Stephen Frug, instructor of history, has been awarded the Allan Nevins Prize by the Society of American Historians (SAH) for his dissertation, “Accepting Equality: Rhetorical Reactions to the Changing Politics of De Jure Segregation.” The Allan Nevins Prize is awarded annually for the best-written doctoral dissertation on an American subject. As the recipient of this year’s award, Frug was presented at an awards banquet in April with $1,000 and a certificate which described the award as bestowed “for literary distinction in the writing of history.” Nevins Prize-winning books are published by one of the distinguished houses which support the prize; Frug’s will be considered by the History Book Club.
“One of the features of the field of history that I most admire is reaching a non-academic audience, writing in a way so as to engage people who are not themselves historians, remains an important value,” says Frug. “Historians still seek to write in ways that reach outside of our own domain. And it is because this value has always meant so much to me that I am particularly honored to have won an award for the quality of the writing in my work.”
Candidates for the Nevins Prize are nominated by their advisers. Michael Kammen, Newton C. Farr Professor of American History and Culture at Cornell University, nominated Frug’s dissertation.
One of the two jurors who selected his dissertation from among the nominees, Alan Lawson, was himself a former Nevins prize winner (1967), as was the outgoing president of the SAH, Mary Beth Norton (1970).
“I am delighted that the society has seen some merit in my efforts not only to write good history, but to write history well. The works of the society’s members have served and will continue to serve as an inspiration for me in this as in many other respects, as well as a humbling reminder of how far I have yet to go in my own efforts,” adds Frug.
Frug first began teaching at HWS in the fall of 2006. He earned his A.B. in philosophy from Harvard College and an M.A. in history from Tufts University. He taught at the New Jewish High School of Greater Boston and earned an M.A. in history from Cornell University. Frug then earned his Ph.D. from Cornell.