American Art in Translation Book Prize

Publish Date: Jun 16, 2015

Deadline: Aug 03, 2015

Yale University Press, in partnership with the Terra Foundation for American Art, is offering a new prize for an unpublished manuscript or previously published manuscript in a language other than Englishwritten by a non-U.S. author. The manuscript should make a significant contribution to scholarship on the historical visual arts of what is now the geographic United States.

In helping to overcome the language barrier that often divides scholars and deters international research and collaboration, the prize aims to advance and internationalize scholarship on American art and seeks to recognize original and thorough research, sound methodology, and significance in the field. The award is especially intended to encourage authors who take the field of American art history into new historical and interpretive terrain, or who establish connections among the work of scholars within and outside the United States, providing a model of international exchange important to sustaining relevance and academic rigor for the future of the field.

The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, and the manuscript will be published (in print and electronic form) in English by Yale University Press. In addition, Yale University Press will invite the winner to present a lecture on the book, upon publication, at Yale University. Scholars who have received PhDs within the past five years are strongly encouraged to apply.

Eligibility and Award Process

Single-author, book-length academic manuscripts—previously unpublished or published within the past five calendar years—in the field of American art history are eligible. Topics of interest include the following aspects of the visual arts of the United States (dating from circa 1500 to 1980): painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography and the moving image, decorative arts, craft, and folk art. Books focusing on methodology, criticism, patronage, iconography, and social history may also be nominated. Yale University Press and the Terra Foundation strongly encourage proposals for books examining American art in an international context. Exhibition catalogues, catalogues raisonnés, studies on architecture, urban design and planning, and commercial film and design, and topics on Latin American art will not be considered.

Since the purpose of the award is to expose Americans to scholarship originally published in a language other than English, this award is not open to authors for whom English is their first language.

Please note that an invitation for a formal proposal does not guarantee funding at any level.

Authors of eligible manuscripts are invited to nominate their work. We urge scholars to share information with one another about the prize.

Eligible book projects will be reviewed by international scholars of American art, appointed by Yale University Press.

How to Apply

The application process is three-part:

  1. Before submitting a formal proposal to Yale University Press, prospective applicants must write a letter of inquiry.
  2. After reviewing the letter of inquiry, the Press may invite the submission of a formal proposal.
  3. Formal proposals undergo a review process before final decisions are made by Yale University Press.

Letter of Inquiry

A letter of inquiry must precede any formal grant proposal; formal proposals are accepted only by invitation of the Press after review of the letter of inquiry. Prospective applicants can expect to hear from the Press within six weeks of their letter’s receipt. The letter of inquiry should include:

  • Cover letter
  • Book abstract, including the manuscript’s significance and contribution to American art history [no more than three pages]
  • Author’s curriculum vitae

All letters, book abstracts, and curricula vitae should be written in English, addressed to Patricia J. Fidler, Publisher, Art & Architecture, Yale University Press, and sent by email  

Formal Proposal

After a letter of inquiry is reviewed, prospective applicants may be invited to submit a formal proposal. Formal proposals must be written in or translated into English and should not be stapled or bound. All attachments, unless indicated, should also be written in or translated into English [see guidelines, below].

Proposal Review Process

Following submission, proposals go through the review process outlined below:

Staff Contact

Yale University Press staff will contact the applicant to confirm that the required material has been submitted, clarify any questions regarding the proposal, and request any additional information.

Staff and Peer Review

Yale University Press’s editorial staff reviews all proposals.  Publications submitted for consideration will also be assessed by an international committee of American art scholars.


Yale University Press staff will notify the applicant of a decision by telephone or mail once a decision on the award has been made.


All required materials should be submitted to Yale University Press by the following deadlines: 

Letter of Inquiry: August 3, 2015

Invitations for Formal Proposals: September 7, 2015 

Proposal: October 15, 2015                                     

Award Announced: January 2016

Application Guidelines for Formal Proposals

Formal proposals should be written in or translated into English. If the proposal does not include all of the following components, it will not be considered for review. Both email attachments and hardcopies (not stapled or bound) of the formal proposal are required.

Materials should be sent to:

Patricia J. Fidler

Publisher, Art & Architecture

Yale University Press

P.O. Box 209040, New Haven, CT 06520-9040 (regular mail)

302 Temple Street, New Haven, CT 06511 (courier mail)

  1. Project Proposal for Previously Unpublished Manuscripts

Book Proposal

  • Description of project
  • Chapter outlines
  • Plan for revisions and completion of the manuscript
  • Explanation of the publication’s significance and contribution to our understanding of American art history as well as its place in the current international literature on the topic.

Required Attachments

  • Author’s curriculum vitae
  • Complete manuscript, including:
  1. Illustration list
  2. Sample photocopies of images [up to 15]
  3. Total number of manuscript words, including footnotes
  4. Translation into English of two chapters
  • Two recent letters of recommendation/scholarly endorsements of the project
  1. Project Proposal for Published Books

Project Description

  • Description of project
  • Chapter outlines
  • Plan for revisions of the manuscript and/or additional content
  • Explanation of the publication’s significance and contribution to our understanding of American art history as well as its place in the current international literature on the topic.
  • Provide print run and specifications (including trim size; number of book pages; number of manuscript words, including footnotes; number of color plates, black-and-white illustrations, line drawings, or special features; type of binding/format)

Required Attachments

  • Author’s curriculum vitae
  • A copy of the published book
  • Translation into English of one chapter
  • Book reviews, if available

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