Past Prize Winners & Award Recipients


MACLAS 2016 Prize & Award Committees and Prize Winners & Award Recipients

arthur p. whitaker prize

The selection committee for the 2016 Whitaker Prize (for the best book published in the previous two years by a MACLAS member in good standing for the past two years) was comprised of María Roof, Susan M. Gauss, and Richard N. Gioioso.

Whitaker Prize Committee Chair María Roof presenting the Whitaker Prize to Mark Wasserman.

Whitaker Prize Committee Chair María Roof presenting the Whitaker Prize to Mark Wasserman.

Whitaker Prize Winner:  Mark Wasserman, Rutgers University, for Pesos and Politics: Business, Elites, Foreigners, and Government in Mexico, 1854-1940 (Stanford University Press, 2015). 


   In the words of the Whitaker Prize Committee, “This study was selected, from among the excellent books submitted, for the quality of its scholarship and the new directions it establishes for future research.  It overturns accepted historical analyses on the effects of the Porfiriato in Mexico through innovative interpretations that posit a previously underexposed system of interacting sectors.  This is a complex study of the balance of forces determining the relationship between business and politics across six decades. Using research from an exceptional array of archival sources, Wasserman examines diverse groups, companies, and sectors and engages multiple threads in the field of Mexican business history. Most revealing in Wasserman’s analysis is his inclusion of local and regional interests in checking both foreign aspirations and federal actions. Díaz’s power was never absolute, but nor was that of foreign owners.  Pesos and Politics is a well-documented, detailed study of the actions of powerful business elites, foreign corporations and government actors in Mexico and a very worthy recipient of the 2016 Arthur P. Whitaker Prize.”  As Whitaker Prize Committee member Susan M. Gauss of the University of Albany wrote in her review of the book in the Hispanic American Historical Review (Feb. 2016), “Wasserman adds important depth to [the] new interpretations of [Porfirio] Díaz. . . . Wasserman’s goal is to challenge assertions that unchecked foreign influence caused underdevelopment. . . . Historians of business, politics, and economy in Latin America and Mexico will surely find this book of interest, not least because it provokes new ways to discuss the origins and enduring features of dependency.”

Harold Eugene Davis Prize

The selection committee for the Davis Prize (for the best book chapter or article published in the previous two years by a member in good standing for the past two years) was comprised of chair Luis Roniger, Gerardo Cummings, and Jennifer Guzman.

Associate Professor of Politics Patricia Rodríguez of Ithaca College.

Associate Professor of Politics Patricia Rodríguez of Ithaca College.

Davis Prize Winner:  Patricia Rodríguez, for her article, “Partisan Participation and Ethnic Autonomy: The Case of the Mapuche Organization Admapu, in Chile”, co-authored with Christian Martínez Neira and published online in the Journal of Latin American Studies in October 2015.

In the words of the Davis Prize Committee, "This peer-reviewed and meticulously researched article analyzes the case of the Mapuche organization Admapu in the framework of indigenous ethno-politics in Chile. Co-authored by a sociologist and a political scientist, it bridges between historiography and political science to build a rich analysis of Mapuche political participation and activism from the 1960s to today. The article significantly advances existing scholarship with new information and a nuanced discussion on the factors that underpinned Admapu successes and those that have posed challenges to ethno-political initiatives, contributing to the present state of indigenous-state relations in Chile. Situating the work more broadly in Latin American Studies, Martínez Neira and Rodríguez’s study helps uncover why, unlike indigenous movements in other South American countries, Mapuche organizations were ‘unable to form an ethnic party or obtain political representation’ as the nation returned to democratic rule.  The Committee unanimously selected this contribution for its scrupulous scholarship, its coherent argument, and its dynamic inter-disciplinary approach, which make it a very important contribution to the scholarship on the ethno-development of the Mapuche movement in Chile."

john d. martz iii prize

The committee for the John D. Martz III Prize (for the best paper submitted to the conference by a graduate student) consisted of chair Louise Detwiler of Salisbury State University, Gloria Clark of Penn State University, and James Baer of Northern Virginia Community College.

Martz Prize Winners: 

Christina Turner Graduate Student Travel Award

The committee for the Turner Award was comprised of Bridget Chesterton, Meghan McInnis-Dominguez, and Thomas Brinkerhoff. 

Christina Turner Award Recipients:  Christopher DeLorenzo (Georgetown University), Teresa Drenten (University of New Mexico), Laura Hatry (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), and Adriana Rincon Villegas (University of Massachusetts—Boston).

Władysław Maryan Froelich Research Grant

The committee for the Froelich Research Grant (of up to two $500 prizes annually to faculty, professionals or independent scholars to carry out research or creative projects on any facet of Latin American culture, politics, and society) was comprised of Ivani Vassoler and John Stolle-McAllister.

Froelich Research Grant Winners:  María Alejandra Aguilar Dornelles, University of Albany, for “Chasing Freedom: Black Criminalization, Leadership, and Writing in Colombia, Brazil, and Cuba” ($500), and Bridget Chesterton, SUNY Buffalo State, for “The Hotel Guaraní: The Urbanization and Brazilianization of Paraguay during the Stroessner Years” ($500).

Congratulations to all our MACLAS 2016 award winners & prize recipients!