Joseph Levenson Book Prize is awarded each year in memory of Joseph R. Levenson by the Association for Asian Studies to two English-language books, one whose main focus is on China before 1900 and the other for works on post-1900 China. According to the association, the prize criterion is whether the book is "the greatest contribution to increasing understanding of the history, culture, society, politics, or economy of China." While the association does not limit the discipline or period of the work, it won't consider anthologies, edited works, and pamphlets. Based on the scholarly interests of Levenson, the association gives special consideration to books that "promote the relevance of scholarship on China to the wider world of intellectual discourse."[1]

Other prizes awarded by the AAS include the John Whitney Hall Book Prize for works on Japan or Korea, the James B. Palais Book Prize for works on Korea, and the E. Gene Smith Inner Asia Book Prize, offered biennially, honors outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a book on Inner Asia.

Other prizes for books on China proper, Vietnam, Chinese Central Asia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea, or Japan, substantially after 1800 include John K. Fairbank Prize given by the American Historical Association.

List of awards

Year Category Recipient Title Publisher
1987 Pre-1900 Frederic Wakeman Jr. The Great Enterprise: The Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in Seventeenth Century China University of California Press 1985
Post-1900 Andrew J. Nathan Chinese Democracy Alfred A. Knopf, 1985
1988 Pre-1900 Robert P. Hymes Statesmen and Gentlemen : the Elite of Fu-chou, Chiang-hsi, in Northern and Southern Sung Cambridge University Press 1986
Post-1900 Andrew G. Walder Communist Neo-traditionalism: Work and Authority in Chinese Industry University of California Press 1986
1989 Pre-1900 Andrew H. Plaks The Four Masterworks of the Ming Novel = Ssu Ta Ch'i-shu Princeton University Press 1987
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention R. Kent Guy The Emperor's Four Treasuries: Scholars and the State in the Late Ch'ien-lung Era Harvard University Press 1987
Post-1900 Joseph W. Esherick The Origins of the Boxer Uprising University of California Press 1987
1990 Pre-1900 Patrick Hanan The Invention of Li yu Harvard University Press 1988
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Jerry Norman Chinese Cambridge University Press 1988
Post-1900 Prasenjit Duara Culture, Power, and the State: Rural North China, 1900-1942 Stanford University Press 1988
1991 Pre-1900 Wu Hung The Wu Liang Shrine: the Ideology of Early Chinese Pictorial Art Stanford University Press 1989
Post-1900 David Strand Rickshaw Beijing: City People and Politics in the 1920s University of California Press 1989
Post-1900, Honorable Mention Melvyn C. Goldstein A History of Modern Tibet, Volume 1: 1913-1951: The Demise of the Lamaist State University of California Press 1989
1992 Pre-1900 Philip A. Kuhn Soulstealers: the Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768 Harvard University Press 1990
Post-1900 Philip C. Huang The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350-1988 Stanford University Press 1990
1993 Pre-1900 Martin J. Powers Art & Political Expression in Early China Yale University Press 1991
Post-1900 Edward Friedman, Paul G. Pickowicz, Mark Selden Chinese Village, Socialist State Yale University Press 1991
1994 Pre-1900 Jing Wang The Story of Stone: Intertextuality, Ancient Chinese Stone Lore, and the Stone Symbolism in Dream of the Red Chamber, Water Margin, and the Journey to the West Duke University Press 1992
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Zhang Longxi The Tao and the Logos: Literary Hermeneutics, East and West Duke University Press 1992
Post-1900 Gregor Benton Mountain Fires: the Red Army's Three-year War in South China, 1934-1938 University of California Press 1992
1995 Pre-1900 Patricia Buckley Ebrey The Inner Quarters: Marriage and the Lives of Chinese Women in the Sung Period University of California Press 1993
Post-1900 Vaclav Smil China's Environmental Crisis: an Inquiry into the Limits of National Development M. E. Sharpe, 1993
1996 Pre-1900 Stephen F. Teiser Scripture on the Ten Kings and the Making of Purgatory in Medieval Chinese Buddhism University of Hawaii Press 1994
Post-1900 Julia Frances Andrews Painters and Politics in the People's Republic of China, 1949-1979 University of California Press 1994
1997 Pre-1900 James L. Hevia Cherishing Men from Afar: Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793 Duke University Press 1995
Post-1900 R. Keith Schoppa Blood Road: the Mystery of Shen Dingyi in Revolutionary China University of California Press 1995
1998 Pre-1900 Maggie Bickford Ink Plum: the Making of a Chinese Scholar-painting Genre Cambridge University Press 1996
Post-1900 John Fitzgerald Awakening China: Politics, Culture, and Class in the Nationalist Revolution Stanford University Press 1996
