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For Immediate Release
August 30, 2010

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Nicholas Mascari

Book Earns Brockport History Professor Prize

Anne Macpherson’s Study of Women and Politics in Belize
Recognized by Caribbean Historians

Press Release Photo Anne S Macpherson, PhD

Brockport, NY – Anne S. Macpherson, PhD, associate professor of history at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, recently received the Goveia Book Prize from the Association of Caribbean Historians for her book,From Colony to Nation: Women Activists and the Gendering of Politics in Belize, 1912-1982.

Macpherson’s is the first book to cover the subject of women’s political history in Belize. It demonstrates how women were creators of and activists within the two principal political currents of twentieth-century Belize: colonial-middle class reform and popular labor-nationalism. As such, their alliances and struggles with colonial administrators, male reformers, and nationalists, and with one another were central to Belize’s emergence as a nation-state.

“Macpherson brings an innovative, unapologetically revisionist perspective to her project, offering the first work to theorize the political subjectivities of women in Belize and thereby significantly raising the theoretical stakes of the historiography of Central America’s understudied Caribbean coast,” wrote Michael Stone, Princeton University’s Director of Latin American Studies, in the Hispanic American Historical Review.

“[Macpherson] succeeds brilliantly in remedying this omission (the role of women in Belizean history). Her book is the first significantly new contribution to Belizean history in decades. Belizean women emerge… as central political actors…sustaining popular movements when male leadership was timid, compliant, or divided. Macpherson’s history accords such steadfast determination a central role in Belize’s emergence as an independent nation,” Mark Moberg of the University of Alabama wrote in a review printed in the American Historical Review.

The Elsa Goveia Book Prize, awarded every two years since 1995 by the Association of Caribbean Historians, recognizes excellence in the field of Caribbean history.

Elsa Goveia (1925-1980) was born in what was then British Guiana. She earned her PhD in history at the University College London and joined the staff of the University College of the West Indies in 1950 as a lecturer in the Department of History. In 1961 she became the first woman to be named professor at the University of the West Indies. A brilliant lecturer and outstanding scholar, she was the author of seminal works on West Indian history.

The Association of Caribbean Historians (ACH) is an independent, non-profit, professional organization devoted to the promotion of Caribbean history from a multidisciplinary, pan-Caribbean perspective, and is the primary association for scholarly and public historians working in the field.


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