The Myrna F. Bernath Book Award

The Myrna F. Bernath awards were originally established by the Bernath family and SHAFR Council in 1990 to promote scholarship in U.S. foreign relations history by women. The award committee now invites applications from women, nonbinary,  and/or  trans  scholars. The Myrna Bernath Book Award of $2,500 is awarded biannually (even years) to the author of the best book written by a woman, non-binary, and/or trans scholar in the field and published during the preceding two calendar years.

Eligibility: Nominees should be women, non-binary, and/or trans scholars who have published distinguished books in U.S. foreign relations, transnational history, international history, peace studies, cultural interchange, and defense or strategic studies. Membership in SHAFR is required.

Procedures: Books may be nominated by the author, the publisher, or any member of SHAFR. Books will be judged primarily in regard to their contribution to scholarship. Three copies of the book (or page proofs) and a letter of nomination should be submitted. The award is presented during the SHAFR annual conference.

The deadline is 1 February in even years

To nominate a book published in 2024-2025 for the 2026 prize:

  • Send a letter of nomination to Megan Black, [email protected].
  • Send a copy of the book being nominated to each of the committee members:
Megan Black

MIT History Department
70 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142

The Myrna F. Bernath Book Award Recent Winners:

  • 2024, Alvita Akiboh, Imperial Material: National Symbols in the US Colonial Empire
  • 2022, Joanne Meyerowitz, A Global War on Poverty: The Lost Promise of Redistribution and the Rise of Microcredit
  • 2020 Lucy Salyer, Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis over Citizenship
  • 2018 Rebecca Tinio McKenna, American Imperial Pastoral: The Architecture of US Colonialism in the Philippines
  • 2016 April Merleaux, Sugar and Civilization: American Empire and the Cultural Politics of Sweetness
  • 2014 Amy Greenberg, A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico
  • 2012 Sarah Snyder, Human Rights Activism and the End of the Cold War: A Transnational History of the Helsinki Network
  • 2010 Michaela Hoenicke Moore, Know Your Enemy: The American Debate on Nazism, 1933–1945
  • 2008 Barbara Keys, Globalizing Sport: National Rivalry and International Community in the 1930s
  • 2006 Victoria de Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through Twentieth-Century Europe
  • 2004 Carol Anderson, Eyes off the Prize: The United Nations and the African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955
  • 2002 Linda McFarland, Cold War Strategist: Stuart Symington and the Search for National Security
  • 2000 Jessica Gienow-Hecht, Transmission Impossible: American Journalism as Cultural Diplomacy in Postwar Germany, 1945-1955; and Cecelia Lynch, Beyond Appeasement: Interpreting Interwar Peace Movements in World Politics
  • 1998 Brenda Gayle Plummer, Rising Wind: Black Americans and U.S. Foreign Affairs, 1935-1960
  • 1996 Nancy Bernkopf Tucker, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and The United States, 1945-1992: Uncertain Friendships
  • 1991 Diane Kunz, The Economic Diplomacy of the Suez Crisis; and Betty Unterberger, The United States, Revolutionary Russia, and the Rise of Czechoslovakia