OAH-NPS Call for Proposals: Alcatraz Island

Submission deadline: July 7, 2023

June 25, 2023

Submission Deadline: July 7, 2023

The OAH is partnering with the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust to produce an updated Historic Resource Study (HRS) for Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). An HRS is a baseline document for NPS units that is meant to provide historic context information for future park cultural resource, planning, and interpretation efforts. This HRS will be developed as an edited volume, with different authors each researching and writing a single chapter. 

OAH invites proposals for contributing a chapter that conducts a social analysis of Alcatraz in San Francisco. This ninth chapter of the HRS aims to build on existing knowledge of the incarcerated individuals held at Alcatraz, and to revisit the history of the prison in light of current national conversations about mass incarceration.

The selected author will be compensated a total of $16,925 (inclusive of travel and research expenses) to produce this chapter. We expect the chapter to be approximately 40 pages in length. 

Submission Guidelines

The following documents should be submitted as PDF attachments to [email protected] no later than July 7, 2023:

  1. Curriculum Vitae (CV): Provide an updated CV highlighting your academic qualifications, research experience, and relevant publications or projects. An MA is required, and PhD is preferred. 
  2. A letter of interest that details how and why you can adhere to the project schedule (pp. 3-4) and chapter scope (p. 2) that is provided below. Explain your current research capacity and ability to meet deadlines effectively.

Selection Process

Proposals will be reviewed by the project team based on the author’s expertise in the subject matter and ability to meet project deadlines. Selected authors will be notified of their acceptance and provided with further guidelines for developing their chapters.

Questions and requests for further information, should contact Paul J. Zwirecki, OAH Director of Public History Programs, at [email protected].

Scope of Work

Social Analysis of Alcatraz 

The park has done substantial research on the operation of Alcatraz as first a military then a civilian prison. However, park staff would like to know more about what kinds of prisoners were held there. In addition, the park would like to revisit the history of the prison in light of the current national conversation about mass incarceration. 

  • Historical overview of military incarceration
  • Historical overview of civilian incarceration
  • Overview of current scholarly thinking on incarceration
  • Historical overview of Alcatraz
  • Demographics of prisoners
  • Why were prisoners sent to Alcatraz?
  • Same-sex sexual activity and Alcatraz
  • Hopi imprisoned on Alcatraz (1895)

Schedule of Deliverables and Payments

July 2023

NPS to provide HRS authors with orientation “go-packet”

Each packet contains overall project chapters topics, specific chapter topics, preliminary bibliography and research materials.

July 2023

Project Start-Up: ired HRS authors attend a start-up meeting with the full project team (authors, editor, project managers, NPS management team) to discuss project purpose, parameters and schedule

Payment: $1,692.50 (10%)

by August 28, 2023

Authors to provide Research Plan and Outline: each author will submit a research plan and outline for their chapter 

Payment: $3,385.00 (20%)

by October 13, 2023

NPS review of Author Research Plan and Outline and provide comments to authors (approximately 6 weeks)

by March 15, 2024

Authors to provide status email to editor and NPS management team midway through the Draft 1 development

by May 31, 2024

Authors will submit Draft # 1, consisting of a substantially completed report, including front matter, footnotes, and preliminary bibliography.  Submittal shall include photocopies of illustrations and maps.

Payment: $5,077.50 (30%)

by July 12, 2024

Editor and NPS management team provides comments on Draft 1 

July 15 – August 2, 2024

Authors to conduct a phone meeting with editor and NPS management team about the Draft 1 comments (allowing 3 weeks)

by November 14, 2024

Authors to conduct phone call meeting with editor and NPS management team midway through the Draft 2 development; this meeting serves as an opportunity to ask questions, ensure that the final process is continuing well, that photos and graphics are procured, etc.  

February 28, 2025

Authors will submit Draft 2: the second draft will be submitted for peer review in addition to NPS review.  In addition to meeting the requirements for the first draft, the researcher is responsible for:

  • obtaining copyright permission and providing appropriate credit line for government printing of all images
  • providing images as digital images in high resolution jpg or tif format suitable for printing – see NER Formatting Guidelines
  • identifying images by subject, publication information, and location of original

Payment: $3,385.00 (20%)

February 28 – April 11, 2025

Peer Reviewers review Draft 2 (Peer Reviewers have 6 weeks to review their one assigned chapter)

February 28 – April 11, 2025

Editor and NPS management team provides comments on Draft 2

April 14- May 2, 2025

Authors to conduct a phone meeting with editor and NPS management team about the Draft 2 comments (allowing 3 weeks)

by August 1, 2025

Authors Submit Final Chapter to NPS

Payment: $3,385.00 (20%)