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A distinctive award: Exploring the human experience

The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize awards its 19th prize to literature that makes an outstanding contribution to the humanities.

By Alix P ’18

“It’s distinctive. Few other university humanities centers have book prizes like the one we award here at Texas A&M,” said Emily Brady, director of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research.

The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship will award its 19th annual prize this year, which recognizes interdisciplinary scholarly literature that makes an outstanding contribution to the humanities.

Glasscock Center staff with Jessica Howell and Emily Brady

Glasscock Center staff with Jessica Howell (bottom left) and Emily Brady (bottom center). Photo: Glasscock Center

Humanities explore the human experience, a complex subject to process and understand. The Glasscock Center, and the book prize in particular, aims to encourage exceptional scholarship in interdisciplinary humanities research. Disciplines such as philosophy, English, psychology, history, sociology, and more look at the human experience and attempt to ask and answer the larger questions that arise from it.

“Interdisciplinary humanities scholarship seeks to combine the strengths of more than one discipline in understanding the human experience,” said Jessica Howell, associate director of the center.  “Some problems and questions can benefit from this approach.”

Originally endowed as a birthday gift from Melbern Glasscock to Susanne Glasscock in 2000, this international book prize furthers the Center’s vision to support humanities research at Texas A&M University and beyond.

The 19th prize will be awarded to Ruth Carbonette Yow for her book, Students of the Dream: Resegregation in a Southern City, published by Harvard University Press in 2017. This work shares a compelling history of a high school’s fight against resegregation and challenges ideas like colorblindness acquired from civil rights struggles.

Ruth Yow Community event March 27

Photo: Glasscock Center

Yow, a historian and ethnographer of justice struggles and public education, is an early career scholar. She is invested in the community, continuing to work with the youth from her book and teaching with a prison education nonprofit. She will visit Texas A&M March 27-29th to receive the award, present a guest lecture, and participate in community events.

Looking ahead to the 20th anniversary of the book prize, Brady has an evolving direction for its vision. In order to support the public humanities, Brady hopes to award a book that demonstrates both prestigious academic scholarship and accessibility to a broader community.

“In partnership with Mel and Susie Glasscock, we want to highlight strong academic books with crossover appeal,” said Larry Walker, senior development officer with the College of Liberal Arts.  “Our goal is to bring humanities to the community and across multiple audiences. Such crossover scholarship moves outside academic communities to speak to a mass audience, which ultimately translates to cultural influence.”

Learn more about the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship here.