AAP PROSE Awards: The 2021 Category Winners

In News by Porter Anderson

From biological science and ‘The Ethical Algorithm’ to legal studies and ‘Demagogue for President,’ the AAP PROSE category winners embrace 45 fields of study.

The apse mosaic of Sant’ Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna’s patron saint. Judith Herrin’s ‘Ravenna: Capital of Empire Crucible of Europe’ from Princeton University Press has won the 2021 European History category PROSE Award. Image – iStockphoto: Sergio Delle Vedove

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Swann: ‘Exceptional Scholarship’
You’ll remember Publishing Perspectives‘ listing a week ago of the 130 PROSE Awards finalists for 2021 from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) in 45 categories of scholarly publishing.

Today (January 28), we have the winners in those 45 subject categories in this, the 45th year of the PROSE Awards’ operation. And that puts us halfway through the selection-announcement cycle of this long-running award program.

Next, in the process, five titles will be chosen for each of five super-categories, with an announcement of those five winners anticipated next week. Those five major categories are:

  • Biological and Life Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Physical Sciences and Mathematics
  • Social Sciences
  • Reference Works

Yale’s four-volume boxed edition of ‘Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered’

Each of those five wins, then, will be in contention for the ultimate award, the RR Hawkins Award that last year was won by Carmen C. Bambach for her four-volume Leonardo da Vinci Rediscovered from Yale University Press (July 2019).

On today’s winners’ announcement, Syreeta Swann, AAP’s vice-president of programs and administration, says, “These 45 works all represent exceptional scholarship, and significant contributions to their various fields.”

The submissions this year are being juried by 23 judges, and they have reviewed more than 590 entries.

2021 PROSE Biological and Life Sciences Category Winners

Biological Science

  • Desert Navigator: The Journey of an Ant, Rüdiger WehnerHarvard University Press


  • The Plasticity of Sex: The Molecular Biology and Clinical Features of Genomic Sex, Gender Identity and Sexual Behavior, Marianne J. LegatoElsevier

Clinical Medicine

  • Managing Health in the Genomic Era: A Guide to Family Health History and Disease Risk, Vincent Henrich, Lori Orlando, and Brian Shirts, Elsevier

Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry

  • The Wiley Handbook of Healthcare Treatment Engagement, Andrew Hadler, Stephen Sutton, and Lars Osterberg, John Wiley & Sons


  • Brain Fables: The Hidden History of Neurodegenerative Diseases and a Blueprint to Conquer Them, Alberto Espay and Benjamin Stecher, Cambridge University Press

Nursing and Allied Health

  • Pediatric Nursing: A Case-Based Approach, 1st Edition, Catherine Gannon Tagher and Lisa Marie Knapp, Wolters Kluwer
2021 PROSE Humanities Category Winners

Architecture and Urban Planning

  • Painting in Stone: Architecture and the Poetics of Marble from Antiquity to the Enlightenment, Fabio BarryYale University Press

Art Exhibitions

  • Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins, Edited by Ariane Thomas and Timothy Potts, J. Paul Getty Museum

Art History & Criticism

  • A History of Arab Graphic Design, Bahia Shehab and Haytham Nawar, American University in Cairo Press

Biography & Autobiography

  • Goya: A Portrait of the Artist, Janis A. Tomlinson, Princeton University Press

Biological Anthropology, Ancient History & Archaeology

  • Ancient Maya Politics: A Political Anthropology of the Classic Period 150–900 CE, Simon Martin, Cambridge University Press


  • Scale, Space and Canon in Ancient Literary Culture, Reviel Netz, Cambridge University Press

European History

  • Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe, Judith Herrin, Princeton University Press

Language & Linguistics

  • The Handbook of Asian Englishes, Kingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, and Andy Kirkpatrick, Wiley Blackwell


  • The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism, Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, Katherine Hill, and Jill Richards, Columbia University Press

Media and Cultural Studies

  • The Decisive Network: Magnum Photos and the Postwar Image Market, Nadya BairUniversity of California Press

Music & the Performing Arts

  • Switched On Pop: How Popular Music Works, and Why It Matters, Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, Oxford University Press

