The Judith Lee Ridge Prize is an $250 annual prize that recognizes the best article in the field of history published by a WAWH member. Applicants to the Ridge Prize must be current members of the WAWH when they submit their article. Current WAWH board members are not eligible to apply. The article must have been published in one of the two years preceding the prize year. Any articles may only be submitted once. All fields of history will be considered.
Award bylaws are available.
To apply for the Judith Lee Ridge Prize, please visit our WAWH 2021 Prize Submission Form here.
For questions about the Judith Lee Ridge Prize, please contact the Current Chair.
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“Sex and Democracy: The Meanings of the Destape in Postdictatorial Argentina,” Hispanic American Historical Review 99, no. 1 (February 2019): 91–122.
From the Award Committee:
Natalia Milanesio effectively traces the cultural shift from democratic, moral, and sexual repression during Argentina’s bloody dictatorship, from 1976 to 1983, to the “explosive” sexualization of culture and society embodied in the destape, that is, the removal of repressive codes and customs once endorsed by the Catholic Church and conservative press. Milanesio’s mining of details to illuminate the “survival strategies” of sexual expression before the destape builds a world for the reader that is at once dystopian and yet fully grounded in the lived realities of dictatorships. With the fall of the dictatorship, Milanesio provides a richly textured and nuanced portrayal of the ways in which media, namely, film, television, literature, and many other print sources, offered multiple engagements with and outlets for sex and sexual freedom, self-expression, nationhood, democracy, and sheer joy and the exuberance for life. She demonstrates, as well, how feminist and ultra-conservative religious views contrasted in their responses to the destape. In the end, Milanesio disrupts notions of the destape as purely commercially-driven enterprise and instead offers the history of people’s intense desire to be free.
Danielle Terrazas Williams
“‘My Conscience is Free and Clear’: African-Descended Women, Status, and Slave Owning in Mid-Colonial Mexico,” The Americas 75, no. 3 (July 2018): 525-554
Kelli Y. Nakamura
“ ‘Into the Dark Cold I Go, the Rain Gently Falling’: Hawai’i Island Incarceration,” Pacific Historical Review 86 (August 2017): 407–442.
“Migrant Longing, Courtship, and Gendered Identity in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands,” Western Historical Quarterly 47 (Summer 2016): 137-60.
From the Judging Committee:
In her article “Migrant Longing, Courtship, and Gendered Identity in the U.S. Mexico Borderlands”, Miroslava Chavez-Garcia examines an enviably rich family archive of letters sent back and forth across the border to illuminate migrants’ quotidian concerns and the complexities of transnational romantic relationships. Though some might think that working with a family archive might make an author vulnerable to pitfalls such as being “too close” to the sources and thus not analyzing the letters rigorously or critically enough, or not making the family’s story matter in the bigger picture, Chavez-Garcia deftly avoids these problems. In the words of one committee member, “It is simply impossible not to love Jose Chavez Esparza [one of the piece’s protagonists]. I found myself rooting for him!” Not only is Chavez-Garcia’s article narratively captivating, but her discussion of Mexican migrants’ longing for love is, in the words of the committee, “uniquely her own,” “a standout in terms of originality,” and one that “speaks to migrant longing and modes of communication, not just in the context of Latino historiography, but broader migrant historiographies.”
Margaret Connell Szasz
“A’ Ghàidhealtachd and the North American West,” Western Historical Quarterly 46 (February 2015): 5-29.
Karissa Haugeberg (Co-Winner)
“How Come There’s Only Men Up There?: Catholic Women’s Grassroots Anti-Abortion Activism,” Journal of Women’s History (Winter 2015)
Katherine M. Marino
“Marta Vergara, Popular-Front Pan-American Feminism and the Transnational Struggle for Working Women’s Rights in the 1930s,” Gender History 26, no. 3 (November 2014): 642-660
“A Town Full of Dead Mexicans: The Salinas Valley Bracero Tragedy of 1963, a Collision of Communities, and the End of the Bracero Program,” Western Historical Quarterly (Spring 2013).
“Border Control and Sexual Policing: White Slavery and Prostitution along the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, 1903-1910,” Western Historical Quarterly (Summer 2012): 157-178.
“Blacks on Brown: Intra-Community Debates Over School Desegregation in Topeka, Kansas, 1941-1955,” published in the Western Historical Quarterly 42 (Winter 2011): 481-500.
“Suicide, Slavery, and Memory in North America,” Journal of American History, vol. 97 (June 2010): 39-62.
“Braving Jim Crow to Save Willie McGee: Bella Abzug, the Legal Left, and Civil Rights Innovation, 1948-1951,” Law and Social Inquiry, 33, no. 4 (Fall 2008).
