SHEAR Prizes 2021

Information for submitting books for the 2021 SHEAR Prizes will be available in Fall 2020

The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic awards book prizes to original monographs or collections of original essays that deal with the period 1776-1861. Certainly, some books that are considered cover a slightly broader time frame. But in order to qualify, the book must make its primary scholarly contribution to the history of the early American republic. The book may treat virtually any aspect of history, including political, economic, social, or cultural history. Editions of primary sources will not be considered, nor will new editions of old books or anthologies of previously published essays.

For consideration, a book must have a copyright from the previous calendar year. For example, the awards given in July 2017 were for books that carried a 2016 copyright date. A book with a 2016 copyright date whose publication was delayed until 2017 was normally ineligible.

Prizes are awarded at the annual conference in July. For more information about SHEAR’s prize competitions, contact the Executive Coordinator at info@shear.org.

The SHEAR Book Prize and the James Bradford Best Biography Prize

The SHEAR Book Prize is awarded to an original monograph that makes a significant contribution to the historiography of the early American republic.

The James Bradford Biography Prize is awarded annually to the author of an original biography, broadly defined, of a person active during the era of the Early Republic.  Editions of primary sources will not be considered, nor will new editions of old books or anthologies of previously published essays. The award is named in honor of James Bradford, who served as SHEAR Executive Director from 1994 to 2004.

The James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize 

The James H. Broussard Best First Book Prize is named for the individual most responsible for the creation of SHEAR as an academic organization. The prize is awarded annually to the best “first book” by a new author published in the previous calendar year and dealing with any aspect of the history of the history of the early American republic.

SHEAR will also award the Mary Kelley Prize, honoring the best book published on the history of women, gender, or sexuality in the Early American Republic (1776-1861).  The prize is named in honor of Mary Kelley, the Ruth Bordin Collegiate Professor of History, American Culture, and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, who has produced path-breaking work on gender and intellectual history, the history of reading, and the history of education and is a past president of SHEAR.  This prize marks an opportunity to celebrate her contributions to SHEAR at the same time that we recognize work in a subfield that has moved to the center of our thinking about the Early Republic.

The Ralph D. Gray Article Prize

The Ralph D. Gray Article Prize is named for the founding editor of the Journal of the Early Republic. The prize is awarded annually for the best original article published in the previous volume of the JER, as determined by a committee selected by the editors of the journal.

SHEAR Dissertation Prize

In cooperation with Penn Press, SHEAR awards the SHEAR Dissertation Prize to an exceptional unpublished dissertation pertaining to the history of North America from 1776 to 1861. The prize is awarded annually. For more information, contact Bob Lockhart at rlockhar@upenn.edu

In cooperation with Penn Press, SHEAR awards the SHEAR Manuscript Prize to an exceptional unpublished dissertation pertaining to the history of North America from 1776 to 1861. The prize is awarded annually for the best original article published in the previous volume of the JER, as determined by a committee selected by the editors of the journal.

If you have questions regarding any of the prizes, please contact info@shear.org.