Levenson Prize

Joseph Levenson Prize – Pre-1900 and Post-1900

The Merlin Foundation, established by the late Audrey Sheldon, has provided for the two awards, one for works whose main focus is on China before 1900 and the other for works on post-1900 China. The prizes will be awarded to the English-language books that make the greatest contribution to increasing understanding of the history, culture, society, politics, or economy of China. In keeping with the broad scholarly interests of Joseph Levenson, special consideration will be given to books that, through comparative insights or groundbreaking research, promote the relevance of scholarship on China to the wider world of intellectual discourse


The AAS China and Inner Asia Council will offer two $1,000 Joseph Levenson Prizes for nonfiction scholarly books on China published in 2018.

$1,000 – Pre-1900 prize winner

$1,000 – Post-1900 prize winner

Guidelines for Submission

  • Works in all disciplines and in all periods of Chinese history are eligible, but anthologies, edited works, and pamphlets will not be considered.
  • Only books bearing a copyright date of 2018 will be eligible for the 2020 awards.
  • A copy of each entry, clearly labeled “Joseph Levenson Prize,” must be sent to each member of the appropriate committee.

Either presses or individuals may submit books, and it is suggested that authors consult with their presses concerning submission. The prizes will be presented at the 2020 AAS annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Eligible authors should be aware that since many publishers do not automatically submit nominations, authors must assume responsibility for having their books be placed in nomination and sent to members of the prize committee.


Entries must be received by June 30, 2019 to be eligible for the 2020 awards.

Pre-1900 Committee

Amy McNair (Chair)
1301 Mississippi Street
Room 209
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS 66045

Yuming He
2104 Jefferson Ave
Berkeley, CA 94703

Roberta Wue
Department of Art History
2000 Humanities Gateway
University of California
Irvine, CA 92697-2785

Post-1900 Committee

Gerda Wielander (Chair)
University of Westminster
309 Regent Street
London W1B 3UW

Madeleine Yue Dong
Jackson School of International Studies
Box 353560
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3560

Fabio Lanza
1734 Abington Place
Lansing, MI 48910

2020 Awards

Pre-1900, Honorable Mention

Wen-shing Chou, Mount Wutai: Visions of a Sacred Buddhist Mountain, Princeton University Press
Post-1900, Winner

Sasha Welland, Experimental Beijing: Gender and Globalization in Chinese Contemporary Art, Duke University Press
Post-1900, Honorable Mention (Posthumous)

Gao Hua, How the Red Sun Rose: The Origin and Development of the Yan’an Rectification Movement, The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

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