Announcement: TRAHA 2020

The 2020 Theodore Roosevelt American History Award was won by Emma van Toorn (Radboud University Nijmegen).

Emma van Toorn

Emma van Toorn received the award for her MA thesis "Faith Floods the Desert: Religious Dynamics in the Southern Arizona Sanctuary Movements, 1980-2019." The jury praised the thesis for its innovative combination of anthropological and historical methods, its compelling argument, and its evocative writing style. Through her in-depth investigation of how religion motivated a social movement to assist Central American refugees in Southwest, Van Toorn offers a fascinating example of how historical research can be employed to understand current social and political developments.

The 2020 TRAHA was awarded in an unusual year. Originally, the award was scheduled to be awarded during the annual Amerikanistendag. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, that event has had to be cancelled. Fortunately, Emma was able to accept her award in a smaller, socially distanced ceremony on Friday, 10 July. The prize consists of a bust of Theodore Roosevelt, a selection of books, and an annual subscription to Elsevier Magazine. In previous years, the winner also won a week-long trip to Theodore Roosevelt's old ranching-grounds in North Dakota. We hope to be able to reschedule this for next year.

Since 1987, the RIAS has awarded the TRAHA to the best Master's thesis on an American history subject defended at a Dutch university. The prize is sponsored by the Province of Zeeland and Elsevier Magazine. This year's jury was comprised of Cees Heere (RIAS, chair), Katy Hully (Erasmus University), Queeny van der Spek (2019 TRAHA Winner), and Maarten Zwiers (Groningen). For more information, including the full jury report, see here.

Emma van Toorn with parents

To read more on this annual award, see here.