Nonfiction Graphic Novels

  • Witness to the Age of Revolution: The Odyssey of Juan Bautista Tupac Amaru, Charles F. Walker and Liz ClarkeOxford University Press

North American History

  • The Deportation Machine: America’s Long History of Expelling Immigrants, Adam Goodman, Princeton, University Press

Outstanding Works by a Trade Publisher

  • The Turnaway Study, Diana Greene Foster, Scribner


  • Freedom: An Unruly History, Annelein de Dijn, Harvard University Press

Theology & Religious Studies

  • How God Becomes Real: Kindling the Presence of Invisible Others, T. M. Luhrmann, Princeton University Press

World History

  • Forging a Unitary State, John P. LeDonne, University of Toronto Press
2021 PROSE Physical Science and Mathematics Category Winners

Computing & Information Sciences 

  • The Ethical Algorithm: The Science of Socially Aware Algorithm Design, Michael Kearns and Aaron RothOxford University Press


  • A Philosophical Approach to MOND: Assessing the Milgromian Research Program in Cosmology, David Merritt, Cambridge University Press

Earth Science 

  • Deep Carbon: Past to Present, Edited by Beth N. Orcutt, Isabelle Daniel, and Rajdeep Dasgupta, Cambridge University Press

Engineering & Technology 

  • Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need, Sasha Costanza-Chock, The MIT Press

Environmental Science 

  • River Networks as Ecological Corridors: Species, Populations, Pathogens, Andrea Rinaldo, Marino Gatto, and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, Cambridge University Press

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology 

  • Diabetes: A History of Race and Disease, Arleen Marcia Tuchman, Yale University Press


  • Lumen Naturae: Visions of the Abstract in Art and Mathematics, Matilde Marcolli, The MIT Press

Popular Science/Math 

  • Neutron Stars: The Quest to Understand the Zombies of the Cosmos, Katia Moskvitch, Harvard University Press
2021 PROSE Social Science Category Winners

Business, Finance & Management

  • Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder, Margaret M. Chin, New York University Press

Cultural Anthropology & Sociology

  • The Tragedy of Heterosexuality, Jane Ward, New York University Press


  • The Free-Market Family: How the Market Crushed the American Dream (and How It Can Be Restored), Maxine Eichner, Oxford University Press

Education Practice & Theory

  • Mind Over Media: Propaganda Education in a Digital Age, Renee Hobbs, forward by Douglas Rushkoff, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Government & Politics

  • Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump, Jennifer Mercieca, Texas A&M University Press

Legal Studies and Criminology

  • Whitelash: Unmasking White Grievance at the Ballot Box, Terry Smith, Cambridge University Press

Psychology and Applied Social Work

  • Introduction to Social Neuroscience, Stephanie Cacioppo and John T. Cacioppo, Princeton University Press
2021 PROSE Reference Work Category Winners

Best E-Product

  • i used to love to dream, A.D. Carson, University of Michigan Press

Best New Journal in Science, Technology & Medicine

  • Harvard Data Science Review, Xiao-Li Meng, The MIT Press

Best New Journal in Humanities & Social Sciences

  • Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture, Editor-in-Chief: Charlene Villaseñor Black; Associate Editor: Emily Engel, University of California Press

Single and Multivolume Reference, & Textbooks in the Biological & Life Sciences

  • Frogfishes: Biodiversity, Zoogeography, and Behavioral Ecology, Theodore W. Pietsch and Rachel J. Arnold, Johns Hopkins University Press

Single and Multivolume Reference, & Textbooks in the Humanities

  • The Cambridge World History of Violence 4 Volume Hardback Set, General editor Phillip Dwyer and Joy Damousi, Cambridge University Press

Single and Multivolume Reference, & Textbooks in the Social Sciences

  • Seasonal Sociology, Tonya K. Davidson and Ondine Park, University of Toronto Press

Textbook in the Physical Sciences and Mathematics

  • Lectures on Astrophysics, Steven Weinberg, Cambridge University

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Association of American Publishers is here, more on digital publishing is here, and more on publishing and book awards is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.