Joan Kelly Memorial Prize Recipients
Named in memory of Joan Kelly, this prize is awarded annually for the book in women's history and/or feminist theory that best reflects the high intellectual and scholarly ideals exemplified by the life and work of Joan Kelly (1928–82). The prize was established by the Coordinating Committee on Women in the Historical Profession and the Conference Group on Women's History in 1983, to be administered by the American Historical Association and carries a cash award of $1,000.
Submissions can deal with any chronological period, any geographical location, or any area of feminist theory that incorporates a historical perspective. Books should demonstrate originality of research, creativity of insight, graceful stylistic presentation, skilful use of analysis, and a recognition of the important role of sex and gender in the historical process. The interrelationship between women and the historical process should be addressed.
2014 Kelly Prize
Afsaneh Najmabadi, Harvard Univ.
Professing Selves: Transsexuality and Same Sex-Desire in Contemporary Iran (Duke Univ. Press)
Afsaneh Najmabadi skillfully combines analysis of historical texts and life stories with ethnographic observation of meetings among medical professionals, government officials, and prospective patients for sex reassignment surgery to trace the complex genealogies of homosexuality and transsexuality in Iran from the mid-twentieth century. Exploring how non-normatively gendered Iranians drew from both local and global discourses to narrate their experiences and influence policy, her multilayered account illuminates the spaces for agency within a discriminatory state biopolitics.