UNCG Research

Rifkin wins 2012 John Hope Franklin prize – research news

Posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 by UNCG Research.

Research News

Article by Betsi Robinson, University Relations 


Associate Professor Rifkin; English; Women’s and Gender Studies

Dr. Mark Rifkin, an associate professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at UNCG, has won the prestigious John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for best book in American Studies in 2011 from the American Studies Association.

“When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty,” published by Oxford University Press, was chosen from all eligible books published in 2011. The book explores the complex relationship between contested U.S. notions of normality and shifting forms of Native American governance and self-representation.

“Mark Rifkin is both a prodigious scholar and a talented teacher,” said Dr. Timothy D. Johnston, dean of UNCG’s College of Arts and Sciences. “He inspires the best in our students by engaging and challenging them in his courses and the award of this distinguished prize signals the respect that his colleagues have for his work.

“I’m very proud to number him among the faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences.”

Rifkin’s teaching and research have focused primarily on Native American literature and politics before 1900, and gender and sexuality studies.  He also is the author of “Manifesting America: The Imperial Construction of U.S. National Space” (Oxford University Press, 2009) and “The Erotics of Sovereignty: Queer Native Writing in the Era of Self-Determination” (University of Minnesota Press, 2012).

The prize honors Franklin, James B. Duke Professor Emeritus at Duke University and past president of the American Studies Association.