Books from UR authors top reading lists around the world

September 10, 2021


Richmond professors publish in hundreds of journals every year and yet somehow find time to write award-winning books. Read on for a selection of notable tomes from UR professors who have been recognized for exceptional works in their areas of expertise.  

When Leaders Face Personal Crisis, by psychology professor Laura Knouse and leadership studies professor emerita Gill Hickman, was recently named a Nautilus Book Award 2020 silver winnerThe book explores aspects of leaders dealing with their own personal crises and how their reaction can affect their teams, peers, and supervisors. Knouse and Hickman also offer direction on how organizations can create cultures of reciprocal care.

Two books from UR faculty made the “Top Rap Music Books of All Time” list from Book Authority. Liberal arts professor Erik Nielson authored Rap on Trial, an in-depth look at the misuse of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. And sociology professor Matthew Oware’s I Got Say Something to Say examines the lyrics of millennial rap artists.

Anthropology professors Margaret Dorsey and Miguel Diaz-Barriga were awarded the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists’ 2020 Book Award for Fencing in Democracy. The book culminates more than a decade of Dorsey and Díaz-Barriga’s research, where they studied the U.S.-Mexico border wall and observed the political protests and legal challenges that residents mounted in opposition to the wall. 

History professor Ed Ayers’ book The Thin Light of Freedom won the Avery O. Craven Award, which recognizes the most original book about the Civil War or Reconstruction. Ayers’ book also won the 2018 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize.

Mariela Mendez, associate professor of Latin American, Latino, and Iberian studies, and women, gender, and sexuality studies, received the 2019 Best Critical Monograph Award by the Association for Gender and Sexuality Studies for Crónicas Travestis. The book focuses on three influential women writers in South America and the strategies they implemented to find and establish their own identity in a time when the literary field was dominated by men.  

Religious and American Studies professor Doug Winiarski’s book, Darkness Falls on the Land of Light, examines the role of religious revivals in colonial times. The book has won several prestigious awards: The Bancroft Prize, The Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize, and the 2018 Book Award for nonfiction by The New England Society. It was also a finalist for the George Washington Prize.