1999 Pre-1900 Susan L. Mann Precious Records: Women in China's Long Eighteenth Century Stanford University Press 1997
Post-1900 Roderick MacFarquhar The Origins of the Cultural Revolution 3: the Coming of the Cataclysm 1961-1966 Columbia University Press 1997
2000 Pre-1900 Timothy Brook The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China University of California Press 1998
Post-1900 Lynn T. White, III Unstately Power, Vol. II: Local Causes of China's Intellectual, Legal, and Governmental Reforms M. E. Sharpe, 1998
2001 Pre-1900 Pamela Kyle Crossley A Translucent Mirror: History and Identity in Qing Imperial Ideology University of California Press 1999
Post-1900 Dorothy J. Solinger Contesting Citizenship in Urban China: Peasant Migrants, the State, and the Logic of the Market University of California Press 1999
2002 Pre-1900 Lothar Ledderose Ten Thousand Things: Module and Mass Production in Chinese Art Princeton University Press 2000
Post-1900 Edward J. M. Rhoads Manchus & Han: Ethnic Relations and Political Power in Late Qing and Early Republican China, 1861-1928 University of Washington Press 2000
2003 Pre-1900 David Schaberg A Patterned Past: Form and Thought in Early Chinese Historiography Harvard University Asia Center 2001
Post-1900 Lucien Bianco Peasants Without the Party: Grass-root Movements in 20th-century China M.E. Sharpe, 2001
2004 Pre-1900 Robert P. Hymes Way and Byway: Taoism, Local Religion, and Models of Divinity in Sung and Modern China University of California Press 2002
Post-1900 Geremie Barmé An Artistic Exile: a Life of Feng Zikai (1898-1975) University of California Press 2002
2005 Pre-1900 John Makeham Transmitters and Creators: Chinese Commentators and Commentaries on the Analects Harvard University Asia Center 2003
Post-1900 Yunxiang Yan Private Life under Socialism: Love, Intimacy, and Family Change in a Chinese Village, 1949-1999 Stanford University Press 2003
2006 Pre-1900 Antonia Finnane Speaking of Yangzhou: a Chinese City, 1550-1850 Harvard University Asia Center 2004
Post-1900 Ruth Rogaski Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-port China University of California Press 2004
2007 Pre-1900 Peter C. Perdue China Marches West: the Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia Harvard University Press 2005
Post-1900 Michael Dutton Policing Chinese Politics: a History Duke University Press 2005
2008 Pre-1900 Martin J. Powers Pattern and Person: Ornament, Society, and Self in Classical China Harvard University Asia Center 2006
Post-1900 Sherman Cochran Chinese Medicine Men: Consumer Culture in China and Southeast Asia Harvard University Press 2006
2009 Pre-1900 Anthony J. Barbieri-Low Artisans in Early Imperial China University of Washington Press 2007
Post-1900 Haiyan Lee Revolution of the Heart: a Genealogy of Love in China, 1900-1950 Stanford University Press 2007
2010 Pre-1900 Robert E. Harrist The Landscape of Words: Stone Inscriptions in Early and Medieval China University of Washington Press 2008
Post-1900 Susan Greenhalgh Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng's China University of California Press 2008
2011 Pre-1900 Eugenio Menegon Ancestors, Virgins and Friars: Christianity as a Local Religion in Late Imperial China Harvard University Asia Center 2009
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Robert Ford Campany Making Transcendents: Ascetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China University of Hawaii Press 2009
Post-1900 Jacob Eyferth Eating Rice from Bamboo Roots: the Social History of a Community of Artisans in Southwest China, 1920–2000 Harvard University Asia Center 2009
2012 Pre-1900 Christopher M. B. Nugent Manifest in Words, Written on Paper: Producing and Circulating Poetry in Tang Dynasty China Harvard University Asia Center 2010
Post-1900 Yomi Braester Painting the City Red: Chinese Cinema and the Urban Contract Duke University Press 2010
2013 Pre-1900 Dagmar Schäfer The Crafting of 10,000 Things: Knowledge and Technology in Seventeenth Century China University of Chicago Press 2011
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention K. E. Brashier Ancestral Memory in Early China Harvard University Asia Center 2011
Post-1900 Vincent Goossaert and David A. Palmer The Religious Question in Modern China University of Chicago Press 2011
2014 Pre-1900 Andrea Goldman Opera and the City: the Politics of Culture in Beijing, 1770-1900 Stanford University Press 2012
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Scott B. Cook The Bamboo Texts of Guodian: A Study and Complete Translation (2 volumes) Cornell East Asia Series 2012
Post-1900 Joseph Allen Taipei: City of Displacements University of Washington Press 2012
2015 Pre-1900 Yuming He Home and the World: Editing the “Glorious Ming” in Woodblock-Printed Books of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries Harvard University Asia Center 2013
