The Glasscock Book Prize, first awarded in 1999, originated by the Texas A&M Center for Humanities Research, was permanently endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock ’59 and his wife Susanne M. Glasscock, for whom the prize is now named. Nominated books are informed by research and expertise, yet are concerned with and appeal to a wider than academic audience. In celebration of the Prize, we hold annual events including a book brunch, the Prize-winning author's lecture, and an associated community event.
Glasscock Book Prize
22nd Annual Prize:
The Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M University has awarded the Twenty-Second Annual Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship to Nicole R. Fleetwood, for her book Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, published by Harvard University Press in 2020.
Dr. Fleetwood is a writer, curator, and the inaugural James Weldon Johnson Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. She is the author of Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (2020), winner of the National Book Critics Award in Criticism, the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award in art history, and the Frank Jewett Mather Award in art criticism. She is also curator of the exhibition Marking Time at MoMA PS1. Her other books are On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination (2015) and Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (2011). She is also co-editor of Aperture magazine’s “Prison Nation” issue, focusing on photography’s role in documenting mass incarceration, and co-curator of Aperture’s touring exhibition of the same name. Fleetwood has co/curated exhibitions and programs on art and mass incarceration at the Andrew Freedman Home, Aperture Foundation, Cleveland Public Library, Eastern State Penitentiary, MoMA PS1, Mural Arts Philadelphia, the Zimmerli Art Museum, and Worth Rises. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, NYPL’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, ACLS, Whiting Foundation, the Art for Justice Fund, Denniston Hill Residency, Schomburg Center for Scholars-in-Residence, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the NEH.
Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration highlights artists who are currently and formerly incarcerated and is based on interviews, prison visits, and the experience of families of the incarcerated. Despite the brutal dynamics of prison life creating isolation and depravity, artists nonetheless assert their humanity through their drive to create art out of ordinary objects with meager supplies in unimaginable conditions. Through art, the imprisoned have a political voice. Marking Time captures the contemporary art that testifies to the racial injustices that underpin the American penal system.
“[An] ambitious book… Fleetwood deftly weaves personal narrative together with nuanced readings of artworks created by incarcerated people in order to illustrate how, in her own words, ‘art in prison is a practice of survival, an aesthetic journey that documents time in captivity, a mode of connecting with others.’ …She models how creative expression can build the coalitions necessary for imagining and realizing a more just society.”—Kimberly Probolus, Smithsonian
“Fleetwood offers something that has been missing from all the talk about incarceration in America: where words fail, there is art. Art, as Fleetwood explains, becomes a way of being seen, a way of making the shackles visible. This is a book that reveals what’s been ignored.” —Reginald Dwayne Betts, author of Felon
Dr. Fleetwood will be (virtually) visiting Texas A&M in early March 2022 to receive the prize and discuss Marking Time with the campus and wider community. Further information coming soon!
The Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship was endowed in December 2000 by Melbern G. Glasscock, Texas A&M University Class of ‘59, in honor of his wife. Together, among many other generous gifts to Texas A&M University, they provided a naming endowment for the Glasscock Center in 2002. Click here for a history of the Prize.