—may be a defining characteristic of the history of American farms regardless of region.