Awards / Article and Essay Awards

David Thelen Award

Honoring the best article on American history written in a language other than English.



Awarded biennially by the Organization of American Historians, the David Thelen Award honors the best article on American history written in a language other than English. Formerly the Foreign Language Article Prize, this award was renamed in appreciation of David Thelen, who edited the Journal of American History between 1985 and 1999. The winning article will be published in the JAH.


Articles published between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022, as well as previously unpublished articles, are eligible for consideration.

Submissions should be carefully argued and well written. They should offer an original perspective on colonial American and/or U.S. history. The competition is open to roundtables, keynote addresses, conference papers, and other genres of scholarship. Manuscripts should be framed for and addressed to readers outside the U.S. and written in a language other than English.

Technical requirements and submission process:

Length: Equivalent to approximately 5,000-15,000 words when translated into English.

Languages: Other than English.

Submissions must include a brief abstract (written in English) explaining how the manuscript meets the criteria stated above.

Submission Process

Submissions must be clearly labeled “2024 David Thelen Award Entry.” An electronic version of the manuscript must be sent to [email protected]. One hard copy must be mailed to the address below by May 1, 2023.

Stephen D. Andrews, Interim Executive Editor, Journal of American History
(Chair, 2024 David Thelen Award Committee)
Journal of American History
1215 East Atwater Avenue
Bloomington IN 47401

The application should also include the following information:

  • Author’s name
  • Mailing address
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Email address
  • Language of submitted article

Subject-matter experts, as well as readers proficient in relevant languages, will review submissions.

Award Committee:
Stephen D. Andrews, Interim Executive Editor, Journal of American History (Committee Chair)
Max Paul Friedman, American University
Additional appointments pending

Past Winners


Emmanuelle Perez Tisserant, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès-FRAMESPA, “The revolts in Mexican California: Between resistance to the state and the integration of federal Republicanism (1821–1832)” (Revue d’Histoire moderne et contemporaine)


Wang Yu, Sichuan University, “‘Boss’ La Follette and the Paradox of the Progressive Movement” (Journal of Sichuan University, Philosophy and Social Science Edition)


Rüdiger Graf, Leibniz-Center for Contemporary History Potsdam, “Truth in the Jungle of Literature, Science, and Politics: Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and the Food Control Reforms during the U.S. Progressive Era” (Historische Zeitschrift 301(1), De Gruyter Oldenbourg) [“Wahrheit im Dschungel von Literatur, Wissenschaft und Politik: Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle und die Reform der Lebensmittelkontrolle in den USA der ‘Progressive Era’”]


Shin Aoki, Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, “Singing Exoticism: A Historical Anthropology of the GI Songs ‘China Night’ and “Japanese Rumba'” (The Japanese Association for the Study of Popular Music, Popular Music Studies, Vol. 16)


No award given


Nathalie Caron, Université Paris-Est Créteil, and Naomi Wulf, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, “The American Enlightenment: Continuity and Renewal” (Transatlantica, Online Journal of American Studies)


Tity de Vries, University of Groningen, “The 1967 cia Scandal–Catalyst in a Transforming Relationship Between State and People” (published by Boom Uitgevers Den Haag in Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis)


Marcus Gräser, University of Frankfurt, “World History in a Nation State: The Transnational Disposition of Historical Writing in the United States” (Oldenbourg Verlag Science) [March 2009]


Manfred Berg, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, “Black Civil Rights and Liberal Anticommunism: The naacp during the McCarthy Era,” [“Schwarze Bürgerrechte und liberaler Antikommunismus in der McCarthy-Ära”] (Vierteljahreshefte fürZeitgeschichte) [June 2007]


Simone Cinotto, University of Turin, “Leonard Covello, the Covello Collection, and the History of Eating Habits among Italian Immigrants “(Quaderni Storici 111, XXXVII:3, December 2002, pp. 719–45) [September 2004]


Jürgen Martschukat, University of Hamburg, Germany, “‘The Art of Killing by Electricity’: The Sublime and the Electric Chair” [“‘The Art of Killing by Electricity’: Das Erhabene und der Elektrische Stuhl,”] (Amerikastudien/American Studies: A Quarterly 45:3)
[December 2002]


Axel R. Schäfer, Keele University, “W. E. B. Du Bois and the Transatlantic Dimension of Progressivism, 1892–1909,” (Macht und Moral: Beiträge zur Ideologie und Praxis amerikanischer Aussenpolitik im 20. Jahrhundert) [December 2001]


Mario Del Pero, University of Bologna, Italy, “The United States and ‘Psychological Warfare’ in Italy, 1948–1955,” (Studi Storici, 39) [March 2001]


Gervasio Luis García, “I Am the Other: Puerto Rico in the Eyes of North Americans, 1898,” (Revista De Indias) [June 2000]

[Formerly the Foreign Language Article Prize. Winning articles published in the Journal of American History.]

Foreign Language Article Prize


Catherine Collomp, “Immigrants, Labor Markets, and the State, a Comparative Approach: France and the United States, 1880–1930,” (Annales) [June 1999]


François Weil, “Capitalism and Industrialization in New England, 1815–1845,” (January–February 1995 Annales, HSS) [March 1998]


Marco Sioli, “Huguenot Traditions in the Mountains of Kentucky: The Memoirs of Daniel Trabue” [March 1998]


Ute Mehnert, “German Global Politics and the American Two-Front Dilemma: The ‘Japanese Danger’ in German-American Relations, 1904–1917” (Historische Zeitschrift 257, no. 3, 1993) [March 1996]


Arnaldo Testi, “Theodore Roosevelt’s Autobiography: The Laborious Construction of a Strong and Masculine Character” (Rivista di Storia Contemporanea, January 1991) [March 1995]