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Visiting Professor in the School of Law awarded Lifetime Achievement Prize

American Studies Association recognises Professor Avery Gordon for dedicating a lifetime of work to the mission and values of American studies.

Professor Avery Gordon
Professor Avery Gordon

The 2020 American Studies Association Carl Bode-Norman Holmes Pearson Prize has been awarded to Professor Avery F. Gordon, recognising ‘the outstanding achievement of an individual who has dedicated a lifetime of work to the mission and values of American studies’.

Professor Gordon has been a Visiting Professor at Birkbeck’s School of Law since 2013, holding various roles during that time, before that she was a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara for thirty years. Professor Gordon’s work focuses on radical thought and practice and she writes about captivity, enslavement, war and other forms of dispossession and how to eliminate them.  Professor Gordon has made substantial contributions to the research environment at the School of Law by sharing insights from her influential books Ghostly Matters and The Hawthorn Archives, bringing thought-leading guest speakers to Birkbeck’s Centre for Law and the Humanities, and holding regular writing workshops and seminars for postgraduate researchers and academic staff.

Professor Gordon said, “I’m so pleased to be honoured by the American Studies Association with their lifetime achievement award. It means a great deal to me to be recognised by my professional peers.” 

Dr Eddie Bruce-Jones, Head of the Department of Law, said, “It is difficult to imagine a colleague being more generous with her time and expertise than Professor Gordon.  Aside from her brilliant scholarship, she has contributed to the intellectual creativity and sense of academic community at Birkbeck and in London more generally.  We are absolutely thrilled for Professor Gordon, and we are proud that she is with us in the School of Law.”

The American Studies Association joins together ‘researchers, teachers, students, writers, activists, curators, community organizers, and activists from around the world who are dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. culture and history in a global context’. Professor Gordon will receive the award at the association’s 2021 award ceremony in San Juan, Puerto Rico.


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