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Richard J. Orsi Prize

University of California Press is pleased to announce the establishment of the Richard J. Orsi Prize to honor the best articles published in the journal, California History. The family, friends, colleagues, and admirers of Richard J. Orsi established this prize to honor the state’s preeminent historian and, from 1989 through 2000, editor of California History, originally the quarterly of the California Historical Society and now published by University of California Press.

Orsi authored dozens of scholarly articles and numerous anthologies of essays about California. He is the author of Sunset Limited: The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West, 1850–1930 (UC Press: 2005). He co-edited Yosemite and Sequoia: A Century of California National Parks (1993), and the four-volume California History Sesquicentennial Series, co-published by University of California Press and the California Historical Society between 1998 and 2003.

The University of California Press will award the first Richard J. Orsi prize for the best article published in 2020 in California History. Articles will be judged on their literary quality, significance to the field of California history, and contribution to knowledge about the United States, American West, and the Pacific world. A rotating committee of editorial board members will select prize-winners.

Please note: University of California faculty and staff are ineligible for cash prizes. In the event an employee of the University of California is awarded the prize, they may opt to receive an award of UC Press books of equal value in lieu of cash payment. For multi-authored articles, payment will be made to the primary author or another single author designated by the primary author.

For more information please contact California History's editor, Mary Ann Irwin.

Orsi Prize Winners

2022: S. An-Sky’s The Dybbuk and the Process of Jewish American Identity in 1920s San Francisco by Warren C. Wood, Volume 99, Issue 2

2021: Suburban Cowboy: Country Music, Punk, and the Struggle over Space in Orange County, 1978–1981 by Amanda Marie Martinez; Volume 98, Issue 1

2020: The Perilous Borderlands: The Role of Anti-Japanese Hysteria in American Efforts to Annex Baja California, 1900–1942 by David Tamayo; Volume 97, Issue 2

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