Ruth Wilson Gilmore, associate professor of American studies and ethnicity and of geography in USC College, has been awarded the Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize for the best first book in American studies that highlights the intersections of race with gender, class, sexuality and/or nation. Her book titled Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press) was published in 2007.
The selection committee of the American Studies Association said upon bestowing this honor to Gilmore: "This interdisciplinary and passionate book explains the economic, racial, political, and social basis for the growth of prisons and how black women drawing upon traditions of social motherhood fought back. It represents engaged scholarship at its best, as Gilmore exposes through an intersectional analysis the political construction of crime, the creation of surplus labor, especially of young black and brown men, and the ways that racism and capitalism have developed the geography of prisons. It brings together political economy, critical race theory, and gender analysis to illuminate not only how and why prisons have expanded but also offers hope that they can be abolished.”