Common Ground Research Networks Publishers Prize

The annual Publishers Prize recognizes authors and series editors of exceptional books that were published within the last year by Common Ground. It is awarded on the basis of a contribution to emerging and timely debates, as well as an emphasis on social impacts: manifest in commitment to social justice, principles of equality, or sustainability agendas. The aim of the award is to encourage and reward the publishing of scholarly works that have a social impact represented either in their innovative methods of thematic originality.

2020 Publishers Prize Finalists

We are pleased to announce the finalists for the 2020 Common Ground Research Networks Book Prize.

Who Wins? You Decide! Vote for One of these Finalists

If you are an active Research Network member, you can access digital copies of the books via your CGScholar account. If you would like to purchase a hard copy of the book, please use the coupon code BOOKPRIZE2020 for a 50% discount in the bookstore.


Food Labeling: Politics and Policies in the United States

Courtney I. P. Thomas, Joshua Oliver

Consumers rely on food labels for all kinds of economic, ethical, and lifesaving information. What are the ingredients in this product? Does it conform to kosher or halal standards? Is it organic or free of genetically modified ingredients? Has it been ethically produced and traded? However, as essential as this information is to consumers, many people find themselves overwhelmed, confused, or misinformed by food labeling practices. This edited volume examines nutritional, organic, GMO, fair trade, cage-free, and cultural food labeling practices. Each author’s perspective emphasizes the importance of food labeling policies that regulate this essential mechanism of communication in the food marketplace.

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Prophetic Voice Now: Crafting Space for Visionary Thinking and Practice

Richard Murphy

In "Prophetic Voice Now: Crafting Space for Visionary Thinking and Practice", Rich Murphy dives deeply into a robust analysis of the state of poetry, the arts by implication, and culture in the United States. Written over the course of twenty years, Rich Murphy explores and interrogates prevailing understandings of poetics, culture, and prophetic voice in poetry. Moreover, he calls for prophetic voices to propose a new narrative for stabilizing global culture and explores how poetry, as well as the arts and humanities generally, might craft a narrative that will lead us from the current brink and navigate the interrelated transitions of the Anthropocene, post-industrial Capitalism, and post-humanism. Through a careful and inventive analysis of current norms and assumptions about education, the individual, creativity, voice, and space, Murphy develops a compelling prescription for the vital and necessary expression of visionary thinking and practice.

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Slaafgemaakt: Rethinking Enslavement in the Dutch Caribbean

Felicia Fricke

"Slaafgemaakt: Rethinking Enslavement in the Dutch Caribbean" is a fresh and unique examination of the lives of enslaved people on the islands of Curaçao, St. Eustatius, and St. Maarten. Using a ground-breaking combination of original data from human skeletons, archaeological artefacts, and the testimonies of local people, it reveals for the first time the real lived experiences of enslaved people on these islands. In a bold departure from previous literature, this study focuses on the physical and psychological impacts of enslavement. Dr. Fricke takes us on a journey through 23 objects including a perfume bottle stopper, a blue glass bead, a candle holder, and a fish-hook, uncovering with intimate sensitivity and compassion the hidden stories of daily life for enslaved people behind these objects. Speaking powerfully to our present moment, this book challenges the status quo in archaeological research and investigates important questions such as: how does slavery affect the mind and body? What are the similarities and differences between slavery in the Dutch Caribbean and in the wider Americas? Why is this knowledge vital for modern society? And what should we do with this information? At turns harrowing and moving, yet always fascinating, this urgent and compelling study brings us closer than ever before to the real experiences of enslaved people in the Dutch Caribbean.

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Sport Media Vectors: Digitization, Expanding Audiences, and the Globalization of Live Sport

Laurel Michele Walzak, Joseph Recupero

In this edited collection, "Sport Media Vectors: Digitization, Expanding Audiences, and the Globalization of Live Sport", leading scholars from five continents explore the socio-cultural and political aspects of sport media vectors. The direction of live sport will continue to evolve as the demand by audiences shifts. Our book covers a complementary range of topics: esports; livestreaming; traditional linear broadcasting; gender, sexual orientation and masculinities in sport media; global comparisons; media and technological implications of sport; and audience study.

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Olly: Race, Class, and Gender in the Invention of a Rustic Modernity

Patricia Reinheimer

Olly emerged in the artistic field in the 1950s. She amassed positive reviews about her production. However, in the artistic universe, claiming quality is not enough. It was necessary that her work dialogued with some of that universe’s significant proposals: they had to make sense. What was that sense? Recognized while producing, but forgotten after her death, it is to Olly’s trajectory the author seeks to assign meaning. Olly: Race, Class, and Gender in the Invention of Rustic Modernity is a tribute to the author’s grandparents and a critique of the attitude of much of the white Brazilian middle-class towards peripheric groups. Looking at the artist’s subjects, the author identifies in her web of relations the creation of the idea of a sensibility that was intended to be universal, but even though it was based on different peripheric groups, it was produced and consumed by a certain white middle-class audience.

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You Decide!

Voting Open through February 15th

Winner Announced on February 22nd

Please note, only one vote per person.

Past Winners

2019 WINNER
In Exchange for Gold: The Legacy and Sustainability of Artisanal Gold Mining in Las Juntas de Abangares, Costa Rica

Richard A. Nissenbaum, Joseph E. B. Elliott

"In Exchange for Gold: The Legacy and Sustainability of Artisanal Gold Mining in Las Juntas de Abangares, Costa Rica" documents the linkage between human experience and ecology. Richard A. Nissenbaum and Joseph E. B. Elliott render a nuanced understanding of the complex issues involved in developing sustainable approaches to protecting the environment and how those approaches might also respect the communities and individuals inextricably tied to gold. Highlighting the personal, this case study honors a community, its rich culture, and history, while simultaneously examining the environmental and human cost of gold extraction.

2019 Finalists:


2018 Winner

Transformative Pedagogies in the Visual Domain Book Series