The winner of the inaugural Sharon Harris Book Award is Associate Professor Micki McElya for her 2016 book,
The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery.
The book award committee, chaired by Professor Peter Baldwin and including Professors Natalie Munro, Chris Vials, Janet Pritchard, and Rosa Chinchilla said this about their selection:
The Sharon Harris book award honors not only the legacy of Dr. Sharon Harris, but also the legacy of the humanities in general by recognizing a book that "demonstrates scholarly depth and intellectual acuity and highlights the importance of humanities scholarship." Dr. Micki McElya’s book The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery does all of this and more. The book traces the history of Arlington National Cemetery from a plantation worked by slaves to a symbol of national honor and pride. Its finely detailed early chapters engage the social history of slavery, and the conflicting understandings of race and gender during and after the Civil War. The story proceeds to explore the use of the cemetery as a site where ideas of nationhood, citizenship, and inclusivity were worked out in the twentieth century. Clearly written, meticulously researched, and keenly attuned to significant social contradictions, The Politics of Mourning tells a story of national importance that will engage the interest of general readers as well as scholars. Thus, it serves to remind the public of the value of humanities scholarship in American life.
Harvard’s book page: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674737242
Dr. Micki McElya was a finalist:
- for the Pulitzer prize: http://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/micki-mcelya
- and the American Civil War Museum literary awards: https://acwm.org/learn-and-do/awards-and-recognition