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Matthais L. Richter The Embodied Text: Establishing Textual Identity in Early Chinese Manuscripts E J Brill 2013
Post-1900 Winnie Won Yin Wong Van Gogh on Demand: China and the Readymade University of Chicago Press 2013
2016 Pre-1900 Wai-yee Li Women and National Trauma in Late Imperial Chinese Literature Harvard University Asia Center 2014
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Tamara Chin Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination Harvard University Asia Center 2014
Post-1900 Luigi Tomba The Government Next Door: Neighborhood Politics in Urban China Cornell University Press 2014
2017 Pre-1900 Foong Ping The Efficacious Landscape: On the Authorities of Painting at the Northern Song Court Harvard University Asia Center 2015
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Anna Shields One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China Harvard University Asia Center 2015
Post-1900 Christopher Rea The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China University of California Press 2015
2018 Pre-1900 Li Chen Chinese Law in Imperial Eyes: Sovereignty, Justice, and Transcultural Politics Columbia University Press 2016
Post-1900 Sigrid Schmalzer Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China University of Chicago Press 2016
2019 Pre-1900 Jonathan Schlesinger A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule Stanford University Press 2017
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Craig Clunas Chinese Painting and Its Audiences Princeton University Press 2017
Post-1900 Ching Kwan Lee The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa University of Chicago Press 2017
Post-1900, Honorable Mention Thomas Mullaney The Chinese Typewriter: A History MIT Press 2017
2020 Pre-1900 Lara Blanchard Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire: Gender and Interiority in Chinese Painting and Poetry E J Brill 2018
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Ori Sela China's Philological Turn: Scholars, Textualism, and the Dao in the 18th Century Columbia University Press 2018
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Wen-shing Chou Mount Wutai: Visions of a Sacred Buddhist Mountain Princeton University Press 2018
Post-1900 Sasha Welland Experimental Beijing: Gender and Globalization in Chinese Contemporary Art Duke University Press 2018
Post-1900, Honorable Mention Gao Hua
(trans. by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian)
How the Red Sun Rose: The Origin and Development of the Yan'an Rectification Movement, 1930–1945 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press 2018
2021 Pre-1900 Stephen Owen Just a Song: Chinese Lyrics from the Eleventh and Early Twelfth Centuries Harvard University Asia Center 2019
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Macabe Keliher The Board of Rites and the Making of Qing China University of California Press 2019
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Charles Sanft Literate Community in Early Imperial China: The Northwestern Frontier in Han Times State University of New York Press 2019
Post-1900 Joel Andreas Disenfranchised: The Rise and Fall of Industrial Citizenship in China Oxford University Press 2019
Post-1900, Honorable Mention Yurou Zhong Chinese Grammatology: Script Revolution and Literary Modernity, 1916–1958 Columbia University Press 2019
2022 Pre-1900 Robert Ford Campany The Chinese Dreamscape 300BCE-800CE Harvard University Asia Center 2020
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention He Bian Know Your Remedies: Pharmacy and Culture in Early Modern China Princeton University Press 2020
Post-1900 Silvia M. Lindtner Prototype Nation: China and the Contested Promise of Innovation Princeton University Press 2020
2023 Pre-1900 Ruth Mostern The Yellow River: A Natural and Unnatural History Yale University Press 2021
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Tao Jiang Origins of Moral-Political Philosophy in Early China Oxford University Press 2021
Post-1900 Joshua Goldstein Remains of the Everyday: A Century of Recycling in Beijing University of California Press 2021
Post-1900, Honorable Mention Nicole Willock Lineages of the Literary Columbia University Press 2021
2024 Pre-1900 Susan Naquin Gods of Mount Tai: Familiarity and the Material Culture of North China, 1000-2000 Princeton University Press 2022
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Christian de Pee Urban Life and Intellectual Crisis in Middle-Period China, 800–1100 Amsterdam University Press 2022
Pre-1900, Honorable Mention Lawrence Zhang Power for a Price: The Purchase of Official Appointments in Qing China Harvard University Asia Center 2022
Post-1900 Ho-fung Hung City on the Edge: Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule Cambridge University Press
Post-1900, Honorable Mention Joseph Esherick Accidental Holy Land: The Communist Revolution in Northwest China University of California Press



  1. ^ AAS Prizes Archived 2015-03-14 at the Wayback Machine