Anna E. Harrison
“‘Oh! What Treasure Is In This Book!’ Writing, Reading, and Community at the Monastery of Helfta“, Viator, volume 39, no. 1, (spring 2008).
“Rethinking the Socialist Construction and International Career of the Concept ‘Bourgeois Feminism‘,” American Historical Review 112, no. 1 (2007).
Carolyn Herbst Lewis
“Waking Sleeping Beauty: The Premarital Pelvic Exam and Heterosexuality During the Cold War,” Journal of Women’s History Vol. 17, No. 4, 2005.
“Science, Suffrage, and Experimentation: Mary Putnam Jacobi and the Controversy over Vivisection in Late Nineteenth-Century America.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 79 (2005): 664-694.
Lisa Forman Cody
“Living and Dying in Georgian London’s Lying-in Hospitals,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 78.2 (Summer 2004): 309-48.
“Soviet Maids for the Socialist Fortress: The Khetagurovite Campaign to Settle the Far East, 1937-39.” The Russian Review 62 (July 2003), 387-410.
“Sanitized for Your Protection: Medical Discourse and the Denial of Incest in the United States, 1890-1940,” Journal of Women’s History 14 (Autumn 2002): 80-104.
Lisa Forman Cody
“The Politics of Illegitimacy in an Age of Reform: Women, Reproduction, and Political Economy in England’s New Poor Law of 1834,” Journal of Women’s History 11 (Winter 2000): 131-156.
“Women’s Rights, Feminism, and Suffragism in Japan, 1870-1925.” Pacific Historical Review (November 2000, Volume 69, No. 4).
“Marital Status as a Category of Difference: Singlewomen and Widows in Early Modern England” in Singlewomen in the European Past 1250-1800 (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999).
“Casting an Evil Eye on the Youth on the Nation: Motherhood and Political Subversion in the Wartime Prosecution of Kate Ruchard O’Hare, 1917-1924,” American Studies 39(3) (Fall 1998): 105-129.
Patricia A. Schechter
“Unsettled Business: Ida B. Wells Against Lynching, or How Antilynching Got Its Gender,” in Under Sentence of Death: Lynching in the South, ed. W. Fitzhugh Brundage, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997), 292-317.
“‘Woman Power Will Stop Those Grapes’: Chicana Organizers and Middle-Class Supporters in the Farm Workers’ Grape Boycott in Philadelphia, 1969-1970,” Journal of Women’s History 7(4) (Winter 1995): 6-36.
“Reduced to Science: Gender, Technology and Power in the American Dressmaking Trade, 1860-1910,” Journal of the History of Technology (July 1995): 455-482.
Margaret Lavinia Anderson
“Voter, Junker, Landrat, Priest: The Old Authorities and the New Franchise in Imperial Germany,” American Historical Review 98 (December 1993).
“Natural and Spurious Children in Brazilian Inheritance Law From Colony to Empire: A Methodological Essay,” The Americas XLVIII No. 3 (January 1992), 351-396.
“Mass Culture, Mass Parliamentary Politics, and Modern Anti-Semitism: The Dreyfus Affair in Rural France,” The American Historical Review 97(1) (February, 1992).
“Latin American Feminism and the Transnational Arena, ” in Women, Culture, and Politics in Latin America (University of California Press, 1990).
“Women’s Memory, Women’s History, Women’s Political Action: The French Revolution in Retrospect, 1789, 1889, 1989,” Journal of Women’s History 1(3) (1990).
“Puerperal Fever in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 63(4) (1989).
“Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 14(1) (1988).
Ruth M. Alexander
“We Are Engaged as a Band of Sisters: Class and Domesticity in the Washingtonian Temperance Movement, 1840-1850,” Journal of American History 75 (1988).
Edith B. Gelles
“The Abigail Industries,” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd. Series, XLV (October 1988): 656-683
Barbara Corrado Pope
“A Heroine Without Heroics: The Little Flower of Jesus and Her Times,” Church History 57 (March 1988): 46-60.
“Ernest Legouvé and the Doctrine of ‘Equality in Difference’ for Women: A Case Study of Male Feminism in Nineteenth-Century French Thought,” Journal of Modern History 58(2) (1986).
Non-Ridge Prize Article Award Recipients
Marilyn J. Boxer
“Protective Legislation and Home Industry: The Marginalization of Women Workers in Late Nineteenth/Early Twentieth Century France,” Journal of Social History 20(1) (Fall 1986).
No prize awarded.
Anne M. Boylan
“Women in Groups: An Analysis of Women’s Benevolent Organizations in New York and Boston, 1797-1840,” Journal of American History 71(3) (December 1984).