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New Short Film Celebrating the PROSE Awards

Continuing its long tradition of drawing attention to the best and brightest scholarly works, the PROSE Awards is producing an original short film on Aldon D. Morris, author of the 2016 R.R. Hawkins Award-winning book, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. DuBois and the Birth of Modern Sociology, published by University of California Press. Produced and directed by New York City filmmaker, Mary Rose Synek, Marzipan Productions, the film will delve into the making of the book and the scholars behind it: W.E.B. DuBois and Aldon D. Morris.

Filming kicked off in late September in Oakland, California with interviews from those integral to the book publishing process. Both Alison Mudditt, Director of University of California Press, and Naomi Schneider, Executive Editor at University of California Press, who was also the acquiring editor for The Scholar Denied talked with Synek about what drew them to the story.

“It was clear from the interviews with the University of California Press that Dr. Morris had made his mark years ago with the reputation of his first books, The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, Frontiers in Social Movement Theory and Oppositional Consciousness: The Subjective Roots of Social Protest,” explained Synek. “Dr. Morris’s life work culminates in The Scholar Denied. The issues brought to our attention in his work are critical to our country. The time is right for a deep probe.”
Mary Rose Synek, Marzipan Productions

Next, Synek will spend time with Dr. Morris in Chicago, where he is the Leon Forrest Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University, and follow him to his home town of Tutweiler, Mississippi, to explore how his childhood in the segregated South inspired his work as a scholar and to follow the parallels between his and W.E.B. DuBois experiences as scholars.

This isn’t the first time an R.R. Hawkins Award winning author was selected as a film subject. Several have been produced since 2008. Previous films featuring R.R. Hawkins winners were Mapping the Slave Trade, a look at the creation of David Eltis and David Richardson’s Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, published by Yale University Press, and A Holy Curiosity, a profile of R.K. Michael Thambynayagam, author of The Diffusion Handbook, published by McGraw-Hill Professional. Mapping the Slave Trade was selected and shown at the 2012 UNSPOKEN Film Festival, an annual event that highlights human rights issues.

This year’s film will debut at the PROSE Awards luncheon ceremony, held during the PSP Annual Conference, on February 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The luncheon will also be webcast live.

The 2017 PROSE Awards are now accepting entries. Presented since 1976, the PROSE Awards recognize groundbreaking books, reference works, journals and digital content across the humanities and sciences. Fifty-nine awards are available, including the R.R. Hawkins Award, the highest honor in professional and scholarly publishing, which is presented to the most outstanding work among the year’s entries.

While sponsored by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PSP) Division of the AAP, PROSE accepts entries from all members of the AAP and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP). The 2017 Call for Entries is now available online only at www.proseawards.com. The submissions deadline is Monday, October 31, 2016.