Canaday wins U.S. historical society book award

A book by Margot Canaday, an assistant professor of history at Princeton, has been awarded the Organization of American Historians' 2010 Ellis W. Hawley Prize, which is given each year for the best historical study of the economy, politics or institutions of the United States from the Civil War to the present.

Canaday's book, "The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in 20th-Century America," examines the federal regulation of homosexuality, primarily looking at immigration, the military and welfare. Through her analysis of federal records -- some of which she went to court for the right to access -- Canaday shows how an emerging federal bureaucracy first crafted policies that excluded "sex and gender nonconformists" from the benefits of citizenship. Over time, she argues, these policies helped to crystallize homosexual identity. Princeton University Press published the book, based on Canaday's doctoral dissertation, in 2009.

Canaday came to the University in 2005 as a Cotsen-Perkins Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, and she became an assistant professor in the history department in 2008.

The Organization of American Historians, founded in 1907, is the largest professional society dedicated to U.S. history teaching and scholarship.