Announcement of winners - 2019 Eisenstein Essay Prize

The 2019 Eisenstein Committee was very impressed with all of the submissions for this year's Elizabeth Eisenstein Essay Prize, jointly funded by NCIS and Professor Eisenstein's family. We truly had an embarrassment of riches from which to make our selections.  Given the broad range of fields, and the high quality of all submissions, the decision was quite difficult, but after due deliberation we are pleased to announce that this year the winning paper is Boria Sax, "When Adam and Eve Were Monkeys: Anthropomorphism, Zoomorphism and Other Ways of Looking at Animals" in The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History, ed. Hilda Kean and Philip Howell (London: Routledge, 2019), pp. 273-297, while the runner-up is Stephanie Harp's “Stories of a Lynching: Accounts of John Carter, 1927” in Bullets and Fire: Lynching and Authority in Arkansas, 1840-1950, ed. Guy Lancaster. (University of Arkansas Press, 2018), pp. 195-221.
Joan Cunningham, Ph.D.,
Chair, 2019 Eisenstein Committee
Both Boria and Stephanie are longstanding members of NCIS, and indeed Boria previously won the Eisenstein Prize back in 2010! Our heartiest congratulations to both of them. Boria Sax, Ph.D. is the author of seventeen books, which have been translated into many languages and won awards for scholarship, as well as hundreds of shorter pieces. He currently teaches in the graduate program of Mercy College, as well as at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. His most recent book is Dinomania: Why We Love, Fear and are Utterly Fascinated by Dinosaurs (Reaktion Books 2018), and he is currently working on a cultural history of birds. Stephanie Harp, M.A. is a professionally trained researcher, interviewer, and historian with over thirty years of experience in writing, journalism, public relations, education, and arts administration. She holds a master’s degree in U.S. history, focused on racist violence in the South, and her essay about John Carter’s death “On Being Involved” appears in Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation (Rutgers University Press, 2019). She owns HarpWorks Writing, which serves the commercial and nonprofit sectors, and individuals, specializing in the arts and humanities, social services, and social justice. (
The Elizabeth Eisenstein Prize is awarded annually for the best academic journal article or book chapter published within the last two years by a member of NCIS in a peer-reviewed journal or edited academic book. The Eisenstein Prize brings the winner an honorarium of $350, while the runner-up also benefits from the kudos of their success. Subject to the relevant permissions, the winning essay will be reprinted in The Independent Scholar. The Eisenstein Prize was established in April 1993 and is named for Elizabeth Lewisohn Eisenstein (1923–2016), professor of History at American University and the University of Michigan, and mother of Margaret DeLacy, one of NCIS’s founders, in recognition of Professor Eisenstein's long-standing support of NCIS. We accept submissions throughout the year, but the deadline is April 30 each year. For more information on eligibility and submission for the 2020 Prize, go to

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