ACHA Awards


The American Catholic Historical Association awards the following prizes annually:

John Gilmary Shea Prize

John Gilmary Shea Prize is given annually to the author of a book, published during a preceding twelve-month period, which is judged by a committee of experts to have made the most original and distinguished contribution to knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church. Any author who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada is eligible. The prize consists of $1500.

Books to be entered in the competition must have been published in the 2018 calendar year. Three copies, identified as entries, should be sent by June 15, 2019, one to each of the following members of the committee of judges:


Stephen Schloesser, S.J. (prize committee chair)
Department of History
Loyola University Chicago
1032 W. Sheridan Road
Crown Center 515
Chicago, IL 60660

Una Cadegan
Department of History
University of Dayton
Humanities 400
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 – 1540

A. Katie Stirling-Harris
SSH 3233
Davis, CA 95616

Shea Prize Winners, 2010-18

Year Awardee Work Publisher
2018 Michelle Armstrong-Partida Defiant Priests Domestic Unions, Violence, and Clerical Masculinity in Fourteenth-Century Catalunya Cornell University Press buy
2017 William B. Taylor Theater of a Thousand Wonders: History of Miraculous Images and Shrines in New Spain Cambridge University Press buy
2016 Katrina B. Olds Forging the Past: Invented Histories in Counter-Reformation Spain Yale University Press buy
2015 Maureen C. Miller Clothing the Clergy: Virtue and Power in Medieval Europe, c. 800-1200 Cornell University Press buy
2014 John W. O’Malley  Trent: What Happened at the Council Belknap Press buy
2013 Charles Keith Catholic Vietnam: A Church from Empire to Nation University of California Press buy
2012 John Connelly From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 Harvard University Press buy
2011 Ulrich L. Lehner Enlightened Monks: The German Benedictines, 1740-1803 Oxford University Press buy
2010 Neal Pease Rome’s Most Faithful Daughter: The Catholic Church and Independent Poland 1914 – 1939 Ohio University Press buy


The Howard R. Marraro Prize

The Howard R. Marraro Prize is given annually to the author of a book that is judged by a committee of experts to be the most distinguished work dealing with Italian history or Italo-American history or relations that has been published in a preceding twelve-month period. It is named in memory of Howard A. Marraro (1879-1972), who was a professor in Columbia University and the author of more than a dozen books on Italian literature, history, and culture. In his last will Professor Marraro bequeathed to the Association a sum to be invested as a fund, the income from which would be awarded each year as a prize. The present amount of the prize is $1500.

Marraro made bequests to the American Historical Association, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the Society for Italian Historical Studies to allow each association to award a prize. The American Historical Association administers the competition for all three awards. See the list of past recipients. The general rules for submission are:

1. Each award will be given for the book or article deemed best by the committee, which treats Italian history in any epoch, Italian cultural history, or Italian-American relations. Entries must be published in English by historians whose usual residence is in North America

2. Books or articles with an imprint of 2018 are eligible for the 2019 award.

3. Nominators must complete the AHA’s online Data Collection Form for each book submitted.

4. One copy of each entry must be sent to each of the following committee members and clearly labeled “Marraro Prize Entry.” Electronic copies may be sent to committee members who have indicated they will accept them.

Please Note: Entries must be received by May 15, 2019, to be eligible for the 2018 competition. Entries will not be returned. Recipients will be announced on the American Historical Association website in October 2019 and recognized during a ceremony at the January 2020 AHA annual meeting in New York.

For questions, please contact the Prize Administrator at, or call 202-544-2422.

All submission information, including contact information for the judges, is available on the AHA’s Data Collection Form.


Marraro Prize Winners, 2010-16

Year Awardee Work Publisher
2017 John Howe Before the Gregorian Reform: The Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium Cornell University Press buy
2016 Andrew D. Berns The Bible and Natural Philosophy in Renaissance Italy Cambridge University Press buy
2015 Nino Zchomelidse Art, Ritual, and Civic Identity in Medieval Southern Italy The Pennsylvania State University Press buy
2014 Daniel Stolzenberg Egyptian Oedipus: Athanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity The University of Chicago Press buy
2013 Areli Marina The Italian Piazza Transformed: Parma in the Communal Age The Pennsylvania State University Press buy
2012 E. Natalie Rothman Brokering Empire: Trans-Imperial Subjects Between Venice and Istanbul Cornell University Press buy
2011 Michael Ebner Ordinary Violence in Mussolini’s Italy Cambridge Univ. Press buy
2010 Stanislao Pugliese Bitter Spring: A Life of Ignazio Silone Farrar, Straus and Giroux buy

The Peter Guilday Prize

The Peter Guilday Prize is awarded for a manuscript, accepted by the editor of the Catholic Historical Review, that is the author’s first scholarly publication. Entries must be submitted as articles; those received in the editorial office by September 1 of any year will be considered for that year’s prize, the amount of which is $250. The winning article will be published in the following year. Any author who is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or Canada is eligible.

