ASA’s Angela Davis Award for Public Scholarship Honors Ruth Wilson Gilmore

November 9, 2012 | CUNY Graduate Center

Doctoral faculty member Ruth Wilson Gilmore, a professor of geography in the earth and environmental sciences program and associate director of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics, has won the 2012 Angela Davis Award for Public Scholarship from the American Studies Association (ASA), the nation’s oldest and largest association devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history. The Angela Davis Award recognizes scholars who have applied or used their scholarship for the “public good.” This includes work that explicitly aims to educate the lay public, influence policies, or in other ways address inequalities in imaginative, practical, and applicable forms.

Gilmore, who served as president of the ASA from 2010 to 2011, was already known as an activist and an intellectual when she came to the Graduate Center from the University of Southern California in fall 2010. Her wide-ranging research interests include revolution and reform, environments and movements, prisons, urban-rural continuities, and the African diaspora.

In her first book, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007), which ASA recognized with its Lora Romero First Book Award, she examined how political and economic forces produced California’s prison boom. In the 2012 DVD “Visions of Abolition: From Critical Resistance to a New Way of Life,” Gilmore joins other scholars to examine the prison system and the history of the prison abolition movement. Her work is widely anthologized, including in the groundbreaking anthology The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (South End Press, 2007; paperback, 2009).

Gilmore lectures widely and works regularly with community groups and grassroots organizations and is known for the broad accessibility of her research. She holds a Ph.D. in economic geography and social theory from Rutgers University.

The awards ceremony will take place on November 16 at ASA’s annual convention, which will take place this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Photo: Michael Di Vito