AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas at Austin History Professor Denise A. Spellberg has been named the $10,000 grand prize winner of the 2014 University Co-op Robert W. Hamilton Book Awards for her work “Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders.”
The Hamilton Awards are among the highest honors of literary achievement given for UT Austin authors. This year’s winners were announced Wednesday, Oct. 15.
The awards are named for Professor Robert W. Hamilton, the Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair-Emeritus in Law, who served as chair of the board of the University Co-op from 1989 to 2001.
In “Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders” (published by Alfred A. Knopf), Spellberg recounts how a handful of the country’s founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the tolerance of Muslims to fashion a practical foundation for governance in America.
Four other UT Austin professors received $3,000 runner-up prizes:
- Desmond F. Lawler Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering, for his work “Water Quality Engineering: Physical/Chemical Treatment Processes,” co-authored with Mark Benjamin, University of Washington; Published by John Wiley and Sons
- Huaiyin Li Department of History, for his work “Reinventing Modern China: Imagination and Authenticity in Chinese Historical Writing“; Published by University of Hawaii Press
- Allison E. Lowery Department of Theatre and Dance, for her work
“Historical Wig Styling: Volumes 1 and 2“; Published by Focal Press/Taylor and Francis Group
- Mark Metzler Department of Asian Studies, for his work “Capital as Will and Imagination: Schumpeter’s Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle“; Published by Cornell University Press
The University Co-operative Society also announced winners for its research awards Wednesday.
Luis Caffarelli, professor of mathematics, was awarded the $10,000 Career Research Excellence Award for maintaining a long-term, superior research program. A National Academy of Sciences member, he works on nonlinear partial differential equations and has been honored with such awards as the Bocher Memorial Prize of the American Mathematical Society (A.M.S.) in 1984, the Rolf Schock Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2005, the Leroy P. Steele Prizes of the A.M.S. for Lifetime Achievement in Mathematics in 2009 and for Seminal Contribution to Research in 2014, and the Wolf Prize in 2012.
Rachael Rawlins, professor in the School of Architecture, was awarded the $5,000 Best Research Paper Award for “Planning for Fracking on the Barnett Shale: Urban Air Pollution, Improving Health Based Regulation, and the Role of Local Governments,“ Virginia Environmental Law Journal.
The article undertakes the most comprehensive review and analysis of air quality monitoring, regulation, and health effects assessment on the Barnett Shale and concludes the state may have been too quick to dismiss health concerns.
The Co-op also awarded two $5,000 Creative Research Awards for the first time, thanks to support from the Moody College of Communication, and the School of Architecture and the College of Fine Arts under the leadership of Dean Douglas Dempster.
The winners were Benjamin Ibarra-Sevilla of the School of Architecture and Kirk E. Lynn of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Ibarra-Sevilla was nominated for “Mixtec Stonecutting Artistry: 16th Century Ribbed Vaults in Mixteca, Mexico,” an exhibit that showcases three cathedral vaults using a 3-D laser point scanner and printer. Lynn was nominated for his acclaimed plays both with his theater collective the Rude Mechanicals and as a solo writer produced across America and abroad.
The University Co-op is a not-for-profit corporation owned by UT Austin students, faculty members and staffers. Since 2000, it has given more than $33 million to the university in gifts, grants and rebates.