Scholars of Color First Book Award

We are excited to congratulate the first cohort of books receiving the new Scholars of Color First Book Award. The award supports innovative and important books authored by scholars of color, as indicated through the review process. This fund supports and exemplifies our commitment to publish works by rising stars and to celebrate books with exceptional promise by scholars of color who might otherwise not receive recognition and support from their institutions. On average, we publish 36 first books each year, many of which are written by scholars of color, and we select several per season for the award.

Duke University Press Director Dean Smith says, “The Scholars of Color First Book Award enables us to support innovative and emergent voices at the beginning of their careers and create open spaces for experimentation and risk-taking—and it further reinforces our commitment to the centering of marginalized perspectives from scholars at every stage in their careers.”

The Scholars of Color First Book award is made possible by Duke University Press authors who donate their book royalties to help support innovative work by junior scholars of color. Many reviewers have also donated their honoraria. As part of this award, the Press covers the costs of indexing. 

Editorial Director Gisela Fosado says, “Every first book we publish is usually tied to a happy tenure story.  Supporting first books by scholars of color is therefore essential to fundamental changes we need in higher education. It’s been heartening to see the wave of support for this initiative both by folks who have donated to the fund and also by the award recipients and our many dedicated book readers.” 

Like most scholarly book publishers, our books program is not self-supporting. You can now donate to the award, as well as to other Press funds, on our website.

Check out the inaugural award winners below. A few of them are out now and the rest will be published over the next few months.

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