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Sociologist Wins Top Honor for W.E.B. Du Bois Book

Aldon Morris wins PROSE Award for ‘The Scholar Denied’

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February 11, 2016 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Aldon Morris, the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, won the PROSE Awards’ prestigious R.R. Hawkins Award for his book, “The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology.”

Since 1976, the PROSE Awards have been organized by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) to recognize the best works in professional and scholarly publishing.

“The Scholar Denied” (University of California Press, 2015) won the Award for Excellence in the Social Sciences and later earned the top R.R. Hawkins prize, which recognizes outstanding scholarly works in all disciplines of the arts and sciences. The honor included a $10,000 prize for the author.

“‘The Scholar Denied’ is a groundbreaking volume that re-writes our understanding of the founding and organization of one of America’s most important disciplines in the social sciences,” said Ilene Kalish, executive editor, social sciences, New York University Press, and Sociology & Social Work judge for the 2016 PROSE Awards.

“Through meticulous and compelling research, Aldon Morris shows how race and racism worked to deny the accolades of scholarship to a sociologist who managed to produce field-defining research that, even a hundred years later, has much to tell us about race, class and opportunity.”

Pulling from more than a decade of research in primary sources such as personal letters, conference proceedings and scholarly writings, Morris argues in “The Scholar Denied” that power, money, politics and the ideology of white supremacy led to Du Bois being “written out” of the founding of sociology. Moreover his intellectual breakthroughs were marginalized in the field for the last century. 

“Intellectual schools of thought do not become dominant, prominent and institutionalized just because of the merit of the ideas,” Morris said. “Power, money, politics and the ideology of white supremacy played a major role in which schools of thought took root. That’s also a big story I’m telling in ‘The Scholar Denied.’”

Winners of the PROSE Awards were announced Feb. 4 during the annual Professional and Scholarly Publishing Conference in Washington, D.C.

Topics: Honors