Mary Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History

Recognizing the most original book by an academic historian in the field of US women's and/or gender history.



The Mary Nickliss Prize is given annually to an academic historian for “the most original” book in United States Women’s and/or Gender History (or its colonial antecedent). 

The OAH defines “the most original” book as one that is a path-breaking work or that challenges and/or changes widely accepted scholarly interpretations in the field of U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History. If no book submitted for the prize meets this criterion, the award shall be given for “the best” book in U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History. The “best” book recognizes the ideas and originality of the significant historical scholarship being done by historians of U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History and makes a significant contribution to the understanding of U.S. Women’s and/or Gender History. 

The prize honors Mary Nickliss, whose aspirations to become a career woman confronted the gendered limits of the world in which she lived.


Each entry must be published during the calendar year preceding that in which the award is given, January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2024.

Submission Process

One copy of each entry, clearly labeled “2025 Mary Nickliss Prize Entry” must be mailed directly to the committee members listed below. Each committee member must receive all submissions postmarked by October 1, 2024.

Bound page proofs may be used for books to be published after October 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2025. If a bound page proof is submitted, a bound copy of the book must be sent to each committee member postmarked no later than January 7, 2025.

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

Please mail submissions to the committee members listed below: 

Deborah Cohen, Chair
Rachel Devlin
April Haynes

Email to provide title(s) you will submit for consideration so the committee can verify that all books have been received: [email protected].

Addresses to come.

Past Winners


Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, University of California, Irvine, and Gwendolyn Mink, Independent Scholar. Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress (New York University Press) 

Honorable Mention: Miriam Thaggert, University of Buffalo, Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad (University of Illinois Press)


Jennifer L. Morgan, New York University, Reckoning with Slavery: Gender, Kinship, and Capitalism in the Early Black Atlantic (Duke University Press)


Thavolia Glymph, Duke University, The Women’s Fight: The Civil War’s Battles for Home, Freedom, and Nation (The University of North Carolina Press)


Saidiya Hartman, Columbia University, Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals (W. W. Norton & Company)

Honorable Mention: Katherine M. Marino, University of California, Los Angeles, Feminism for the Americas: The Making of an International Human Rights Movement (The University of North Carolina Press)


Colleen McDannell, University of Utah, Sister Saints: Mormon Women since the End of Polygamy (Oxford University Press)


Tera W. Hunter, Princeton University, Bound in Wedlock: Slave and Free Black Marriage in the Nineteenth Century (Harvard University Press)


Katherine Turk, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Equality on Trial: Gender and Rights in the Modern American Workplace(University of Pennsylvania Press)


Cassandra Alexis Good, University of Mary Washington, Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Oxford University Press)


Lisa Marguerite Tetrault, Carnegie Mellon University, The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848–1898 (The University of North Carolina Press)