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Willi Paul Adams Award

DEADLINE: SUBMISSIONS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY MAY 1, 2020

The Willi Paul Adams Award is given biennially by the Organization of American Historians to the author of the best book on American history published in a foreign language. The award (formerly the Foreign Language Book Prize) is named for Willi Paul Adams, who was an active member of OAH in Germany and a tireless advocate of the internationalization of American history.

The OAH defines both “history” and “American” broadly. To be eligible, a book should be concerned with the past (recent or distant) or with issues of continuity and change. It should also be substantially concerned with events or processes that began, developed, or ended in the American colonies and/or the United States. We welcome comparative and international studies that fall within these guidelines. Authors of eligible books are invited to nominate their work. We urge scholars who know of eligible publications written by others to inform those authors of the award. Since the purpose of the award is to expose Americanists to scholarship originally published in a language other than English—to overcome the language barrier that keeps scholars apart—this award is not open to books whose manuscripts were originally submitted for publication in English or by people for whom English is their first language.

Each entry must have been published during the period January 1, 2019  through December 31, 2020.

The award will be presented at the 2021 OAH Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, April 15–17.

Submission Procedures

Please write a one- to two-page essay (in English, along with the title in English) explaining why the book is a significant and original contribution to our understanding of American history, and include a summary of the book's main argument.

The application should also include the following information:

Copies of the book and essay will be reviewed by contributing editors of the Journal of American History who are proficient in the language of the submission as well as by referees (proficient in the language of the submitted book) who are experts on its subject matter.

Four copies of the essay and book, clearly labeled “2021 OAH Willi Paul Adams Award Entry,” must be mailed to the following address and postmarked by May 1, 2020:

     Willi Paul Adams Award Committee
     c/o Organization of American Historians
     112 North Bryan Avenue
     Bloomington IN 47408-4141

Bound page proofs may be used for books to be published after May 1, 2020 and before January 1, 2021. If bound page proofs are submitted, a bound copy of the book must be postmarked no later than January 8, 2021 and sent to the OAH address above.

Electronic page proofs also will be accepted as a placeholder only. Please e-mail the file to the OAH Committee Coordinator at khamm(at)oah.org by midnight PST on May 1, 2020 and follow with bound copies as soon as they are available.

If a book carries a copyright date that is different from the publication date, but the actual publication date falls during the correct time frame making it eligible, please include a letter of explanation from the publisher with each copy of the book.

The final decision will be made by the Willi Paul Adams Award Committee by February 2021. The winner will be provided with details regarding the OAH Annual Meeting and awards presentation. The winner will be provided with details regarding the OAH Annual Meeting and awards presentation. By applying for this award, you are agreeing to OAH’s use of your data however it is needed in the normal course of business if selected as winner or honorable mention. Please see privacy policy at: ​http://www.oah.org/about/privacy/​.

Willi Paul Adams Award Committee

Appointments in Progress


DEADLINE: SUBMISSIONS MUST BE POSTMARKED BY MAY 1, 2020

List of Past Winners