Via the American Society for Legal History, we have the official citation for the Cromwell Dissertation Prize, awarded this year to Alison Powers (Texas Tech University):
The William Nelson Cromwell Foundation has generously funded a dissertation prize of $5,000. The winning dissertation may focus on any area of American legal history, including constitutional and comparative studies; topics dealing with the colonial and early national periods will receive some preference. Anyone who received a Ph.D. in 2017 will be eligible for this year’s prize.
2018 recipient: Allison Powers, “Settlement Colonialism: Compensatory Justice in United States Expansion, 1903-1941”—a dissertation submitted for a Ph.D. at Columbia University.
The members of this year's Cromwell dissertation prize subcommittee were Lisa Ford (University of New South Wales) (chair); H. Robert Baker (Georgia State University); Mary Sarah Bilder (Boston College); and Laura Weinrib (University of Chicago).
Committee citation: This elegantly structured and beautifully written dissertation explores the operation and eventual demise of a system of international claims settlement tribunals established to compensate property owners for foreign property expropriated and damaged by and on behalf of the US Government in the second half of the nineteenth century. Through deep, multi-archival research, Powers shows how the system created unexpected opportunities for ordinary people to resist “settlement colonialism”. Indeed, she argues that claims brought by ordinary people transformed the commissions from showcases of US leadership in international justice, into spaces where US imperialism was exposed to the world.
Congratulations to Professor Powers!