Allyson M. Poska, University of Mary Washington professor of history, recently won the 2016 best book prize from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women for “Gendered Crossings: Women and Migration in the Spanish Empire.”

“Gendered Crossings” explores the diverse settings of the Iberian Atlantic and the transformations in peasants’ gendered experiences as they moved around the Spanish Empire.

“The award committee particularly appreciated how the book complicates our understandings of masculinity, femininity, honor and sexual norms in showing how Spain tried to use families and migration to advance its imperial goals,” said Abby Zanger, the society’s secretary.

“They praised it as a careful study of many different historical subjects – women as well as men, poor and rich, and enslaved and free – that offers a powerful example of how histories of the early modern Atlantic world are enriched by weaving gender together with class, race, and European and Colonial politics.”

Poska also is the author of “Women and Authority in Early Modern Spain: The Peasants of Galicia, Women and Gender in the Western Past” (co-authored with Katherine French) and “Regulating the People: The Catholic Reformation in Seventeenth-Century Spain.”

Poska’s work has been funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, an ACLS/NEH/SSRC International and Area Studies Fellowship and the John Carter Brown Library. She has served on the executive council of the Sixteenth Century Society, the executive board of the Society for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies and as President of the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.

Poska earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in history from Brown University, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Johns Hopkins University.

—The University of Mary Washington

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