Smith Prize

E. Gene Smith Inner Asia Book Prize

Named to honor the distinguished scholar of Tibet, Mongolia, and other areas of Inner Asia, the E. Gene Smith Book Prize, offered biennially, honors outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a book on Inner Asia.

Books nominated may address either contemporary or historical topics in any field of the humanities or the social sciences related to any of the countries and regions in the wide swath of Asia stretching from the eastern border of Afghanistan to Mongolia, i.e., Tibet, Xinjiang or Mongolia, including peoples coming recently from those areas.


$1,000 to the Author

Guidelines for Submission

  • Books must have a 2017 or 2018 copyright date.
  • A copy of each entry, clearly labeled “Gene Smith Prize,” must be sent to each member of the committee at the addresses below.

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.


All submissions must be received by June 30, 2019.

Smith Prize Committee

Ron Sela (Chair)
2121 E Woodstock Pl
Bloomington, IN 47401

Ruth Dunnell
4443 N. Leavitt St. 1S
Chicago, IL 60635

Loretta Kim
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Run Run Shaw Tower 5/F
University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam, Hong Kong 0000

2018 Awards


Tom CliffOil and Water: Being Han in Xinjiang, University of Chicago Press
Honorable Mention

Daniel HirshbergRemembering the Lotus-Born: Padmasambhava in the History of Tibet’s Golden Age, Wisdom Publications

The AAS Secretariat will be closed Monday, January 20, in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day