Guilday Prize Winners, 2016-

Year Awardee Work Appears in
2017 Kathleen Walkowiak “Public Authority and Private Constraints: Eugenius III and the Council of Reims”  Catholic Historical Review, Summer 2017
2016 Christopher Riedel, Ph.D. “Praising God Together: Monastic Reformers and Laypeople in Tenth-Century Winchester” Catholic Historical Review, Spring 2016 


The John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award

The John Tracy Ellis Dissertation Award, which carries a purse of $1,500, memorializes the scholarship and teaching of Monsignor Ellis (1905-1992). Its purpose is to assist a graduate student working on some aspect of the history of the Catholic Church.

Eligibility: Those wishing to enter the competition for the award must be citizens or authorized residents (i.e., permanent residents or on student visas) of the United States or Canada, and must be enrolled in a doctoral program at a recognized institution of higher education.

Procedures: Applicants must submit copies of all application materials to the three award judges by September 30, 2019. Submissions may be e-mailed or sent via postal mail. Please ensure that all judges (whose contact information is listed below) receive a copy of your materials.

Application materials:

  • a statement from the chairman (or director of graduate studies) of the applicant’s department certifying that he or she has completed all the degree requirements for the doctorate except for the dissertation, and has received departmental approval to undertake work on a dissertation topic dealing with some aspect of the history of the Catholic Church;
  • a statement written by the applicant, not exceeding 1,000 words in length, describing the dissertation project and the way in which the award would be used to further its completion;
  • two sealed letters of recommendation from scholars familiar with the applicant’s work, one of whom must be his or her dissertation director.
  • a sample chapter of the dissertation, or a segment thereof, not exceeding 25 pages.


Dr. Sandra Yocum, chair
Department of Religious Studies
University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469

John Farina
George Mason University
4400 University Drive
Robinson Hall B445
Fairfax, VA 22030

Robert W. Shaffern
St. Thomas Hall 308F
The University of Scranton
Scranton, PA 18510-4699

For submission information, you may also contact us at

Ellis Dissertation Prize Winners

Year Awardee Work University
2017 Sean Rost A Call to Citizenship: Anti-Klan Activism in Missouri, 1921-1928 University of Missouri


The Msgr. Harry C. Koenig Award for Catholic Biography (Article Award)

The Koenig journal article prize for Catholic biography is awarded on a competitive basis to the author who has produced a journal article that focuses on the life of a Catholic personage from any period of Christian history. A submission can either be published originally in English or translated into English and must be of a substantial length. Graduate students (Masters or Doctoral level) from accredited institutions of higher learning, independent scholars or faculty members are eligible to compete. Single and multi-authored works will be considered; book articles and edited volume articles do not qualify. Preference will be given to a submission that has appeared in a scholarly journal.

Awarded every odd-numbered year, the Koenig journal prize carries a cash award of $500 (in the case of multi-authored works, the prize money will be divided among the recipients). For consideration for the 2019 award, an article must have been published in calendar year 2017 or 2018.

The deadline for submitting an article for consideration has been extended to August 1, 2019. An electronic copy of the article is to be sent to

The prize committee members are:

  • Daniel Bornstein, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Anne Klejment, University of St. Thomas
  • Nick Rademacher, Cabrini University

Koenig Prize Winners (Journal Award)

Year Awardee Work Journal Online access
(inaugural year)
Paul T. Murray ‘The Most Righteous White Man in Selma’: Father Maurice Ouellet and the Struggle for Voting Rights The Alabama Review 68.1 (January 2015) Project MUSE


The Msgr. Harry C. Koenig Award for Catholic Biography (Book Award)

The 2018 Koenig Book Prize for Catholic Biography is awarded for a monograph published in calendar year 2016 or 2017 that focuses on the life of a Catholic personage of any age or time. Entries must first have been published in English. The prize consists of $1500. The prize is presented in January at the Association’s annual meeting.

Deadline for submission is June 1, 2018.

Works to be considered for the Koenig Book Award should be submitted to the award committee members:

Professor Mel Piehl
Valparaiso University
Linwood House
1320 Chapel Dr.
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Professor David O’Brien
965 Main St. (Unit 10)
Holden, MA 01520

Professor John Ford
735 Walnut Ridge W
Logansport, IN 46947

Koenig Prize Winners (Book Award)

Year Awardee Work Publisher
2016 Franz Posset Johann Reuchlin (1455-1522). A Theological Biography. De Gruyter buy
2014 (inaugural year) Robert Ventresca Soldier for Christ: The Life of Pius XII Belknap Press buy


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